by Armstrong Sperry
They worshiped courage, those early Polynesians. The spirit which had urged them across the Pacific in their sailing canoes, before the dawn of recorded history, not knowing where they were going nor caring what their fate might be, still sang its song of danger in their blood. There was only courage.
So what’s a boy to do, a boy who is afraid? Mafatu, whose name means Stout Heart, is a boy full of fears. His greatest fear is the sea, the sea that sustains his people. The ostracism suffered by Mafatu is unbearable. His only companions are Uri, a dog, and Kivi, an albatross. Frustrated by his crippling cowardice, Mafatu decides that he must prove himself.
He decides to sail to another island, confident of all that he can do by himself. He is sure that upon his return to the atoll, his courage will be celebrated.
Told with spare, lyrical prose and stunning illustrations, Call It Courage is a tale of bravery. Though I am not sure of its appeal to today’s audience, the novel may be a good choice for boys and girls who love adventure and nature stories.