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Zahrah the Windseeker

by Nnedi Okorafor

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4362548,078 (4.1)49
Zahrah, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to seek the antidote for her best friend after he is bitten by a snake, and finds knowledge, courage, and hidden powers along the way.
  1. 00
    AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers by Ivor W. Hartmann (goddesspt2)
  2. 00
    The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Zahrah the Windseeker and The Shadow Speaker occur within the same world-system, and those who have read Zahrah the Windseeker will find that it makes The Shadow Speaker a richer experience. Still, both delightfully stand alone and it is not necessary to have read both to enjoy these excellent coming of age stories.… (more)

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Zahrah the Windseeker was a selection made to fill a bingo card square: a book with a Z. Written for an older elementary audience, the books tells the story of Zahrah, who lives with her family in the Ooni Kingdom on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Zahrah is just discovering her secret powers that are tied to her unusual hair. She and her best friend decide to explore the forest and quickly encounter almost deadly danger. In order to save her friend, Zahrah must return to the forest. I loved the book: the forest is filled with fantastical creatures that set the imagination alive. But, the characters are very real human beings living in this world and we get to know them and love them even as Zahrah learns to love herself.
  witchyrichy | Jul 3, 2022 |
This book was really wonderful! I loved the idea of plants being almost everything from buildings to computers to cars! What a wonderful and original world that Okorafor created. I was in love with it instantly.

Zahrah was a wonderful character. I feel like she represented a lot of young girls who are different in her personality and worries. And I loved the way she was transformed by her experiences. It was very traditional epic fantasy style but with a black girl with locs in an African-based fantasy world! Love love love to see old tropes with fresh characters. It's kind of nostalgic but without any of the things that were disappointing about the trope in it's original form.

The only thing I will say is that the kindle e-book had a ridiculous amount of errors. It was as though Houghton Mifflin didn't copy edit it??? I hope the print version wasn't as bad. ( )
  Isana | Jul 7, 2020 |
I liked the easy cadence of this YA fantasy, though it was occasionally awkward. I wasn't always sure why the Zahrah was billed as a person who thought ahead but seemed to not always plan well. The setting is nearly Utopian with odd references to Earth and even a shout out to the Hitchhiker's Guide. The jungle is dangerous but not very dark. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
A tale of a quest into the (almost) unknown to obtain a cure for a friend. The setup is artificial in the extreme, the girl with something extra given a hard time by her age mates pretty standard, the world building a bit more interesting and at least not overtly dystopian. ( )
  quondame | Mar 27, 2019 |
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor is a well written children's fantasy about a thirteen year old girl who, although she yearns to be "normal", discovers she has the power to levitate and fly. Teased and bullied at school she has one friend who stands by her at all times. So when her friend, Dari, needs her help, she finds the courage to strike out on her own and enters the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to find the cure that he so badly needs.

Set in the fantasy country of the Ooni Kingdom, this forbidden jungle is a fearful place where people who enter very rarely ever return. Zahrah uses her loyalty to her friend to overcome her fears and about travelling in the jungle. Along the way she encounters many fantastic creatures, a few of which are friendly but most are deadly and dangerous.

The author draws on African mythology to weave this magical tale of a little girl who learns to face life full-on and accept her differences in order to save her friend. The story is aimed at young people but it's magic works on us older folks as well. I was charmed and I look forward to reading more from this imaginative author. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Feb 12, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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To the late Virginia Hamilton, who showed me that people could fly, and my father and mother; who gave me the means to soar

The eyes of eagles see far
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When I was born, my mother took one look at me and laughed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Zahrah, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to seek the antidote for her best friend after he is bitten by a snake, and finds knowledge, courage, and hidden powers along the way.

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Haiku summary
Green vines growing in hair,
make an outcast of the wise,
that will save her friend. (AgentBookworm)

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

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