The Power of One
The Power of One (Young Reader's Edition)
The Power of One
Bryce Courtenay
In 1939, hatred took root in South Africa, where the seeds of apartheid were newly sown. There a boy called Peekay was born. He spoke the wrong language–English. He was nursed by a woman of the wrong color–black. His childhood was marked by humiliation and abandonment. Yet he vowed to survive–he would become welterweight champion of the world, he would dream heroic dreams. But his dreams were nothing compared to what awaited him. For he embarked on an epic journey, where he would learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the mystical power that would sustain him even when it appeared that villainy would rule the world: The Power of One.

Book Details


  • Adventure
  • Historical Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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In this book we are introduced to a little boy, who is sent to boarding school when his mother has a mental breakdown. On the first night of boarding school, the little boy is woken up in the middle of the night and urinated on by the Judge and the jury(this is how the little boy refers to them) because he is a Rooinek and all of the other students are Boers and hate Rooineks.

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Peekay starts out as a bullied, troubled, and lost child. His childhood is rough. He speaks a different language. His mother, after having a nervous breakdown, sends him to a boarding school, where his childhood begins and ends. Finally, after two or so years, Peekay's mother calls him back to her. He meets a boxing friend on the train to her, and learns the basics. When he arrives, he finds a strictly religious mother... and another friend. When his new-found friend goes to jail for a false accusation, Peekay visits the prison and finds his destiny: a boxing champion.

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