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Akata Witch Hardcover – April 14, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; First Edition edition (April 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670011967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011964
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"There+s more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor+s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics." -Ursula K. Le Guin

About the Author

Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death. Nnedi's books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. She can be contacted via her website, www.nnedi.com.

More About the Author

Nnedi Okorafor is a novelist of Nigerian descent known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. In a profile of Nnedi's work titled "Weapons of Mass Creation", The New York Times called Nnedi's imagination "stunning". Her novels include Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax Award) and Long Juju Man (winner of the Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa). Her latest novel, Who Fears Death (DAW Books, 2010), is a dark, gritty magical realist narrative that evenly combines African literature and fantasy/science fiction into a powerful story of genocide and of the woman who reshapes her world. Nnedi holds a PhD in English and currently is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. Visit Nnedi at nnedi.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
I only wish I had read this book sooner.
Jessica Y
Mix that with a very plucky and likeable heroine and some magic that puts Harry Potter to shame, this book is a winner.
OutlawPoet
Fast - paced and entertaining, and unusual, this story kept me interested right up to the end.
Laurel L. Robbins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though she spent most of her life in America, 12-year-old Sunny is the daughter of Nigerian Immigrants. When the family moves back to Nigeria, Sunny is immediately singled out as different, both from her American upbringing and the fact that she is an albino. She faces mercilessly bullying until one day, with the help of new friends, Sunny realizes that she is different in a very special way. Sunny is one of the Leopard People, a secretive group of people with the powers of sorcery. As Sunny and her friends perfect their magical skills, they are asked to take on a job that can cost them their very lives...

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

When I sat down to read this book, I wasn't sure that I would like it. You see, I like my books for pure entertainment value. I want to be carried away to another world. Between the cover art, the title, and the Nigerian setting, I wasn't sure that this was that kind of book.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. This is an extremely pleasurable read. It's entertaining, yet it gave me fantastic insight into Nigerian culture. Mix that with a very plucky and likeable heroine and some magic that puts Harry Potter to shame, this book is a winner.

I really hope that more people take the time to at least download the sample. Within a few pages, I'm sure you'll want to read more.

What do I want? A sequel to this book and a movie version!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Alex on April 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Over the past couple of months I kept seeing reviews for Akata Witch, everywhere from Ms. and Bust Magazine to Locus and Publishers Weekly. I finally read it, and I can't recommend it enough. Classic coming-of-age template, but a truly unique story and a carefully fleshed-out world. Fast-paced and well-written, I hope that Akata Witch is just the first book of a series--I want more of these characters. Can't wait to read Shadow Speaker et al.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Jackson VINE VOICE on July 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, 12 year-old Sunny is trying to find her fit in the world based on who she is as a person, but is challenged by how others see her. After being born in America, and living her first years there, Sunny is currently living in Nigeria with her parents and brothers, as her parents decided to return to their homeland. She is constantly bullied at school because she is an "akata," a derogatory term for an American of African descent, and an albino. If that was not enough, Sunny is now also haunted by what she saw while staring at the flame of a candle - the end of the world. Not wanting to add to her troubles, she keeps this to herself until befriended by Orlu and Chichi, and is drawn into a magical world she never knew existed, the Leopold People. It turns out that Sunny is a "free agent," a person born with magical powers despite no magical parents. Now she is one of the Leopold people and revels in this community of like-kind people, and amazing things begin to happen to her. All is going well until Sunny and her friends have been assigned to stop a serial killer, Black Hat, who has been murdering children.

I was intrigued by the mystery, the magical ambience, and the vivid setting in Akata Witch. The fantasy setting takes place in Nigeria providing a fresh feel to a coming-of-age story in the overcrowded fantasy genre. The charm is the author makes the reader comfortable and familiar with both the real and magical worlds outlined in the story. One technique used to make us feel familiar is at the beginning of each chapter, there is an excerpt from the "Fast Facts for Free Agents" book Sunny is using for her training, allowing the reader to learn about the Leopold People and their basic philosophy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By branewurms on May 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a lot of fun. I felt the plot was a little meandering and the climax was kind of abrupt, but overall it was a solidly constructed and entertaining story. I keep hearing this referred to as a "Nigerian Harry Potter." I'm not so sure about that - it's much more inventive than Harry Potter, in my opinion - but I do think it would probably appeal to Harry Potter fans, since it shares a lot of basic themes in common. Highly recommended in general, and it'd probably be a great choice if you're trying to introduce a kid (or an adult) to good YA fantasy lit outside the usual whitewashed fantasy settings.

One thing that struck me as kind of odd was that the writing style and overall tone felt more like a children's book, while the occasionally mature/dark subject matter and smattering of profanity made it obvious that it was aimed at the YA market. This isn't a complaint - I didn't think it was a bad thing at all - it just struck me as unusual enough to note.

Kudos to Jillian Tamaki for the absolutely gorgeous cover art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Y on February 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I’ve been meaning to read Akata Witch for a while now since the cover is pretty awesome and everything by Nnedi Okorafor is bound to be great. This contemporary fantasy set in Nigeria has pretty much all the things I love in fiction — magic, friendship, and good food. Sunny, Chichi, Orlu and Sasha have completely different personalities and lives, but that only serves to enhance the camraderie they have. The solid worldbuilding neatly fuses the magical with the ordinary and Sunny’s initiation into the world of free agents, juju, and Leopard Knocks is fascinating to read. I only wish I had read this book sooner. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel Breaking Kola.

Recommendation: Buy it now, especially if you love a good contemporary fantasy.
Review crossposted from Rich in Color: richincolor [.] com
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