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Akata witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Akata witch (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Nnedi Okorafor

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3182434,897 (3.97)19
Title:Akata witch
Authors:Nnedi Okorafor
Info:New York : Viking, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Tags:age: young adult, genre: fantasy, read 2013

Work details

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (2011)

  1. 10
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling (questionablepotato)
    questionablepotato: I loved this book(which is admittedly better written than the HP stuff) for the same reasons I loved Harry Potter. Both books have likeable kids learning about themselves and their worlds, a vivid and unique sense of place, and really, really awesome world building.… (more)
  2. 00
    AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers by Nnedi Okorafor (goddesspt2)
  3. 00
    The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi (questionablepotato)

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» See also 19 mentions

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Really interesting fantasy ( )
  ewillse | Jan 18, 2016 |
This young adult novel is set in contemporary Nigeria. Sunny was born in America to Nigerian parents. The family moved back to Nigeria when she was 9. She is an albino that has trouble fitting in at school. On day she sees something strange and frightening in the flame of a candle. That same day she makes some new friends, a boy in school named Orlu and his friend Chichi. Soon her friends help her discover that she is a Leopard person (someone with magical abilities) like them. Will learning to use her abilities help her stop the awful vision she saw in the candle?

I really enjoyed this book. I liked that it took place in Nigeria and that the magic system was based on African culture and beliefs. The characters were fun and likable and a lot of the book was reminiscent of Harry Potter without being a clone of that series. I hope that this is the first book of a series. It seemed like 95 percent of the book was introducing the reader to the magical world rather than the mystery of who the bad guy was. In fact, the confrontation at the end seemed very rushed and too easy for the heroes to resolve. I would give the characters, setting, and system of magic 5 stars, but the ending was a disappointment after the build up so the final rating is 4 stars. I hope there is more to come, now that the reader is familiar with the world, the author can really delve into the conflict with the bad guys. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
Something about Okorafor's style never quite clicked for me, but the setting and world building in this book are fantastic. It was refreshing to find some contemporary young adult fantasy set outside of the US or UK. ( )
  Tafadhali | Nov 18, 2015 |
Summary: The story of a young girl named Sunny who was born in the U.S., but lives in Nigeria. She is perceived as an outsider because of her English accent, even though she can speak her native language. She enjoys playing soccer, but can't stay in the dun very long because she was born albino and has very sensitive skin. Sunny meets a new friend named Orlu that helps Sunny reveal her true talent of jukju, as she is a Leopard Person, cpable of magic. She uses her new abilities and moves to a place where other Leopard people live and fights the evilness that arises in the story through her magic and strength.

Personal reflection: The idea that Sunny uses magic to try and save innocent lives taken in the leopard world shows students important concepts like determination, strength, and bravery. I liked the message of the story and the character of Sunny, because even though she is different, it ends up being a blessing in her life. This is important idea for students.

Class use: Text set for mystery fantasy, character building for not fitting in or not being part of the norm, read independently and compare Sunny's character before and after she realized she was a Leopard Person
  MelissaKlatt | Apr 30, 2015 |
While I found Akata Witch fun, I felt like I was the wrong age for it. It’s really more middle grade than YA. If I’d read this back when I was in middle school, I would likely have enjoyed it a lot more.

From the cover: 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?

The writing of the prologue was beautiful, and I wish that the rest of the book had stayed with that first person style. Not that the writing of the rest was bad – I didn’t have any problems with it – but I think the prologue had the best writing.

In a lot of ways, I would compare Akata Witch to the first Harry Potter book. Both are aimed at the same age group and share a general story type: preteen discovers secret magic powers and becomes part of a magical community. Of course, the Harry Potter books are about a white British boy, while Akata Witch is about a Nigerian-American albino girl. That alone sets it out from many of the similar types of stories.

The focus is more on Sunny discovering her own powers and learning about the magical community than on the plot mentioned in the last sentence of the blurb. In fact, that entire plot really only took a chapter or two at the end.

Sunny deals with sexism at numerous points in the book. She always questions it or challenges it, and I’m glad Okorafor took that approach.

In general, Akata Witch is an enjoyable and imaginative book that I’d recommend to people looking for a middle grade fantasy book, especially one with diverse characters and setting.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jan 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
"Akata Witch" is a much-needed addition to the many titles featuring Caucasian protagonists — one that will appeal to readers who are interested in foreign cultures, tradition and beliefs, or those who live between cultures themselves.
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Here, in the new venture, the extraordinary, the magical, the wonderful, and even the strange come out of the ordinary and the familiar.

--Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
To Sandra Marume, the spunky Igbo girl with the sharp tongue and mysterious ways, who just happened to be albino.

It's been awhile, but I hope I captured you well.

And to my mother, who was terrified of masquerades as a kid and still is.  This book dances with them.  Enjoy.
First words
I've always been fascinated by candles.  (prologue)
The moment Sunny walked into the school yard, people started pointing.  (Chapter 1)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670011967, Hardcover)

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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:05 -0400)

Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.

(summary from another edition)

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Nnedi Okorafor is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (3.97)
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