I’ve been searching for this book for years. I read it in the 6th grade, twenty-one years ago. My old teacher didn’t remember it, and I don’t recall the title or author. It seems that it was an older book, possibly from the 50s or 60s. There were a couple black and white sketches in it.
I remember most of the plot. A girl named Samantha lived in Boston with her mother (father deceased), who then died, leaving her an orphan. Her mother’s dying words were something to the effect of keeping the family heirloom safe. A ruby cross stolen from Acapulco.
Samantha is sent to live with her relatives in Hawaii (during the life of Princess Liliuokalani – I think she even had tea with her, or met her in the story). She has a cousin her own age and she experiences lots of new things there, but trouble turns up as men seeking the ruby cross, which she hid in a cave. She ends up kidnapped and having to show them where it is, but is rescued my a family friend, Andrew. All ends well. She ends up marrying Andrew, and they return the cross to Acapulco at the end of the book.