Oku Moe Moea (secondary age)

Quick Overview

Victory would seem to have it all. He is growing up in one of the most beautiful locations on earth, surrounded by generations of his people. But this gifted boy struggles as his eyes are opened to the anguish of a society in change and he reaches for meaning in his life through art. Oku Moe Moea – The dream which is bigger than I am has been acclaimed by teachers and commentators as a moving novel examining the role art plays for young people in enabling the survival of creativity in the young.

Health Professional Review

Health Professional Review

Health Professional Reviewer: Mary Cunningham

Book Title: Ōku Moe Moea: The dream which is bigger than I am

Author: Shona Hammond Boys

Publication Date: 2014

Problem Addressed: Resilience

Suitable For: Older children and teens – age 10 – 18

Book Summary

Ōku Moe Moea is a novel which tells the story of Victory, a young boy who grows up in Ōpotiki. Victory is a talented artist and a gifted child who is misunderstood and underestimated by many people around him. However, there are two people who value him for who he is and mentor him to develop his creative skills and be true to himself.


Ōku Moe Moea is easy to read.  The story is set in New Zealand so a lot of concepts and places will be familiar to young New Zealanders. It deals with a number of different issues including identity, parental mental illness, bullying, isolation, grief and feeling ‘different’.  The book focuses on the value of creativity and the healing powers of artistic expression


The book is written by a Pakeha author telling a Māori story.


This book would be useful to creative young people who may be struggling with feeling different, misunderstood or alone.


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