Tissues needed? possibly a few
Overall rating: 4 stars
On the verge of WWII, a young boy in South Africa is forced to grow up quickly when he is sent to a boarding school. Racial identity is everything; Peekay is the “wrong” race, and so gets bullied horribly by older students. He then has a chance meeting with a boxer that forever changes his life. Later Peekay develops a relationship with a German professor of music. In addition to being a great learner, Peekay realizes that he has great abilities to adapt. He uses these skills and learns a most important lesson about the power within himself: the power of one.
By chance I checked out the YA version of this novel, so the adult version carries the story farther—at some point I think I will enjoy reading that. The Power of One wasn’t a quick or easy read, but it was thought-provoking and inspirational. I don’t like boxing, but appreciated the discipline and thinking that went into it. Some of the fight scenes (both boxing and bullying) were fairly graphic, so I did skim some of those descriptions. It was also interesting to read about South Africa, especially during WWII. I think it would be intriguing to learn more about that country’s history and how the different groups function together.
Thanks to Jody at Mud Hut Mama for recommending this author/book! :)
Peekay’s interest in boxing changed his future. What have you learned that has shaped your life?