Classical Childrens Books

Mafatu's Island

The unidentified Mafatu's Island is the location of the legend of the Polynesian boy in Armstrong Sperry's classic, Call It Courage.

Feature's on Mafatu's Island

Mafatu's Island, Call It Courage

Mafatu's Island was several days journey from the known island of Hikueru. Here are the feature's described by the book.

The island had a single mountain, an inactive volcano. Near the top of the mountain was a plateau from which Mafatu could see all around the island.

A coral reef surrounded the island. A lagoon was between the reef and the island.

There were two rivers: one running eastward and one running south-western. Both these rivers caused a break in the coral reef. Mafatu came and left from the eastern side, and the cannibals from the south western side.

The mountain was a jungle of tropical trees. The jungle came down to the foot of the mountain and ended at the beach.

Mafatu's camp was near the base of the eastern river, where he first arrived.

Near the south-western river was a clearing in which he found the idol and altar.

Daily Mafatu climbed the mountain to check the southwest to make sure the cannibals were not coming. His familiarity with the trail gave him the life-saving seconds that allowed him to escape his pursuers. He launched his newly built canoe from the lagoon and island for good.

Hikueru Atoll


Mafatu's unnamed island and his home island of Hikueru were both surrounded by coral reefs. They were both volcanic islands.

But Hikueru is an atoll, a flat, sunken island. The diagrams above show how the coral builds up around the island.

More Maps

Hikueru Island and Toumatu Archepelago

See more maps from Call It Courage. Maps include Hikueru, Toumatu Archipelago, and French Polynesia.

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Call It Courage

Our pages for Armstrong Sperry's classic.

Our Unit Study Call It Courage Unit Study
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Vocabulary Call It Courage Vocabulary
Vocabulary Book Marks
Maps Call It Courage Maps
Call It Courage Maps
Mafatu's Island Map of Mafatu's Island
Diagram of the Fictitious Island
Summary Call It Courage Chapter Summaries
Highlights of each chapter

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