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Friday, May 22, 2009

Call It Courage (Juvenile)

Released January 2008

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

In 1941, Armstrong Sperry won the Newberry Award for his juvenile offering. More than 60 years later, the book has been reissued.

Since his mother's death, Mafatu's been terrified of the ocean. At the age of three, Mafatu and his mother became trapped in the ocean during a storm. She managed to get them to shore, but she only lived long enough to save them. Since that day, Mafatu refuses to go anywhere near a boat. His Polynesian family and friends are not as forgiving and say harsh things about his fear.

Tired of the scorn, one day Mafatu gets into a boat with his dog by his side and heads out into the ocean on an adventure he'll never forget.

All these years later, children will relate to Mafatu's journey. He is bullied, not physically but definitely emotionally, and gains the strength to overcome his fear. The book is not overly long, around 120 pages, and flows nicely from beginning to end.

I can't say it is my favorite story of all times, I never felt a solid connection with Mafatu or his people. However, it's definitely a great choice for boys or girls who like adventure stories.

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