Moana is more than just a novelization of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film. In addition to retelling the story, it adds traditional oceanic folk tales between select chapters to highlight the stories that inspired the filmmakers. Adapted by Kari Sutherland, the book is dedicated to all of the people of the Pacific Islands who helped Disney craft this beautiful tale.

Moana’s people are in jeopardy as the fish supply around her island dwindles. When she answers the call of the ocean and follows in her ancestors’ wayfinding traditions, she ends up on an incredible adventure to save her people with the help of a shape shifting demigod named Maui. Now this unlikely duo will have to face real monsters to restore peace to Oceania.

The theme of Moana is self discovery and finding your way. The story is wonderfully written. It follows Moana and her journey of discovering who she is and saving her village. She meets up with Maui(a demi god), and they go on an adventure of self discovery.

This book tells the entire story of Moana. The story gives the reader excellent details about Moana’s growing up. Moana’s gramma tells the tale of the warrior Maui being struck from the sky and losing his fish hook. The tale continues because TeFiti lost her heart. Thus the darkness, lack of fish in the ocean, and the TeKa demons take over the island and the livelihood of the island.
Although this is not an illustrated book, the text is so rich in descriptive language that the reader will easily be able to use their mind to see the action in the story.
The reader will see Moana’s challenges as she tries to solve the problems and face TeKa. She convinces Maui to help even with out his magical fish hook.
Moana’s story is one of perseverance, love of family, devotion to a cause, and courage. I am eager to see the Disney movie now that I have read this story.

There’s no romantic love interest.

But Moana is special, because she don’t need no man! She’s on her own journey to figure out who she is and her place in the world.

Moana is an inspiring, captivating story and this novelization does an incredible job of bringing it to life in a different way. Not only is it a solid story, but it has a tremendous amount of heart and is surprisingly funny. I really loved the short stories peppered throughout, which add a lot of color and culture to the book. The book’s design also adds to the effect with artwork before each chapter that matches the look of Maui’s tattoos.

Speaking of ink, this purchase is sweetened by a sheet of tattoos of Maui, Moana and other icons from the story. Recommended for ages 8-12, this is the most advanced Moana movie tie-in book available and the one I also recommend for adult fans hoping to know the story in advance of the film. Moana is such an incredible tale and it translates into a solid book in this novelization. I would give this book an 9/10.

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