Call It Courage tells the story Mafatu, the son of the chief of Hikueru Island. As a young boy, Mafatu witnesses his mother dying in a storm. Due to this, he is terrified of the sea. This causes his father shame. Mafatu leaves Hikueru to prove he is not a coward. First he lives through a hurricane as he travels across the Pacific Ocean in his small canoe. Next he makes his home on a small island. Mafatu is determined not to return home until he can prove to his father that he is brave.