1941 Medal Winner
"Mafatu's name mean 'Stout Heart', but his people call him a coward. Ever since the sea took his mother's life and spared his own, he has lived with deep fear. And even though his father is the Great Chief of Hikuero - an island who's seafaring people worship courage - he is terrified, and consequently, he is severely scorned.
By the time he is twelve years old, Mafatu can bear it no longer. He must conquer his fear alone...even if it means certain death.
This classic tale of a young boy's hidden strength has been a favorite of readers of all ages since its 1940 publication."
I am going to make a confession - this was one of those books on the Newbery list that I honestly was dreading to read. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, and this one just didn't sound appealing to me at all. BUT, that is why this Newbery project is a CHALLENGE for me. I'm not going to LOVE every book on the list. So, I decided to go ahead and knock this one off the list. But, you know what? It wasn't that bad. It's not going to go on my list of all time favorites, but it was not as hard to read as I thought it would be. It had a very good message about facing your fears.