"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Retrospective Wednesday...The Power of One

Retrospective Wednesday is a feature at My Head is Full of Books designed to give bloggers a chance to highlight a book that was published in previous years, in the hope that it will cause others to go back and read it. The featured book must have been published one or more years ago.  Please leave a comment and link back to Headfullofbooks from your blog post. Join in the fun highlighting favorite "old books."

 This week I am featuring a retrospective look at the book The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, which was published in 1989. It is set in South Africa during the 1930s and 1940s, young Peekay dreams of becoming the welterweight boxing champion of the world. Born into a world divided by racism and hatred and on the brink of war, Peekay must triumph over injustice and does so in a spectacular way. His whole life is about the power of one, the power we have to rise above our circumstances and make a better world for ourselves and others.

Just this week a young man returned this book to the library.  When he handed it too me, I clutched the book to my chest and said, "oh, this book is so good, so powerful." The young man, who isn't a big reader, looked me right in the eyes and said, "This book is a life-changer. I am a different person now that I have read this book." I kid you not, he really said that.  A high school boy said that a book changed his life. And not just any book, but The Power of One, which isn't just a good book, but it is a "clutch-it-to-your-chest" good book. A book that speaks to power that we each have within us.

Trust me on this one.  If you haven't read it, do!  If you are a high school or public librarian and you don't have this book in your collection, get it.  It won't fly off the shelf.  But every year or so someone will discover it and it will be a life-changer for them.  It is worth the expense, I promise.


  1. I checked this out a while ago but ran out of time to read it...I'm feeling very guilty now. I know it's a book I should make time for. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. I had wanted to read this especially after seeing the film, which I thought was incredible. But I just couldn't get into at the time. :( I'm hoping to maybe go back to it sometime in the future though because if the movie is any indication of the book's story, it's an incredible one.


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