Check out our new teaching notes for 'Call it Courage' by Armstrong Sperry.
This story (which has also been published under the name ‘The boy who was afraid’) is based on a Polynesian legend about a boy who feared the sea because of a trauma he suffered as a small child.
The book was first published in 1940, and is an old-fashioned kind of a tale in many ways. But we have found that students engage with the story very well. Perhaps this is because the story’s major themes – of overcoming fear and adversity - are timeless. The story is full of action but the text is also highly evocative and provides many opportunities to study literary techniques such as metaphor and personification.
'Call it Courage' is quite short and your teaching can be integrated into studies of the Pacific. The book was written for children in their early teens (about twelve to fourteen years old). Our teaching notes are suitable for use with Years 7 or 8.