Greetings from New Orleans! It was about 60 in Boston when I left this morning, and 80 in the Crescent City when I arrived this afternoon. For now, I’m trading my boots, sweater, and leggings for my favorite flippity-flops and a summer dress. I haven’t had time to pull together something new, so before I head out for an evening constitutional around the French Quarter, I’m posting this review from my blog’s previous incarnation. Feel free to comment if you’ve read this middle-grade novel. It’s one of my favorites, and I’d love to know what you think!
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking, 2011)
Sunny is an American-born Nigerian albino. Her identities place her at the intersection of white Anglo-American culture and African culture. Twelve-year-old Sunny’s life does a headstand when she finds out she also hovers between the physical and spiritual worlds. She’s one of the Leopard People, an ancient group of magic-makers who must stop a ruthless child-killer who possesses a horrifying agenda. Steeped in Nigerian culture and folklore, Akata Witch is an intrusive fantasy that deftly explores identity, racism, xenophobia, class, and friendship.
I recommend this exciting work of fantasy/enchanted realism for readers ages 11-14.