My latest read was Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. Okorafor does a splendid job of placing her work in the stream of those that have come before, and it struck me that this would be another volume particularly suited for providing you with a list of “books mentioned in another book” (No. 50 on the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge). Chichi’s home, which belongs to her mother Miss Nimm, is “full of books.” Sunny, too, is a lover of books; when “she had run out of shelf space” she “started keeping books under the bed.” In Okorafor’s opening before the novel begins, there’s a quote from Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. Throughout the novel, there are also many quoted passages from the made-up book Fast Facts for Free Agents by Isong Abong Effiong Isong. Okorafor also mentions in her pages: Her Stories by Virginia Hamilton; The Witches by Roald Dahl; In the Shadow of the Bush by P. Amaury Talbot; and Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Like the author, the main character Sunny was born in America and raised by Nigerian parents. Sunny and her family have moved back to Nigeria, where she speaks English as well as Igbo. It is so exciting to read a book about a young witch coming into her own–steeped in African legends and cultural references, rather than the old familiar western ones. Sunny forms an oha coven with her friends Chichi, Sasha, and Orlu. The reader learns all about the secret, magical world of the Leopard People alongside Sunny, who is late to the game and trying hard to catch up. There are crafty and discerning teachers, troubles at regular school, new knowledge at every turn, a difficult father figure in Sunny’s mundane life, and a truly evil foe. Okorafor’s writing is fast-paced and exciting, and will keep you flipping pages ’til the very end. Luckily for those of you just discovering this volume, the second book, Akata Warrior, is already out! If you want to read more about Akata Witch, check out Chantel’s blog My Jamaican Vignettes and Bina’s blog If You Can Read This.
Here we go for reading challenge updates:
- PopSugar 2017 reading challenge No. 5 a book by a person of color.
- Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge Nope.
- Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge This 349 pgs brings me to 14,594 pgs.
- Read It Again, Sam Nope.
- My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) and Rock My TBR challenge Nope. This is a library book.
- Diverse Reads challenge (here and here). Yes! And I believe this meets the intersectionality mini-challenge goal as well, since Sunny is female, American and African, and albino.
- The Book Date Full House challenge Nope.
- The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge Nope.
- The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge Nope.
- Anne Read Along Nope.
Hashtags for the challenges that had them:
October is rockin’, can you believe it! It will be Nano before you know it…