Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Sunny Nwazue, the Akata Witch, has become one of my favorite protagonists. Born in New York City, she now lives with her native Nigerian family in West Africa. Though she is a tremendous athlete, she isn’t able to enjoy her talents because as an albino, she can’t bear the rays of the sun. A classic “outsider,” she struggles to find her place in her family, community, and the larger world. As the story unfolds, Sunny discovers she has magical abilities, and has a lot to learn to keep up with her new peers: four other magic students who together are studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. Enter an evil magician the magical authorities ask the four apprentices to track down and the adventure takes off. I have rarely read such original work, with aspects of science fiction as well as fantasy, page-turning adventure, thrilling plots, and deep, intriguing writing. Can you tell I am enthusiastic? Middle school and older teens will be drawn in to this exciting novel. And adults will enjoy the adventure as well and look forward to deep and rich discussions. Happy Reading!