Akata Witch

from Penguin Books


A a nominee for
the Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

An Amazon.com 2011 Best Book of the Year

A YALSA 2011 Best Book of the Year

Rick Riordan (author of the Percy Jackson series and films) gives Akata Witch a glowing review.

AKATA WITCH is a spectacular tale of a young woman coming to power in a truly global environment.
        -Ms. Magazine

The book is similar in theme to many other coming-of-age fantasies, but the details are distinctly African, the language unrushed and elegant.
         -The Los Angeles Times

'Nnedi Okorafor is opening doors into strange and beautiful new worlds. Her heroes are beguiling, her magic firmly rooted in real places and real things. Rich, mysterious and convincing, AKATA WITCH takes fantasy in a haunting new direction.'
        -Jonathan Stroud, author of the Bartimaeus series

Okorafor's fantastic tale unfolds against the vivid backdrop of Nigeria, a melting pot of culture clash, of the Leopard people vs. the Lambs, of tradition vs. "modern" ways, of community vs. greed. She skillfully weaves a tale of adolescents' search to belong with a tradition of African magic and a memorable portrait gallery of characters for a most thrilling and different murder mystery.
        -The Buffalo News (New York)

Akata Witch reminds young readers that neither fantasy heroes nor Western nations have a guaranteed “special destiny,” but it also celebrates the shared adventure of everyday life on our planet.
         -The Brooklyn Rail



The Los Angeles Times
The Brooklyn Rail
The Barnes & Noble Book Club
Ms. Magazine
Locus Magazine
Publishers Weekly
Odiani Review
(note: this review is great for cultural context)

What does the word "akata" mean? It's complicated and not very nice. Click here for a little information.


SunnyAbout the novel:

Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. She looks West African, but is so sensitive to the sun that she can’t play soccer during the day. She doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

Then she learns why.

Her classmate Orlu and his friend Chichi reveal that they have magical abilities- and so does she. Sunny is a “free agents,” overflowing with latent power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Orlu and Chichi have been working with their teacher for years. Sunny needs a crash course in magical history, spells, juju, shape-shifting and dimensional travel. Her new world is a secret from her family, but it’s well worth all of the silence, exhaustion and sneaking around.

Still, there is a dark side. After she’s found her footing, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi, and their American friend Sasha are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a criminal. Not just a run-of-the-mill bad guy. A real-life hardcore serial killer-with abilities far stronger than theirs.

Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones are Nnedi Okorafor fans. As soon as you start reading Akata Witch, you will be, too.

Available here:
A Room of One's Own Bookstore
The King's English Bookshop
Barnes and Noble


*Image of Sunny by Ross Campbell