ponpb_cover

Being a kid is complicated. There are rules, most of them unwritten, unspoken even, and heaven help you if you can’t unlock the secret code. Darrell H.Y. Lum not only has the key to the boy’s room in his collection of short stories in Pass On, No Pass Back!, he also has the contraband cigarettes.

And maybe a little something else.

The title refers to a kids’ game I remember well: somebody punches you in the arm, yells, “Pass on, no pass back!” and you have to find someone else to slam and pass it on. The playground politics in who you hit and how hard would make the UN weep. And Lum gets it.

Better yet, he helps us get it.

To anyone who grew up in Hawai‘i, Lum’s characters feel real. There’s tales of da Bag Man, karate class, scouts, toads, and mongooses from hell that still give me chicken skin. The stories are written in Hawaiian Pidgin English, a welcome sound of home for native speakers that adds another layer of authenticity to his words. Non-Pidgin speakers will have a tougher time, but it’s worth the work.

As a bonus there are also the comic strip adventures of Booly, Bullette, and Burrito by Art Kodani.

If you’re looking for authentic island writing, Pass On, No Pass Back! is fantastic.

Pass On, No Pass Back! by Darrell H.Y. Lum is published by Bamboo Ridge Press and available as a trade paperback from the publisher, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Sign up for
Talking Story Newsletter
and receive free Lauele Universe bonus material and tips from the Lehua Writing Academy.




When you're allergic to water,
growing up in Hawaii isn't
always paradise.



With Niuhi sharks,
even out of the water,
you're not safe.



Everything you thought you
knew about Zader is a lie.