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Maftu was afraid of the sea. It had taken his mother when he was a baby, and it seemed to him that the sea gods sought vengeance at having been cheated of Mafatu. So, though he was the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a race of Polynesians who worshipped courage, and he was named Stout Heart, he feared and avoided tha sea, till everyone branded him a coward. When he could no longer bear their taunts and jibes, he determined to conquer that fear or be conquered-- so he went off in his canoe, alone except for his little dog and pet albatross. A storm gave him his first challenge. Then days on a desert island found him resourceful beyond his own expectation. This is the story of how his courage grew and how he finally returned home. This is a legend. It happened many years ago, but even today the people of Hikueru sing this story and tell it over their evening fires.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on
ISBN: 9781442460072
List price: $4.99
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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.more
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.more
Mafatu is afraid of the ocean, which is problematic considering he lives on an unnamed Polynesian island. Even more problematic is the fact that he is the son of the chief and his name means "Stout Heart". The time is coming when he should be learning to fish in open water, but his fear gets the better of him. One day, after hearing his friends mocking him in secret, he decides to prove them wrong, setting out alone on the open ocean, where he is thrashed by a great storm and shipwrecked on an island that may be inhabited by cannibals. Can Mafatu fend for himself and prove everyone wrong?The greatest advantage of Call it Courage, by Armstrong Sperry, is that it is a fascinating peek into Polynesian life. This is also the greatest disadvantage, when we are left wondering what certain words mean, or are unable to imagine what certain activities are without any frame of reference. The writing is somewhat lyrical at times, making ample use of metaphors. Students in Grade 6 and above, who are not quite ready for My Side of the Mountain or Hatchet, will definitely enjoy this short jaunt.more
I enjoyed this one. I always think it is hard to pull off a story where there is only one character, but Sperry does this very well. There is lots of outer (as well as inner) conflict to keep the story going. There was a consistent ‘what happens next?’ feel to it that kept it going. As a younger person I would have wondered if he was going to make it, and that would have kept me reading on. As an adult, you know how it has to end, so you lose a bit of that element. Oddly, I kept trying to relate it to Steinbeck’s The Pearl in my mind. All in all, a quick enjoyable read. But one I am glad I read as an adult, not sure if I would have understood the ‘layers’ when I was younger.more
I particularly enjoyed reading this because my parents spent part of their teenage years in Tonga and Hawaii. I grew up hearing stories of their adventures and seeing examples of the various handicrafts my grandparents had brought home from their stay. This short telling of a Hikueru legend is appealing to all those of us who have struggled with fear and who have desired to be brave. In addition, the descriptions of how Mafatu survives his adventures are exciting and interesting.more
Mafatu is afraid. His mother died in the sea and now he fears it. All his people know of his fear. His father is saddened by his fear.At last, Mafatu decides to face his fears. He sails off into the sea and ends up on a remote island. He must confront sharks, dangerous man-eating people, lack of food and water, an octopus, and a lack of a ship to return home.more
This book was so quick and enjoyable - exactly what an adventure story should be. The action was paced just right and the descriptions were clear. I'm amazed how well this has stood the test of time - kids today could easily read this and love it. The only thing that was missing for me was a takeaway message or thought - a theme.more
When I was in elementary school, a librarian did a book talk on Call it Courage, and after all these years I finally picked it up and read it.It is a compelling read about a boy afraid of the sea, and his efforts to conquer the fear and make his village -- and his father -- proud. So he sets off on a perilous adventure to prove himself, along with his dog and, occasionally, an albatross.Call it Courage is a Newberry award winner, and it is easy to see why it was chosen. The writing is concise, and immediately captured my attention. I had to finish it in one sitting to find out what happened to Mafatu (the protagonist) and his companions.Survival stories have often been popular choices for boys and girls alike, and reading Call it Courage has reminded me of other survival stories I have read throughout the years: Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, and My Side of the Mountain immediately come to mind. These stories demonstrate courage and resourcefulness, and it is fun to read them from the safety of one's home, with ample food, water, and safety!more
Mafatu is a young boy whose mother died at sea when he was a toddler while saving him during a hurricane. Mafatu is deeply afraid of the ocean as he grows older the fear does not subside. Even though his father is the Chief and Mafatu’s name means brave heart other tribesmen heckle him for being afraid and without courage. Mafatu decides he is going to concur his fears and make his father proud of him. He leaves his island of Hikueru and gets caught in a hurricane. He eventually makes it to an unoccupied island. Mafatu gets to work making a shelter, canoe, and knives. He catches fish, kills a shark, wild pig, and an octopus while at the island. He discovers that there is an idol on the island that the man-eaters come and worship every so often. On his last night on the island he is awakened by a drumming. He realizes it is the men-eaters and they try to capture him. He narrowly escapes back out to see and heads home to the island of Hikueru in hopes of making his father and tribesmen proud of him. He wants them all to know that he is no longer without courage. This story is all about conflict and perseverance. Many times throughout life we encounter struggles against nature, others, and ourselves. I love the way this book is encouraging you to keep on trying and like Mafatu you can over come.I would have my students discuss different ways Mafatu helped himself to survive. I would ask a person in the community to come into the classroom and show the students different ways they could help themselves in nature.I would have my students divide a poster board in to halves. On one half I would have my students draw pictures of items they may come across in nature that could be harmful to them. On the other half I would ask them to draw pictures of items they could use to help them to survive in nature.more
