Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor (review)
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Reviewed by
Okorafor, Nnedi Akata Warrior. Viking, 2017 [496p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-670-78561-2 $18.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-101-59898-6 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R* Gr. 6-10

American-born Nigerian Sunny Nwazue is far from your typical thirteen-year-old. Between being a bicultural albino in the superstitious, witch-fearing nation of Nigeria, and living a double life as part of the magic-wielding, super-secret Leopard Society, she draws a lot of attention—not necessarily in a good way. In the Leopard world, Sunny’s albinism translates into the ability to move between the spirit and physical worlds, which for most would almost guarantee death. When Sunny and her Leopard friends Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha realize that they must once again take on Ekwensu, the terrifying spirit determined to bring the world to an apocalyptic end, it’s time for Sunny to fulfill her destiny as a warrior of Nimm. Okorafor’s Akata Witch (BCCB 4/11) wove the story of Sunny’s learning what it means to be a Leopard Person; now Akata Warrior swiftly synthesizes the lessons and knowledge of the first book into a heart-racing story of resilience and a determination to save the world. This title is a unique coming of age story, coupling the distinct experience of the cultural duality as both African and African-American with lessons of love, loyalty, and the pains of adolescent insecurities. While readers will eagerly turn page after page in this quick-paced and imaginative title, the true joy lies in Okorafor’s subtly devised cliffhanger, leaving a distinct opening for what we can only hope will be more magic and adventure in a third installment.

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