Thursday, March 11, 2010

FFB: Call it Courage by written and i...

FFB: Call it Courage written and illustrated by Armstrong Sperry
When I think of books that stirred a sense of adventure in my life as a boy Call it Courage is right up there with Where the Red Fern Grows and My Side of the Mountain. It was a book that I discovered in the middle of Elementary school, I think our 4th Grade Teacher Mrs Olson read it to the class.

The plot From Wiki

Call It Courage is a coming of age story set in the Pacific Islands. It chronicles the journey of Mafatu, the son of the chief of Hikueru Island. Mafatudugout canoe and sets sail into the ocean without knowing where he will end up. He is caught in a storm and the canoe is lost. He lands on a deserted island and learns to hunt and fish for himself, along with his companion Uri, a yellow dog, and Kivi, an albatross. is afraid of the sea due to witnessing his mother drown as a young child, which makes him a shame to his father, and a coward among his tribe. One night Mafatu takes a

Soon Mafatu finds a sacrificial altar built by cannibals from a neighboring island. Mafatu realizes his days on the island are numbered and he begins designing his escape by making a canoe. He gathers things he will need to survive a trip across the ocean. He finds a spear point on the terrible altar and uses it to hunt.

After a number of encounters with natural foes, including a shark, a wild boar and an octopus, all of which he successfully kills, he realizes he is gaining courage and learning to deal with the things that have frightened him. The cannibals return and he makes a daring escape from them, returning home at last to his village. He has become transformed by the experience into an imposing figure. His father does not recognize him at first, then proudly accepts him on his return

I was in 4th grade in the fall of 1982 and the spring of 1983 , it was an exceedingly hard year for me, things were not well at home between my parents. School was a hell, I had been held back a year by my parents in 1980s and never seemed to fit in with my peer group, And then my father died at the end of April. I was in need of escape, and books gave me that outlet. They let me be somewhere else and sense a world where things moved forward and people grew up, where they faced their fears and met their challenges. Call it Courage was a perfect outlet into a world that was not mine, and allowed me my escape from the wild boars, octopi and cannibals that seemed to surround me in my daily life.


Evan Lewis said...

Nothing quite like cannibals to spice up an adventure story.

Todd Mason said...

Sperry knew his spices...there was plenty to cope with for the protag before they show up.

Sorry to read of the tough times, there and then...I had some similar, but no deaths that close in the family to cope with.