This book by Rudyard Kipling is one of my favorites!! I actually saw the movie first with Spencer Tracy. The movie really captured me (probably middle school) with the relationship between Manuel and Harvey. My dad wasn’t exactly affectionate and I was just enamored that a father figure could be so caring and cultivate a positive personal growth.
Therefore, in high school when we had to bring a book to read, of course, I chose Captian’s Courageous (well one of many). I ended up loving the book as well, although, I think I liked the movie just a little more than the book.
There are some significant differences. For example, in the movie he’s like 12 and in the book he’s 15, that’s a huge difference and it changes the aspect of the relationships on the boat. Instead of Harvey being besties with Manuel he is besties with Dan the Captian’s son, who is the same age as Harvey. The father figure switches from Manuel to Captian Disko.
Harvey’s story is great in either aspect because his character arc is so significant. He starts off as a billionaire brat who is hard to stand and ends up a young man with a stand-up personality. He falls off his luxury cruise ship and Manuel picks him up floating in the water. Captian Disko doesn’t believe Harvey’s dad is as rich as he says and they are in the middle of fishing season, so he refuses to let down his crew and the money they will make by taking a detour bringing Harvey back. Harvey is forced to work with the crew to earn food and other luxuries on the boat (along with respect of the crew of course.)
Of all the books I have ever read I feel that in this one the character arc could be studied in writing classes it is so strong. This book is definitely a character-driven book and those are my favorites! If you too like character-driven books with adventure and no romance, this book is for you.