Call it Courage

Call it Courage
Author: Armstrong Sperry
Guided Reading Level: X

My recommended age: 10 and up or when child is on level X

Last week, my cute preschooler came home with the book Call it Courage. She was so excited because she got to pick it out of the treasure box at school. As you may have noted from above, the guided reading level is an X! An average child will reach this level in the 6th grade. Which brings me to the obvious question, "What is this book doing in a preschool treasure box?" Anyway, remembering it from my childhood, and thinking that maybe I could read it aloud to her, I started reading it one evening...

Mafatu, the son of the Great Polynesian Chief of Hikueru, is an outcast in his own village, all because he fears the Great Sea. Realizing that he will never be accepted by the other village boys and feeling that he is not worthy of his name-sake, "Stout-Heart", Mafatu sets out on his own to conquer the sea.

A Newbery Winner in 1941, this book has been around for a long time. It includes themes such as courage, honor, confronting fears, and living up to family expectations. It is not an easy read by any means, the language is challenging and rich. In fact, it took me longer to read this 90 page single spaced small type-font than most books three times its size. Still, it is full of adventure and intrigue, and feels like Jungle Book meets Cast Away. 
As a note, Mafatu, does lose his "britches" and spends a good portion of the book wandering around naked. This didn't bug me, except that a few of the pictures show a rough rendition of his backside, almost saying, "By-the-way, I am still running around COMMANDO".

Needless to say, my preschooler will have to wait for this one until she at least masters the alphabet.
Happy Reading

1 comment:

  1. I have never read this one. So strange that it was in the preschool treasure box, I agree!


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