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Zahrah the Windseeker

by Nnedi Okorafor

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4042447,961 (4.12)47
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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» See also 47 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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 |
I was super excited to read this book even though I had to wait for my local library to order it. Well worth the wait! I adored Akata Witch and Nnedi Okorafor has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I can always connect with her characters.

"You don't have to explain. It's OK to care about what other people think, but you should give a little weight to what you, yourself, think."


In Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor (308 pages), Zahrah's fourteen and Dada, so she doesn't fit in the Kirki village of the Ooni Kingdom. Her Dada heritage gives her long dreadlocks embedded with plants and an undeveloped wind power. Because Ooni people are so image-conscious, she sticks out like a snake with fingers. After Zahrah gets her first period (menstruation cycle), her wind powers begin to fully develop. Through a series of events surrounding the forbidden Greeny jungle, Zahrah's best friend Dari gets injured. The cure for Dari's comatose state is in the jungle, and this is where the story truly begins. I felt so bad for Zahrah in the jungle like why does my baby have to go through so much pain?

Another quote I like, taken from when Zahrah was on her journey:
"Look at you. You're just as strange and misunderstood as the jungle. It'll welcome you, I'm sure of it."

As much as I like romance, I love the fact that the story is dedicated to Zahrah's growth as a character. That's not to say there aren't any adorable hints thrown in.

I love the names, Zahrah and Dari, they are so pretty!

I also enjoy the fantasy elements. Flower computers! Zahrah has a lot of plant technology in her world. A person can plant a seed and water it to grow a computer. Very imaginative.

I could tell early on that I would love this book. Black people in a fantasy setting? Adorable characters? An innocent friendship? Nnedi is cruel; She wants me to buy this book and parade it on my bookshelf.

What did I dislike? Hmm... If I had to nitpick, the ending could be considered a bit anticlimactic. Also, certain stuff at the hospital was dragged out a little long.


Zahrah! I completely sympathize with her. She's an adorable crybaby, who doesn't yet know her potential. Her journey is not only through the Greeny jungle, but to grow more confident. She's my fictional baby! Zahrah has a real "aww " factor.

Dari, the best friend, is my favorite. He's a middle-school activist, who has a talent for talking. The village people and everyone at Dari (and Zahrah)'s school hang onto his ever word. Since he found an interest in Zahrah, as a bold little kid, the two have been friends ever since.

I like the mentor angle Nsibidi provides for Zahrah. She's one cool chick! I almost wish she had been featured more in the story.

The simplest characters, like the frog, all play an important part in the story and Zahrah's life.


Read this. Read this. Read this.

I liked this book a lot and will add it to my bookshelf when I get some extra cash. ( )
  DestDest | Oct 11, 2018 |
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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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