Josiah's Reviews > Call It Courage

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
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Apr 22, 09


The best thing about this book (or at least tied for the best thing), in my view, is the breathtakingly expressive imagery that Armstrong Sperry SO creatively paints with throughout the story. It is like a literary fireworks show from beginning to end, as Armstrong Sperry takes the reader through the narrative and includes an awesome display of vocabulary and glittering superlative, to boot. His extraordinary use of language does for me the same thing that Holling C. Holling's illustrations accomplish.
The book itself is a powerful message of a boy who is so ashamed of his lack of courage that he chooses to set off on a dangerous voyage across the sea, riding in a vessel that is much too small to be safe, rather than continue to face the scorn of his people. In a nation that nigh upon worships bravery, Mafatu's ostensible cowardice is the worst possible disgrace.
The hair-raising adventure on which he embarks is exciting and has bearing on the lives of regular people, too. Mafatu's journey toward redemption in the eyes of his father and people is truly compelling, and of course that remarkable use by Armstrong Sperry of the English language is the reader's constant companion.
Call It Courage is a short and excellent read.
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