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Hector: A Boy, a Protest, and the Photograph that Changed Apartheid

By: Adrienne Wright

The poignant story behind the 1976 photograph that exposed the ugliness of South Africa’s apartheid to the world and sparked change.

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.

Black-and-white photograph. “After the Photograph.” Author’s note. Further information about the people featured in the book. Selected sources. Glossary. Full-color pastel and collage illustrations.

ISBN: 9781624146916

JLG Release: Sep 2019

Sensitive Areas: Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Gun Violence, Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Death
Topics: Hector Pieterson (1963–1976) , Biography , South Africa , Photojournalism , Sam Nzima (1934–2018) , Antoinette Sithole , Apartheid , History of South Africa , Soweto Uprising, 1976 , Students , Political activity

$17.55  Member Price

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Multicultural Elementary

Grades 2-6

12 titles/year


Awards & Honors

Kirkus Best Books - 2019
CPL Best Books - 2019
CSMCL Best Books - 2019

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

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Book Details



First Release

September 2019



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

7 3/4" x 11"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 3.2; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.3; Points: 3;


Level 690L


Print Book


Hardcover edition


Page Street Publishing

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Gun Violence, Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Death


Hector Pieterson (1963–1976), Biography, South Africa, Photojournalism, Sam Nzima (1934–2018), Antoinette Sithole, Apartheid, History of South Africa, Soweto Uprising, 1976, Students, Political activity,

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Cover Art

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