When I was a kid I only read a few books. The two I remember reading were Ramona and Megan the Klutz. Those are some pretty high quality books. I honestly don't even remember what they were about.
I married a sexy nerd who read for fun. He helped me get into the habit of reading, but most importantly, helping me read books that are a little higher caliber than Ramona and Megan the Klutz.
When I was reading reviews for Call It Courage, many people shared how this book really impacted them as a kid and how much they still love it. It also had the fancy gold circle on it, The John Newbery Medal, and usually that means it will be an excellent book.
Call It Courage is based in ancient Polynesian times. The story is centered around Mafatu, a 15 year old boy who is afraid of the ocean. The book is his journey of overcoming his fear and venturing out into the sea. He becomes stranded on an uninhabited island and has to figure out how to survive.
It's a quick read. It's only 95 pages and some of the pages have pictures on them. It would be perfect for an elementary aged child. There are Polynesian names throughout that are tricky, well for me, to pronounce. It was kind of fun that two of the Gods he mentions are Maui and Moana. I think that will be exciting to someone reading the book because of the movie.
One disclaimer. He talks about "eaters of men". It doesn't describe them eating men, but they are mentioned a few times throughout.
Overall, I liked the book. I'm having my 10 yr old son read it this year in school. I really think he will like the adventure. It also teaches about courage and getting over your fears, which surprisingly I didn't learn in Megan the Klutz.