It is about a indian boy who lives with a tribe on a island. He runs away his home town. He survives with his and then they finally go home. The boy is afraid of Moana, The sea god. This is a good Book!more
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Reviews

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.more
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.more
Mafatu is afraid of the ocean, which is problematic considering he lives on an unnamed Polynesian island. Even more problematic is the fact that he is the son of the chief and his name means "Stout Heart". The time is coming when he should be learning to fish in open water, but his fear gets the better of him. One day, after hearing his friends mocking him in secret, he decides to prove them wrong, setting out alone on the open ocean, where he is thrashed by a great storm and shipwrecked on an island that may be inhabited by cannibals. Can Mafatu fend for himself and prove everyone wrong?The greatest advantage of Call it Courage, by Armstrong Sperry, is that it is a fascinating peek into Polynesian life. This is also the greatest disadvantage, when we are left wondering what certain words mean, or are unable to imagine what certain activities are without any frame of reference. The writing is somewhat lyrical at times, making ample use of metaphors. Students in Grade 6 and above, who are not quite ready for My Side of the Mountain or Hatchet, will definitely enjoy this short jaunt.more
I enjoyed this one. I always think it is hard to pull off a story where there is only one character, but Sperry does this very well. There is lots of outer (as well as inner) conflict to keep the story going. There was a consistent ‘what happens next?’ feel to it that kept it going. As a younger person I would have wondered if he was going to make it, and that would have kept me reading on. As an adult, you know how it has to end, so you lose a bit of that element. Oddly, I kept trying to relate it to Steinbeck’s The Pearl in my mind. All in all, a quick enjoyable read. But one I am glad I read as an adult, not sure if I would have understood the ‘layers’ when I was younger.more
I particularly enjoyed reading this because my parents spent part of their teenage years in Tonga and Hawaii. I grew up hearing stories of their adventures and seeing examples of the various handicrafts my grandparents had brought home from their stay. This short telling of a Hikueru legend is appealing to all those of us who have struggled with fear and who have desired to be brave. In addition, the descriptions of how Mafatu survives his adventures are exciting and interesting.more
Mafatu is afraid. His mother died in the sea and now he fears it. All his people know of his fear. His father is saddened by his fear.At last, Mafatu decides to face his fears. He sails off into the sea and ends up on a remote island. He must confront sharks, dangerous man-eating people, lack of food and water, an octopus, and a lack of a ship to return home.more
This book was so quick and enjoyable - exactly what an adventure story should be. The action was paced just right and the descriptions were clear. I'm amazed how well this has stood the test of time - kids today could easily read this and love it. The only thing that was missing for me was a takeaway message or thought - a theme.more
When I was in elementary school, a librarian did a book talk on Call it Courage, and after all these years I finally picked it up and read it.It is a compelling read about a boy afraid of the sea, and his efforts to conquer the fear and make his village -- and his father -- proud. So he sets off on a perilous adventure to prove himself, along with his dog and, occasionally, an albatross.Call it Courage is a Newberry award winner, and it is easy to see why it was chosen. The writing is concise, and immediately captured my attention. I had to finish it in one sitting to find out what happened to Mafatu (the protagonist) and his companions.Survival stories have often been popular choices for boys and girls alike, and reading Call it Courage has reminded me of other survival stories I have read throughout the years: Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, and My Side of the Mountain immediately come to mind. These stories demonstrate courage and resourcefulness, and it is fun to read them from the safety of one's home, with ample food, water, and safety!more
Mafatu is a young boy whose mother died at sea when he was a toddler while saving him during a hurricane. Mafatu is deeply afraid of the ocean as he grows older the fear does not subside. Even though his father is the Chief and Mafatu’s name means brave heart other tribesmen heckle him for being afraid and without courage. Mafatu decides he is going to concur his fears and make his father proud of him. He leaves his island of Hikueru and gets caught in a hurricane. He eventually makes it to an unoccupied island. Mafatu gets to work making a shelter, canoe, and knives. He catches fish, kills a shark, wild pig, and an octopus while at the island. He discovers that there is an idol on the island that the man-eaters come and worship every so often. On his last night on the island he is awakened by a drumming. He realizes it is the men-eaters and they try to capture him. He narrowly escapes back out to see and heads home to the island of Hikueru in hopes of making his father and tribesmen proud of him. He wants them all to know that he is no longer without courage. This story is all about conflict and perseverance. Many times throughout life we encounter struggles against nature, others, and ourselves. I love the way this book is encouraging you to keep on trying and like Mafatu you can over come.I would have my students discuss different ways Mafatu helped himself to survive. I would ask a person in the community to come into the classroom and show the students different ways they could help themselves in nature.I would have my students divide a poster board in to halves. On one half I would have my students draw pictures of items they may come across in nature that could be harmful to them. On the other half I would ask them to draw pictures of items they could use to help them to survive in nature.more
It is about a indian boy who lives with a tribe on a island. He runs away his home town. He survives with his and then they finally go home. The boy is afraid of Moana, The sea god. This is a good Book!more
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