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Call It Courage

por Armstrong Sperry

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5,758491,771 (3.74)73
Relates how Mafatu, a young Polynesian boy whose name means Stout Heart, overcomes his terrible fear of the sea and proves his courage to himself and his people.
Adicionado recentemente porBookLovingFamily, MirandaMMiller71, sauville, CPLIdaho, Lorajane, biblioteca privada, CVilord
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I remember reading this book years ago for school. Our copy doesn’t have a particularly inspiring cover, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not, but as soon as I got into it, I realized the cover was misleading. I loved it!

More recently, when my siblings wanted me to read a book to them one day, we chose this one…and ended up finishing it the same day. This is a gripping read! I love the way it showcases history and how people lived in the past, while also illustrating what it means to be courageous and push yourself outside your comfort zone.

This isn’t an easy story, in some ways—Mafatu faced some very difficult circumstances, and then there are (vague) allusions to horrific worship practices that were not uncommon back then. There are also quite a few mentions of Polynesian gods, as this book is based on a legend that was formed long before any Christian missionaries got to the area.

Overall, though, it’s a great book. It has become a family favorite, one of those books that if someone mentions the title, everyone’s eyes light up. “Yes, that one!”. In my opinion, everyone should read this at least once in their lives. It’s a short, sharp, impactful story, and I’m grateful my mom introduced me to it when I was a child. ( )
  EstherFilbrun | Oct 6, 2023 |
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 the 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.
  PlumfieldCH | Sep 21, 2023 |
I read this one when it first came out as a child. It eventually led me to Jim Kjelgaard, Jack London and other writers of adventure stories. Call it Courage was probably the first story I read that sort of expanded my horizons beyond my world in NE Wisconsin of the 1960's & early 1970's. Even in 2021, the story is not at all dated and I highly recommend it to any youngster looking to step outside of his comfort zone. ( )
  DaleAllenRaby | Mar 8, 2021 |
Very rich story. Interesting descriptions of making the materials of a Polynesian life - weapons, tools, canoe, cloth, fire... The story is very simple, and the end is pretty much obvious from the start - though I wasn't sure the dog would make it through. Nice, and interesting. I may want to reread it sometime - though it's a very thin book, wouldn't be hard to memorize even. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Oct 10, 2020 |
Mafatu grows up on the Polynesian island of Hakaeru, where the people worship courage. The only problem, is he's a huge scaredy-cat of the ocean ever since he and his mother went out in a boat and she died in a storm while bringing him to safety. Sick of the jeers of the others, he runs off in a canoe determined to find his courage.

This slight novel is told as a fable and survival story. The noble savage and cannibals, the moralistic pat-me-on-the-head narrator were irritating to me as an adult, 21st-century reader, though I realize both were of its time (and, in fact, in portrayal of another culture a bit ahead of its time). I'm not a huge reader of survival narratives, and as an adult it was really clear to me that Mafatu really was brave, he just had to find it out for himself. So this was just an okay read for me. ( )
  bell7 | May 22, 2020 |
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Sperry, Armstrongautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Guidall, GeorgeNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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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CALL IT COURAGE has been published in the United Kingdom as THE BOY WHO WAS AFRAID.
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Relates how Mafatu, a young Polynesian boy whose name means Stout Heart, overcomes his terrible fear of the sea and proves his courage to himself and his people.

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