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Review of Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

by Cindy H | Aug 18, 2017
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Sunny is an albino girl living in Nigeria who was born in the United States. She is smart and athletic, but struggles with bullying at school. One day after the most popular girl in her class starts a fight with her, she becomes friends with a boy named Orlu when he comes to her defense. He introduces her to Chichi, a mysterious and feisty girl who lives with her mother in a mud hut. They become friends, but she feels like they may be hiding something from her. What she'll soon realize is that there is a magical world that normal people, "lambs", aren't aware of. Orlu and Chichi have known of their "leopard" abilities since birth, but this is all new to Sunny. When they become friends with another boy who was sent to live in Nigeria after creating trouble in the United States, it seems that the four of them coming together is more than coincidence.

This book opens up an exhilarating new magical world, I had a hard time putting it down! It is highly recommended for fans of the Harry Potter series; there are some similarities, such as the deep feelings of friendship and destiny, the use of juju knives instead of wands, and the idea that there is a separation of magical and non-magical people. I did not feel like the author was copying Harry Potter, though; it almost feels more real in some ways, like there really could be this magical world all around us, that is only visible to a few. I also really loved that the book is set in Nigeria. It is still very relatable but makes it all the more interesting to learn a bit about some of the culture there. If you enjoy this book, keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Akata Warrior, coming out in October 2017. This book is available in print or as an ebook on Overdrive. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!

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