Dorinda Nicholson

   Dorinda Nicholson was born in Hawaii to a Hawaiian mother and Caucasian father. As civilians, they were living in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack and stayed until forced to give up their home after the end of the war. She graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu, then attended the University of Hawaii, where she was spotted by a local TV producer and invited to be the hula dancer on a weekly show, “Campus Canteen.”

   After traveling to the mainland as the results of winning a hula contest, Dorinda became familiar with her father’s family in Missouri. She attended college in Kansas City and went onto become a flight attendant. She and her husband work as a team in producing their books and videos.

   Dorinda has published numerous travel articles, and authored a series of educational films for children about the history, culture, industry and land of Hawaii. Pearl Harbor Child was her first book, followed by Pearl Harbor Warriors, winner of several national awards. Pearl Harbor Child tells Dorinda’s story including eyewitness stories of both military and civilian survivors. Pearl Harbor Warriors tells the story of friendship overcoming hatred between an American marine and a Japanese torpedo pilot.

Selected Reviews of Dorinda’s Books

Pearl Harbor Child: A Child’s View of Pearl Harbor–from Attack to Peace
Dorinda Makanaonalani Stagner Nicholson
   . . . there has been little written for young people about what it was like to be a child there (Pearl Harbor) when the Japanese bombs fell and civilians were caught in the war at home. Nicholson was born in Hawaii, the child of a Hawaiian mother and a Caucasian father. . . she combines her personal story with the history of the time. The photo-essay design in black-and-white includes family snapshots as well as official documents and news pictures. The core of the book is her on-the-spot account of the bombing, temporary evacuation, and war years. . . Most moving is her child’s viewpoint: Nicholson is frank that it was exciting and fun at times, even as she remembers the terror, the tragic mistakes made by friendly fire, and the suffering. Category: Middle Readers. 1998, Woodson House, $9.95. Gr. 5-8 Hazel Rochman (Booklist, January 1 & 15, 1999 (Vol. 95, No. 9 & 10)

Pearl Harbor warriors : the bugler, the pilot, the friendship
Dorinda Makanaaonalani Stagner Nicholson
illustrated by Larry Nicholson
Pearl Harbor Warriors is the unique story of intense hatred turning to warm friendship between two former enenies, a Marine bugler (Sgt. Richard Fiske) and a Japanese pilot. (Lt. Zenji Abe). The story is told through a series of letters between author Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson, her granddaughter, Jennifer, and warm personal letters from Fiske and Abe to Jennifer. In 1941, Marine Sgt. Richard Fiske was the bugler on board the USS West Virginia. He was preparing to sound “colors” on December 7th when his ship was attacked by Japanese airplanes as the bombing of Pearl Harbor began. Fiske was on the quarter deck when one of the attackers roared past him, so close he could clearly see the pilot’s face. This image haunted him for many years in recurring nightmares which eventually made him sick. When he finally told his story, his healing process began. The Japanese pilot, Zenji Abe, had some healing of his own to do, and he graciously agreed to participate fully in sharing the story of his new friendship with his former American enemy. The book has won several national awards and its companion DVD has just been honored as well. ALA has just named the DVD as an ALA Notable DVD for 2007. 2001, Woodson House, $18.95.

Remember World War II: Kids Who Survived Tell Their Stories
Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson
   From the cover picture to the epilog, this is one of the most compelling and moving, yet age-appropriate, accounts of the events of World War II that you are likely to find. Nicholson’s well-researched and accurate reports of World War II are told from three different perspectives: the war in Europe, the war in the Pacific, and the home front in America. Each of these factual accounts is augmented by eyewitness remembrances of 15 children who lived through the war and whose stories and words are threaded throughout each chapter. Photographs from the time illustrate each chapter and make the content all the more moving. Yet even in the most difficult tales of survival, such as those of children who survived Nazi concentration camps, the photographs are kept age-appropriate, and an element of hope is always present. The trauma, loss and degradation of the times as endured by children in all three areas of the war are not belittled, but Nicholson, herself one of the survivors, has done an excellent job of discussing these events in ways that young students can endure. The research tools at the back of the book include a map with the locations of the children interviewed, an excellent time line that uses color-coding to show how the three theatres of the war were interrelated, a bibliography, and a postscript that tells what the “children” are doing now. A forward by former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is an added bonus in an excellent book that should be in every classroom. 2005, National Geographic Society, $17.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Sheryl O’Sullivan (Children’s Literature).

Program Details

“World War II Through the Eyes of a Child as a Primary Source”
Suitable for 5th grade to high school and adults.

$1,000.00 for keynote
$1,000.00 for up to 3 classroom presentations (classroom to 300 students per session) and a 4th presentation negotiable
Plus travel expenses for both Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson (He does the AV part of the presentation)

Additional Information

To learn more about Dorinda and her publication please visit .