1st Floor Show me where

FICTION/Courtenay, Bryce
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Courtenay, Bryce Checked In
Subjects
Genres
War stories
Published
New York : Ballantine Books 1996.
Edition
1st Ballantine Books trade ed
Language
English
Physical Description
518 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780345410054
034541005X
Main Author
Bryce Courtenay, 1933-2012 (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Gr. 9-12. "I went in under the arm with a quick uppercut and caught him in the ribs." The sports action is exciting in this story about Peekay, a white English-speaking boy in rural South Africa during World War II, who becomes a talented boxer and dreams of being welterweight champion of the world. With the help of several mentors, including an Afrikaner, a German botanist and pianist, a Coloured (mixed-race) worker in the local jail, a brave librarian, and a Jewish teacher, Peekay not only wins the local boxing championship but helps desperate African chain-gang prisoners send letters home. The original book was published for adults and made into a movie with Morgan Freeman; this effective condensation for YAs gives a sense of personal uplift, despite the virulent racism, but American teens won't get the complex political history. What is timeless is the picture of the sport and the kid who takes on the giants and wins. ((Reviewed September 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

``Episodic and bursting with incident, this sprawling memoir of an English boy's lonely childhood in South Africa during WW II pays moderate attention to questions of race but concerns itself primarily with epic melodrama,'' noted PW. (Apr.) Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

PW wrote of Bryce Courtenay's 1989 adult book, "Episodic and bursting with incident, this sprawling memoir of an English boy's lonely childhood in South Africa during WWII pays moderate attention to questions of race but concerns itself primarily with epic melodrama." In The Power of One: Young Readers' Condensed Version, the author adapts the first half of his semi-autobiographical tale, but keeps all of the action in the boxing ring and the David and Goliath message of victory over adversity. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 6 Up -The opening chapters of this haunting autobiographical novel, set in small-town South Africa during World War II, are as bleak and violent as anything written for young people. Five-year-old Peekay is the only English-speaking boy in a harsh Afrikaans-language boarding school. He is urinated on by a pack of older boys, and then beaten for it by the matron. Although he endures many losses, he grows through his experiences. His goal is to become a boxer, and the story shows how hard work can lead to success. Peekay forges loving relationships with adults, most notably Doc, a German professor. When Doc is detained as an enemy alien, Peekay's life becomes intertwined with the local prison. It is there that he learns to box and becomes a secret ally of the black prisoners. Courtenay's deft and chillingly accurate characterization of the Afrikaner prison warders. The author is unsparing in his portrayal of the brutality meted out to prisoners and in his depiction of racist speech. Courtenay's ear for dialogue is impressive, and he consistently captures the cadences of South African speech. Peekay's story is written in a direct, almost childlike style, which sometimes seems bland, but readers will be swept along by the events in the protagonist's life. The book packs a powerful emotional punch, evoking horror, laughter, and empathy. It is a condensed version of the first part of Courtenay's adult book of the same title, and the ending feels artificial and unresolved. In all, this is an extraordinary and unusual survival story, and one that should inspire young people feeling battered by the circumstances of their own lives.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City [Page 130]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A young boy becomes an inspiring symbol for black and white as he experiences an odyssey through pro-Nazi South Africa during World War II. Reissue. Movie tie-in. NYT.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

“The Power of One has everything: suspense, the exotic, violence; mysticism, psychology and magic; schoolboy adventures, drama.”–The New York Times“Unabashedly uplifting . . . asserts forcefully what all of us would like to believe: that the individual, armed with the spirit of independence–‘the power of one’–can prevail.”–Cleveland Plain DealerIn 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams–which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one.“Totally engrossing . . . [presents] the metamorphosis of a most remarkable young man and the almost spiritual influence he has on others . . . Peekay has both humor and a refreshingly earthy touch, and his adventures, at times, are hair-raising in their suspense.”–Los Angeles Times Book Review“Marvelous . . . It is the people of the sun-baked plains of Africa who tug at the heartstrings in this book. . . . [Bryce] Courtenay draws them all with a fierce and violent love.”–The Washington Post Book World“Impressive.”–Newsday“A compelling tale.”–The Christian Science Monitor

Review by Publisher Summary 3

'the Power of One has everything: suspense, the exotic, violence; mysticism, psychology and magic; schoolboy adventures, drama."'the New York Times"Unabashedly uplifting . . . asserts forcefully what all of us would like to believe: that the individual, armed with the spirit of independence''the power of one''can prevail.""Cleveland Plain DealerIn 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams'which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one.'totally engrossing . . . [presents] the metamorphosis of a most remarkable young man and the almost spiritual influence he has on others . . . Peekay has both humor and a refreshingly earthy touch, and his adventures, at times, are hair-raising in their suspense.""Los Angeles Times Book Review'marvelous . . . It is the people of the sun-baked plains of Africa who tug at the heartstrings in this book. . . . [Bryce] Courtenay draws them all with a fierce and violent love."'the Washington Post Book World"Impressive.""Newsday"A compelling tale."'the Christian Science Monitor