All Rise: Resistance and Rebellion in South Africa is a four-part graphic history series. Based on little-known court records, each volume consists of six stories of resistance by marginalized South Africans against colonial and apartheid governments. This first installment, which spans the “Union period” of 1910-48, was researched and written by South African historian Richard Conyngham and each illustrated by a different South African artist. The stories in All Rise combine a variety of universal issues related to justice and human rights with a refreshing narrative medium. By foregrounding “anonymous” protagonists with lesser-known histories, the book breathes new life into a terrain of written history that until now has been dominated by icons.
Materials from South Africa
in the final years of South Africa’s Apartheid era, an unlikely trio-a sheltered white rugby player, a black farmworker’s son, and an Indian shopkeeper’s daughter-discover the consequences of knowing the truth and having the courage to speak it. Halley’s Comet is the coming-of-age story of Pete de Lange, a white 16-year-old schoolboy, set in small-town South Africa in 1986. Pete lives a relatively sheltered life, primarily concerned with girls and rugby- until one January night changes everything. Thrust together with two complete strangers-Petrus, a black farmworker’s son and Sarita, an Indian shopkeeper’s daughter-the trio find themselves running for their lives from the vicious Rudie, whose actions will ripple far beyond that fateful night. This era-defying friendship-sparked by a shared secret- challenges everything Pete thought he knew and believed. And when anti-Apartheid revolutionaries set their sights on the town, it will change the course of the three young people’s lives forever. Halley’s Comet is a story of friendship, love, change, taking chances, hope, a comet, and some pretty cool 80s music. Hannes Barnard is a South African-born author of both English and Afrikaans novels. He debuted in 2019 with the YA novel, Halley se komeet, which he translated into English as Halley’s Comet. In 2020, Wolk, his apocalyptic YA adventure, was released, and coming up in 2022 is his crime novel, die wet van Gauteng. When not writing, traveling, or planning his next adventure, Hannes works in marketing. He has called England and Seychelles home but now lives in Johannesburg with his wife.
Stork friends Malena and Klepetan look forward to the next migration from Croatia to South Africa, but when Malena is injured and can not join the flock, their time apart brings many challenges and big feelings, pushing them to stay connected and hope for a spring reunion.
Before he was the first Black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) was a boy with a traditional Thembu upbringing. He went on to study law and become involved with African nationalist politics. The government had established an apartheid (a system of segregation that privileged white people), and Mandela worked to overthrow this system. He was arrested, accused of treason, and thrown in jail. When he was released, Mandela negotiated an end to the apartheid and was elected president. Though he was a controversial figure at the time, he is now seen as an iconic advocate for democracy and social justice. Inspiring and informational, Nelson Mandela tells the story of one of the greatest politicians and revolutionaries. It includes a timeline, glossary, and index.
Sugar Town Queens
When Amandla wakes up on her fifteenth birthday, she knows it’s going to be one of her mother’s difficult days. Her mother has had another vision. This one involves Amandla wearing a bedsheet loosely stitched as a dress. An outfit, her mother says, is certain to bring Amandla’s father back home, as if he were the prince and this was the fairytale ending their family was destined for. But in truth, Amandla’s father has long been gone–since before Amandla was born–and even her mother’s memory of him is hazy. In fact, many of her mother’s memories from before Amandla was born are hazy. It’s just one of the many reasons people in Sugar Town give them strange looks–that and the fact her mother is white and Amandla is Black.
When Amandla finds a mysterious address in the bottom of her mother’s handbag along with a large amount of cash, she decides it’s finally time to get answers about her mother’s life. What she discovers will change the shape and size of her family forever. But with her best friends at her side, Amandla is ready to take on family secrets and the devil himself. These Sugar Town queens are ready to take over the world to expose the hard truths of their lives.
Mercy lives in modern-day Pietermaritzburg, South Africa with her eccentric foster aunts―two elderly sisters so poor, they can only afford one lightbulb. A nasty housing developer is eying their house. And that same house suddenly starts falling apart―just as Aunt Flora starts falling apart. She’s forgetting words, names, and even how to behave in public. Mercy tries to keep her head down at school so nobody notices her. But when a classmate frames her for stealing the school’s raffle money, Mercy’s teachers decide to take a closer look at her home life.
Small Mercies has been discussed in My Take/Your Take for December 2020.
Shaka has fought his brother to the death for rulership of the Zulu. Now king of the southern chiefdoms, Shaka seeks to uplift his people, consolidate alliances, and expand the reach of his power. But challenges both external and internal threaten his rule. A rogue military unit exacts revenge on its enemies. Land-hungry Europeans arrive and ingratiate themselves with Shaka, even while plotting their own path to power. And closer to home, Shaka’s own brothers conspire in secret.
Hector; a boy, a protest, and the photograph that changed apartheid
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 can serve 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 yet relevant, this powerful story gives voice to an ordinary boy and sheds light on events that helped lead to the end of apartheid.
After her beloved grandmother’s death, seventeen-year-old Khosi is left with an empty house, her younger sister, and her promise to finish school but violence in Imbali may take even that.
Nelson Mandela’s two great-grandchildren ask their grandmother, Mandela’s youngest daughter, 15 questions about their grandad – the global icon of peace and forgiveness who spent 27 years in prison. They learn that he was a freedom fighter who put down his weapons for the sake of peace, and who then became the President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize-winner, and realise that they can continue his legacy in the world today. Seen through a child’s perspective, and authored jointly by Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchildren and daughter, this amazing story is told as never before to celebrate what would have been Nelson’s Mandela 100th birthday.