Akata Witch

Akata Witch

4.0 10
by Nnedi Okorafor
     
 

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Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a "free agent,"

Overview

Read Nnedi Okorafor's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a "free agent," with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Okorafor (The Shadow Speaker) returns with another successful tale of African magic. Although 12-year-old Sunny is Nigerian, she was born in America, and her Nigerian classmates see her as an outsider. Worse, she's an albino, an obvious target for bullies and suspected of being a ghost or a witch. Things change, however, when she has a vision of impending nuclear war. Then her classmate Orlu and his friend Chichi turn out to be Leopard People—witches—and insist that she is, too. Soon Sunny discovers her spirit face ("It was her, but it felt as if it had its own separate identity, too. Her spirit face was the sun, all shiny gold and glowing with pointy rays"). Eventually, the three and an American boy named Sasha visit the dangerous, magical city of Leopard Knocks and learn from their mentors in witchcraft that they must destroy Black Hat Otokoto, a monstrous serial killer and powerful witch. Although a bit slow getting started, this tale is filled with marvels and is sure to appeal to teens whose interest in fantasy goes beyond dwarves and fairies. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"There+s more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor+s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics." -Ursula K. Le Guin
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—This contemporary fantasy features Sunny, 12, Nigerian by blood but born in New York City, who's been living in Nigeria since she was 9. She has West African features but is an albino with yellow hair, white skin, and hazel eyes. This mixture confuses people, and she is teased and bullied by classmates. One day while looking into a candle flame, she sees a vision of the end of the world. She discovers that her classmate Orlu; his friend Chichi; and Sasha, newly arrived from America, all have magical abilities, and they suspect that she does, too. She finds out she's of the Leopard spirit line and has the ability to cross over into the spirit world, become invisible, see the future, and manipulate time. She and her new friends must use their abilities to try to defeat a serial killer who's maiming and killing children to use to awaken a monster from the spirit world. This vividly imagined, original fantasy shows what life is like in today's Nigeria, while it beautifully explores an alternate magical reality. Sunny must deal with cultural stereotypes, a strict father who resents her being female, and older brothers who pick on her because she's better at soccer than they are. This is a consistently surprising, inventive read that will appeal to more thoughtful, patient fantasy readers because it relies less on action and more on exploring the characters' gradual mastery of their talents.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton
Kirkus Reviews

Who can't love a story about a Nigerian-American 12-year-old with albinism who discovers latent magical abilities and saves the world? Sunny lives in Nigeria after spending the first nine years of her life in New York. She can't play soccer with the boys because, as she says, "being albino made the sun my enemy," and she has only enemies at school. When a boy in her class, Orlu, rescues her from a beating, Sunny is drawn in to a magical world she's never known existed. Sunny, it seems, is a Leopard person, one of the magical folk who live in a world mostly populated by ignorant Lambs. Now she spends the day in mundane Lamb school and sneaks out at night to learn magic with her cadre of Leopard friends: a handsome American bad boy, an arrogant girl who is Orlu's childhood friend and Orlu himself. Though Sunny's initiative is thin—she is pushed into most of her choices by her friends and by Leopard adults—the worldbuilding for Leopard society is stellar, packed with details that will enthrall readers bored with the same old magical worlds. Meanwhile, those looking for a touch of the familiar will find it in Sunny's biggest victories, which are entirely non-magical (the detailed dynamism of Sunny's soccer match is more thrilling than her magical world saving). Ebulliently original. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101513798
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
04/14/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
143,894
File size:
484 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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From the Publisher

"There’s more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor’s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics." -Ursula K. Le Guin

Meet the Author

Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death. Nnedi's books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. She can be contacted via her website, www.nnedi.com.

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Akata Witch 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom bought this for me two days ago. I was totally unfamiliar with this setting but once I got going, I couldn't stop reading! I just finished it! I don't think I ever read a book that fast, except maybe Harry Potter. I'm going to read it again, this time slower. I love the weird magic and the characters were really cool.
Silverlan More than 1 year ago
First, I like to mention that this is the first book I read about African supernatural and ancient magic and I enjoyed it til the end. It's a very likable read and I love the four main characters, especially Sasha and Chichi. This book wouldn't let me put it down until I was finished reading it and I give it a 7 or 8. It was a simple and fun read about magic and supernatural beings and a different life from normal people. It has some action, comedy, and a little romance between the characters. I believe Akata Witch will have a sequel because there was a hint at the ending, but it might be a stand alone. If Akata Witch does get a sequel I will love to get my hands on it and read it what happens next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fascinating glimpse into a fantasy and mythos that isn't Euro or Sino centric. I'm 22 years old and I adored it. Accessible, well-written, clever, contains a strong and diverse cast of characters whom I was able to root for. Read if you like: African folklore, mythology, religion and spirituality, fantasy, well-rounded and interesting characters, magic, good writing, strong plotlines, strong female characters, diverse representation, intrigue and adventure, etc. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to read this book for 7th grade. At first the book was super slow and boring, but it gets better toeards the middle. Once I reached the good part I couldn't put it down. Hope there is a sequel!
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It's a good book needs some more description.
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