Skip to main content

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor, 496 pp, RL TEEN

Earlier this year I reviewed a book I had long wanted to read, Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. While I wish I had read it right away when it was published in 2011, I am grateful that my wait time to read more about the adventures of Sunny Nwazue in Akata Warrior was (less than) six months and not six years! The world that Okorafor creates is all consuming and the struggles, and challenges that Sunny faces in the world of the Leopard People (those with magic) and the world of the Lambs (those without) is so stunningly crafted that I can see it in my imagination. When I go to look up Nigerian foods, places and people online to give context to what I am reading, Okorafor's writing has already front loaded the vital details.

Akata Witch found Sunny, an albino with feet in two worlds, literally, slowly, painfully, blindly, discovering her powers as a Leopard Person and learning her way in the world of the Leopard People while also fighting a powerful, magical serial killer. With Sugar Cream as her mentor in Akata Warrior, Sunny is learning more, and quickly. She uncovers details about the past of the grandmother who passed on her powers to Sunny as well as much about the life of Sugar Cream, who was abandoned in the jungle as a toddler and raised by (magical) baboons. Sunny also learns that her spirit face, Anyanwu, had a past that included working, along with a tribe of spiders, to stop the Americans from dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Sunny's time in the world of Lambs increases in Akata Warrior when her older brother heads to college nearby and is jumped into a confraternity against his wishes. With the help of Chichi, Sunny frees her brother but brings punishment upon herself. She also finds herself in the curious position of being accused of being a witch by Orlu's non-magic aunt. All this pales when Ekwensu returns and severs Sunny from her spirit face, confirming the apocalyptic vision she saw in the flame of a candle at the start of Akata Witch

As Sunny, Chichi, Orlu and Sasha fight to restore her spirit face and stop Ekwensu from igniting the many oil spills that are polluting the Niger Delta, the magic and the experiences are intense, but also occasionally humorous and even playful - especially when it comes to Della, Sunny's sculptress wasp who makes art out of Oreos. And, as with Akata Witch, the importance and value placed on educating oneself through books and experience fills the pages. 

I hope that Nnedi Okorafor, who is a prolific writer for kids and adults as well as a professor of creative writing and clearly very busy, does not make us wait six more years to spend more time with Sunny!

Source: Review Copy





Comments

Danielle H. said…
Excellent review! Well written and convinced me that I need to read book one soon so I can go straight into book 2.
Tanya said…
Thank you! And you will be happy you read these books!

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …