This is a well written story of a boy who finally reaches a point in his life where he is willing to step beyond very reasonable childhood fear to find courage. The dramatic moments are action filled while giving an excellent understanding of what true courage is and why it is so valuable. The last two paragraphs give a surprise that puts a different weight to the whole story, so no peeking at the back!
Parents may want to know that as it is a Polynesian tale, as the writer says before the days of missionaries and explorers, the boy's tribal belief in the good and evil gods is intertwined through the story.
(Spoiler Alert/Content advisory) As well, the boy is inhabiting an island used as a taboo worship place for human sacrifice by a tribe of "eaters of men". While the author does a commendable job of carefully presenting the reality of these tribes and showing the hero as able to violate the taboo without the god's wrath on him, for my more sensitive readers, the description of the idol, the taboo, and the piles of human bones was very distressing to her imaginative mind. That particular scene can be skipped if you are aware of it but the dramatic tension of the hero always watching for the return of the eaters of men is still prevalent.