Mini book review: ‘The Power of One,” by Bryce Courtenay

by Keena Kimmel

Set in South Africa during Apartheid, “The Power of One,” by Bryce Courtenay, is an inspiring coming-of-age tale. “Peekay,” a precocious, British runt, is ruthlessly bullied at boarding school. After a serendipitous meeting with boxer “Kid Louis” Groenewald, Peekay is inspired to fight back and sets out to learn his new craft with dogged determination. His first teachers are tough Afrikaner jailers and a black prisoner, who is himself, an underdog and fighting to survive.

Later, at a prep school, Peekay earns a reputation as not only a fighter but a scholar. There, he continues training, winning fight after fight, while honing his intellect and taking a stance against the racial injustices gaining momentum around him. He, the underdog golden boy, becomes a beacon of hope in a dark time, earning him a reputation among black South Africans as a great chief – “The Tadpole Angel.”

“The Power of One” is a book that will remind you that sometimes all it takes is one person to spread hope in a seemingly hopeless situation, and that hope can ignite anywhere.

— Keena KimmelOwner of White Rabbit Books and Curiosities


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