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Captains Courageous

by Rudyard Kipling  |  Grades: 11-12  |  Ages: 16+  

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

One of Rudyard Kipling's most enduring and popular works, Captains Courageous is both a stirring tale of the sea and a classic coming-of-age story. 

Harvey Cheyne, the pampered fifteen-year-old son of an American millionaire, is sailing to Europe when he falls overboard. Saved from drowning by a New England fishing schooner, he finds his rough new companions unimpressed by his wealth and shocked by his ignorance. He will have to prove his worth in the only way the captain and crew will accept: through the slow and arduous mastery of skills upon which their common survival depends. 

Biographical Notes About Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay, the son of an Anglo-Indian professor of architectural sculpture. There he was brought up in the care of "ayahs," or native nurses, who taught him Hindustani and the native lore that always haunted his imagination and can be seen reflected in The Jungle Books.

At the age of six, he was sent to England to be educated and later returned to India to embark on a career in journalism, writing the news stories as well as the tales and poems that began to make his reputation. After seven years, he went back to England, the literary star of the hour. He married an American and stayed in Vermont off and on from 1892 to 1894. Then he returned to the English countryside, where he remained, except for a few trips abroad, for the rest of his life.

The author of innumerable stories and poems, Rudyard Kipling is best known for Soldiers Three (1888), The Light That Failed (1890), The Jungle Books (1894-95), Captains Courageous (1897), Stalky & Co. (1899), Kim (1901), and Just So Stories (1902). Among many other honors, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. 

"The most complete man of genius I have ever known."--Henry James

"Throughout the world his voice commanded more respect than any citizen other than heads of state."--Mark Twain

"Of Kipling's personal decency there can be no doubt....I for one cannot help wishing that I could offer some kind of tribute."--George Orwell 

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, & Activities for Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling: