On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. The story’s events unfold from the perspectives of Hector, his sister, and the photographer who captured their photo in the chaos. This book serves as a pertinent tool for adults discussing global history and race relations with children. Its graphic novel style and mixed media art portray the vibrancy and grit of Hector’s daily life and untimely death.
Heartbreaking and relevant, this powerful story gives voice to an ordinary boy and sheds light on an event that helped lead to the end of apartheid.