- Nanea Mitchell
- Mary Lou Mitchell
- Tutu Kane
- May Mitchell
- Lily Suda
- Fumio Suda
- Betty Suda
- Gene Suda
- Tommy Suda
- Rose Momi
- Mr. Cruz
- Mrs. Lin
- Mr. Lopez
Only in Prints in the Sand
- Alex and Aidan:
- Auntie Oli:
Opening and Potential Plot Events
The protagonist is gazing at the horizon and imagines seeing her Dad’s plane arriving. She reflects on how much she’s missing her Dad; him being in the army, her family always sticking together as they moved from base to base, and her family having to stay in Honolulu while Dad is sent to Iraq. Because of this, the protagonist pretends that she and her family are vacationing in Hawaii—as she doesn’t like she is at home in Honolulu yet—and she doesn’t see the point in making any new friends, in case she would have to move again. She also doesn’t understand what her mom meant with “aloha spirit”, though she believes hers was left behind in California or went with her Dad overseas.
As the protagonist tries to read her Nancy Drew novel, she hears barking and sees a dog digging near a beach umbrella. She then approaches the dog, notices her green collar and something dangling from her mouth. When the protagonist tries to approach her, the dog hesitates before running off to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, leaving a puka shell necklace behind. Hearing the dog barking from the hotel’s patio, the protagonist decides to follow her. As she places the necklace over her head, she is then teleported back to 1942.
The protagonist notices a barbed wire fence along the beach and then, noticing a hole inside the fence, goes through it in search of the dog. She goes through the hole and ends up in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, noticing all the soldiers and sailors in uniforms and seeing a nurse getting out of an old-fashioned car. She then sees Nanea (whom she doesn’t know it) calling out for Mele, and assumes the dog that she’d been pursuing was Nanea’s. The protagonist then decides to follow Nanea and Mele into the hotel lobby, though she hesitates because she’s wearing a swimsuit. She decides to return to the beach, but finds nothing familiar or anybody she recognizes.
After she retraces to retrace her steps, the protagonist removes the puka shell necklace and is teleported back to the present, at the exact same time she left. She then examines the beach and marvels that she had traveled back in time because of the necklace. Thinking of Nanea and Mele, the protagonist pulls on a cover up before teleporting back to 1942, and then entered the Royal Hawaiian Hotel lobby. She notices the various war posters on the wall and asks an employee named Darrell the date. Darrell points to a calendar and then asks the protagonist if she’s looking for her parents. The protagonist says she’s looking for a girl, and Darrell—assuming the protagonist is a member of the Honolulu Helpers—escorts her to an open door, where Nanea introduces herself to the protagonist and explains about her club.
After this opening, events vary according to choices made.
- The protagonist decides to watch Nanea's hula performance and then spends the night with the Mitchells's, where she learns about the importance of blackouts and curfews.
- The protagonist agrees to hula dance with Nanea, and the girls choose to either perform a dance about Pele the fire goddess or a routine they make up themselves.
- The protagonist and Nanea help a neighbor in her Victory Garden; following an air raid drill, the girls find a lost dog and conduct a search for his owner. Online endings include the girls reuniting the dog's family at night and either calling Tutu Kane to pick them up or deciding to try a shortcut.
- The protagonist attends a meeting of the Honolulu Helpers and learns how to roll up bandages.
- The protagonist and Nanea help with babysitting during a first aid class; the girls play a game of Simon Says and then lead the children to an outdoor shelter during an air raid drill.
- The protagonist assists Nanea and Lily with a book drive; discovering a photograph in a Nancy Drew novel, the girls can either track down the book's owner or decide to go to the movie theater with Gene.
- The protagonist and Nanea discover two origami animals with coded messages, later finding out they were from Lily and Gene.
Regardless of the ending that is arrived at, the protagonist eventually returns to her own time using the necklace, and returns at the exact moment she left. She makes proper goodbyes to Nanea and generally says she has to go back to her father (whom Nanea believes live near Waikiki Beach). The protagonist returns with a new-found perspective of her life. This often includes accepting Auntie Oli's welcoming spirit; her father having to make complicated choices regarding the safety of their family; deciding that she can step in and look after her brothers; learning to embrace and try different foods and activities; understanding the importance of not making assumptions; and understanding that she shouldn't be afraid of people who are different from her.