About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Boy Who Was Afraid by Armstrong Sperry

I love this book. It's one of my childhood favourites. I first read it when I was in primary school. (Not quite a hundred years ago) It's the story of Mafatu, the islander boy who lost his mother to the sea when he was very young. Mafatu grows to fear the sea. His father is ashamed of him and the village children ridicule him. To overcome his fear and shame he sets off in a canoe out into the open sea. His only companions are his dog Kivi and a tame albatross.
   Mafatu's courage grows as he learns to survive on an uninhabited island. But the island is visited occassionally by the fierce eaters-of-men who come in their big war canoes. Mafatu flees the cannibals and returns home a hero.

   This is such a classic kid's story about coming of age and confronting your fears. It is a salute to the navigational prowess of the Polynesian people. The copy I have is old and battered but I can't part with it. The book is too easy for PSSC students but it's worth reading for the sheer joy of it.

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