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Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
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Call It Courage (edition 1963)

by Armstrong Sperry (Author), Dom Lupo (Illustrator)

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2,213232,929 (3.72)39
Member:MerryMary
Title:Call It Courage
Authors:Armstrong Sperry (Author)
Other authors:Dom Lupo (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (1963), Paperback, 92 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:YA, adventure, Newbery Medal, survival

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Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry

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» See also 39 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
A Newbery winner, this slim historical children's fiction was written in 1940. And while the story holds up, it is a bit racist by today's standards (featuring a young Polynesian islander on the look out for those black, savage man-eaters!). More novella than novel, this simple coming-of-age story does offer a young reader plenty to imagine. It's a contemplative read for the student who loves to dive into the setting of a story of survival (a la Robinson Crusoe). That being said, I feel it lacks the action that is needed, sadly, to keep most media-bombarded youngsters turning the pages. The ending is a bit ambiguous allowing for a nice but not necessarily deep conversation with a parent or teacher. Recommended for the right kind of 4th through 6th grade student. ( )
  ResAliens | Feb 6, 2014 |
Summary:
I remember reading this book when I was younger. From what I remember this book is about a boy who is afraid of the sea because he almost drowned when he was younger. The sad thing is that he also lost his mother when almost drowned. After that he became fearful of the water and scared to enter it again. His village starts referring to him as a coward. He leaves and goes to an island to get away from all the comments. While at the island he has to do everything for himself including finding food. He eventually returns back to his village as a hero. After that he is never called a coward anymore.
Reflection:
I would use this book to teach the kids about being able to overcome their fears. I would teach them that they should never give up and accept the fact that you have been scared of something before. Even if you fail, you must get up and try again. I think it could be used to teach the kids about other cultures also. ( )
  samuelsaiz | Nov 17, 2013 |
Call it Courage is a book that was required reading when I was growing up and I recently picked up the book again, just so that I could relive it as an adult. I feel like this book does well in that area and that people who explored the world again when they were older, as I did, might find even more in it than they did when they were younger. The writing involving the Polynesian culture greatly helps to understand the mentality around fear within a culture that is less "modern" than our own and I found that really very refreshing when I read it this time.

Typically you see a very short book about a single character and you think to yourself that there isn't any way the story can be interesting or entertaining, especially to an adult, but this story has a satisfying balance between outer, physical battles necessary to move the plot forward, and inner, emotional battles within the character Mafatu himself, that move his character forward. As an adult, with life experience behind you, you might find some parts predictable, but as a child you will most likely devour each page, wondering what happens next. ( )
  mirrani | Jun 18, 2013 |
Mafatu is afraid of the ocean because he almost drowned when he was a boy. But in his culture, fear is scorned and laughed at. Mafatu feels that he must redeem his good name and prove that he is not afraid anymore. He climbs in a boat and goes on a voyage, but he soon finds himself shipwrecked on an apparently-deserted island. There, he keeps himself alive by making all of his own tools, weapons, and a new canoe. He battles a tiger shark, an octopus, and a boar. He defies the cannibals when they return to their island. But will he be able to return home? This was a cute book, and I enjoyed the adventure - though it's very short and all the adventure is packed in at a very unrealistic pace. Regardless, I really enjoyed the couple of hours I spent with it. I think a young reader might find this book fun. It's appropriate for someone reading at maybe the 3rd grade level. ( )
  The_Hibernator | Jan 7, 2013 |
Call it courage is a book about a boy made Mafatu who was afraid of the sea because when he was three,he almost drowned,and killed his mother. He was always call 'Mafatu:The boy who was afraid.' And his father was ashamed of him. So,Mafatu set off with his dog,Uri,and his bird,Kivi. They went to a island that he thought was deserted. He lived there for many weeks. When Mafatu finally got away,he returned home with his wild pig tusk necklace and knife and returned home. His father was no longer ashamed of him and Mafatu was never again called Mafatu:The Boy Who Was Afraid. Instead he was called Mafatu:Stout Heart. ( )
  KatherineC032 | Dec 6, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Armstrong Sperryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It happened many years ago, before the traders and missionaries first came into the South Seas, while the Polynesians were still great in numbers and fierce of heart.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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CALL IT COURAGE has been published in the United Kingdom as THE BOY WHO WAS AFRAID.
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Book description
Mafatu has been afraid of the sea for as long as he can remember. Though his father is the Great Chief of Hikueru - an island whose seafaring people worship courage - Mafatu feels like an outsider. All his life he has been teased, taunted, and even blamed for storms on the sea.
Then at age fifteen, no longer willing to put up with the ridicule and jibes, Mafatu decides to take his fate into his own hands. With his dog, Uri, as his companion, Mafatu paddles out to sea, ready to face his fears. What he learns on his lonesome adventure will change him forever and make him a hero in the eyes of his people.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 141695368X, Mass Market Paperback)

Mafatu has been afraid of the sea for as long as he can remember. Though his father is the Great Chief of Hikueru - an island whose seafaring people worship courage - Mafatu feels like an outsider. All his life he has been teased, taunted, and even blamed for storms on the sea.

Then at age fifteen, no longer willing to put up with the ridicule and jibes, Mafatu decides to take his fate into his own hands. With his dog, Uri, as his companion, Mafatu paddles out to sea, ready to face his fears. What he learns on his lonesome adventure will change him forever and make him a hero in the eyes of his people.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:37 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Relates how Mafatu, a young Polynesian boy whose name means Stout Heart, overcomes his terrible fear of the sea, which killed his mother when he was a baby, and proves his courage to himself and his people.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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