Teen fiction: New novel for young adults tells the story of a world of escapism, mythology and magic
Dorimalia, a teacher, was inspired to write after seeing how badly the Covid pandemic impacted the mental and emotional wellbeing of her pupils. In the magical Manaful world, populated by telepathic dwarves akin to the Menehune of Hawaiian myth, the three young protagonists – Pierre, Nicole, and Malie – find a safe space to bond, grow, and rise above their relatable real-world problems. As the author, puts it, they become ‘Manaful’ (powerful).
In this exclusive extract from The Secret Club and the Manafuls, young heroes Pierre, Nicole, and Malie enter the Manaful World for the first time.
“Did we Molecularly Transport here through the Shimmery Wall by your magic?” Malie asked.
Ikaika nodded, pointed to Elder Puna, and Telepathically Group Project, “My grandfather, Elder Puna, opened the portal for you. We chanted a welcome song.”
“We heard it. It was transfixing,” Pierre said.
Elder Puna smiled, and Ikaika lifted a high-five to Pierre, who immediately bent down to high-five him back.
Pierre smiled at the small preteen dwarf. “How’d you know to do that?” Pierre mimed the high-five motion.
Ikaika TGP, “I’ve studied Earth beings all my life through the portal.”
Nicole said, “That’s creepy! Interdimensional stalking!”
Malie elbowed Nicole. “Hey, I’m sure he didn’t mean it in a pervy way, right?”
“It looks like you seek guidance. Are you?” Elder Puna TGP.
Nicole laughed, “Sure, from a counsellor, not some alien dwarf people on another planet!” Pierre and Malie looked at Nicole at the same time. They grabbed her hand and dragged her away from the dwarves for a huddle.
“What are we doing?” Nicole grumbled.
“Team huddle. Like football,” Pierre whispered, putting his arm around their shoulders.
“I think they can hear us,” Malie whispered back and returned the gesture, hugging their waists due to her stature.
“We’re not a football team!” Nicole shook her head but kept her voice low and put her arms around them too.
“We’re more like a trio or a club,” Pierre said.
“Yes! A secret club like in my favourite detective books!” Malie said, practically wiggling with glee.
“Why do we need a secret club?” Nicole asked.
“We can’t tell anyone back home that we were here meeting these ‘people’ or whatever they are,” Pierre answered.
“No way,” Malie agreed. “Back home, they’ll think we’ve lost our marbles!”
“So, what are we going to do here?” Nicole asked.
“I vote to learn and absorb as much as we can. Stay safe and support each other,” Pierre nominated.
“I second his vote!” Malie said.
“What is this? We’re not doing parliamentary procedure in a football huddle on some alien planet!” Nicole’s voice rose.
“Ssshh!” Malie and Pierre said at once.
“Just go with the flow, Nicole.” Pierre said.
“We’re all good, Nicole,” Malie encouraged.
“Okay, let’s face them together, Secret Clubbers!” Nicole humoured them with a fake cheerleader voice, “Go, team! Go!” She stood up straight with one fist on her hip and one in the air.
Her sarcasm was lost on sweet Malie. “Clubbers?” Malie questioned.
“Gee, we’re too young to be nightclubbers!” Pierre said.
“Gee-whiz, give me a break, you two.” Nicole rolled her eyes, breaking her pep-squad stance. They turned around and saw Elder Puna and Ikaika watching them. Nicole had a hunch they “heard” every word with their telepathic powers. Not to mention, they weren’t speaking that softly.
The newly formed Secret Club re-approached the Manaful Pair, who stood beneath a humongous koa tree. The aura of the atmosphere reminded Pierre of Papa and Tutu’s garden. Pierre felt a wave of peace come over him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Nicole was the first to find her voice after their huddle.
“This ain’t right. My Uncle Nick’s a prosecutor. This is kidnapping! Let us out now, or else,” Nicole used false bravado with her strong words. Yet, she couldn’t control her inner anxiousness as she fisted, loosened, then re-fisted her hands.
Elder Puna, the Manaful Elder, stepped closer with open arms. A wise, deeply sonorous voice TGP into the Secret Club’s heads: “We called you here through your gymnasium wall. You are free to come and go at will.” The Elder lifted his chin towards the tree behind them, and seconds later, it became the Shimmery Wall again at the gymnasium. The trees on the human side were at a standstill. A mynah bird’s wings were caught in mid-flight. A dried pinkish-brown plumeria freeze-framed a foot off the ground. Earth time had stopped.
“Manaful is a parallel world. We are not aliens,” He TGP to the children, watching them process his thoughts.
“I got this, Gramps. They’re my age. Let me show them around!” Ikaika puffed up; his bare young brown chest rose. He stepped closer to the preteen humans. His wavy light-brown hair fell in messy locks around his ears. The bangs fell over his friendly eyes. He waved cheerfully at them again.
“Once again, call me Ikaika. You are Pierre,” Ikaika pointed at Pierre and fist-bumped him. Pierre, who’d automatically bumped back, was in awe.
“You read my mind?” he said, staring down at the three-foot-high, bare-chested dwarf.
Ikaika nodded and made his way to Malie as she stood slightly behind Pierre. “Hey, Malie. Sorry about your books, bag, and cell phone,” Ikaika TGP.
She giggled and fist-bumped him back. For once in her life, Malie felt tall at four feet ten inches.
Nicole’s curvy five-foot-nine frame towered over Ikaika. He raised a double fist-bump to her like Rocky Balboa standing triumphantly at the top of his steps. “Yo, Nicole, double fist-bump for you,” he TGP in a low voice mimicking the fictional boxer. Nicole laughed, raising both of her arms for him. She was utterly befuddled by his energy and telepathic powers.
What have they done?
The Secret Club and the Manafuls by Dorimalia Waiau is out now on Amazon, in paperback, hardcover, and eBook editions, priced £10, £20, and £6 respectively. An audiobook adaptation will be released later this year, priced £10. For more information, visit www.dorimaliawaiau.com or follow author Dorimalia Waiau on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.