A Book Report and Personal Reflection on "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay.

Essay by amdfoldingHigh School, 10th grade January 2003

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In my experience as a student, I have read a countless number of stories for both school and pleasure. While I made an honest attempt to enjoy the novels assigned to me by my teachers to the same degree as those I have chosen myself, I must admit that most novels did not come close to Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor or Jeffery Deaver's The Blue Nowhere. This is especially the case when my deadline for a book report is fast approaching and the orange LCD display on the cable box, the only clock in my room aside from my computer, seems to be speeding forward at an uncontrollable pace. However, despite my skepticism when I first removed the book from the shelf of the Fairfield Library, The Power of One is without doubt the greatest book I have ever read in my life.

The Power of One chronicles the life of a young boy the reader eventually comes to know as Peakay, from his early days at a boarding school to his attempts to break from the dependence on which he has sustained his entire life.

Peakay begins the story as he is separated at an early age from his mother and sent to a boarding school, where he is isolated from any potential friends due to his tremendous age difference, and terrorized by the "Judge," a student at least twice as old as him. He is given the name "Piskop" and subjected to various acts of terror and humiliation for his first year, terrifying himself to the point of inducing an unremitting bed-wetting habit, humorously referred to in the book as the problem of the night-water.

However, after his first year at school, he returns home to his beloved nanny, an African mother who was forced to...