Akata Witch

Akata Witch

Book - 2011
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Sunny discovers she has magic powers but needs a crash course in spells and juju to help her friends stop a killer, who has abilities much stronger than theirs.
Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2011
ISBN: 9780142420911
Call Number: jF OKOR
Characteristics: 349 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer. But Sunny needs a crash course in spells and juju ... Read More »

A contemporary fantasy with magic both beautiful and chilling.

A 12-Year-Old girl in Nigeria discovers that she is part of a community of people with magical powers. This magic school is definitely not Hogwarts but fans of the boy wizard will appreciate the friendships and adventures.

From the critics

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AndreaG_KCMO Feb 07, 2020

I agree that this book is vivid and imaginative--the Leopard people reside in a unique dual reality created by Okorafor. The culture of this group is ENDLESSLY frustrating to me with the condescension and denial of information. Some secrets unfurl over time, but so much goes unsaid that I can't imagine the reader (and the protagonist) ever fully understanding the Leopards. Is that the author's intent? It seems more of an oversight.

RyanR_KCMO Jan 28, 2020

This book is delightful for the colorful worldbuilding, if nothing else. It delves deep into West-African tradition and mysticism and paints a world with many layers. It is best read if you do not delve too deeply into the narrative questions. It becomes quite maddening how much EVERYONE in this book enjoys withholding information. There are apparent parallels to Harry Potter here, but none so blatant as the tendency of adults to keep kids in the dark about almost everything while asking a great deal of them. Still, a delightfully quick read.

AlishaH_KCMO Jan 23, 2020

Born in the United States but living in Nigeria, twelve year old Sunny feels even more like an outsider because on top of being albino, she just discovered she has magic in her blood and spirit and is known as a Leopard. Sunny's quickly thrown into the world of Leopard people to practice and learn because her and her group of friends now must save the world.

There were many things I enjoyed about this novel - the world building that was uniquely crafted had me sitting right along side the characters. I loved that learning and knowledge is what was valued in the world of Leopards over money.

However, this book didn't 100% work for me.

The book is labeled at "YA" and maybe it's right they do so since there are some more graphic scenes and subject manner, but the voice and vibe of the book is very juvenile. It threw me off the book a bit before I realized.

I could never remember how old the children were - I could remember they were young but the way they acted were much older in my opinion. Sure, you can chop it up to being mature, but that wasn't really it either. The way they talked and interacted with each other made me keep putting them closer to fourteen or fifteen. It also doesn't help how hands off the adults seem to be in the teaching of the children. Just throw them into danger and if they come out alive, that's great - if they don't, the world will still turn.

The pacing of the book threw me off a bit too. We'd have really intense scenes that felt like they were almost glossed over and I got lost in. Others, I'd be excited to read about Sunny's lessons and they would just be summarized as what happen within the last week or month. The ending and the final fight seemed to just run up and smack me in the face and then was gone. It felt like it was missing so much.

Overall I did enjoy the book though and I will be picking up the second in the series to continue the story.

Not as good as the Okorafor's Binti series, in my opinion. A little bit derivative of Harry Potter (although, Okorafor is hardly alone in this) and, at times, stumbles in the writing. Still, an enjoyable read--as is the sequel, Akata Warrior. I especially loved how Okorafor made the story authentically African (Nigerian, to be specific). That alone makes it worth reading. And, I hope, a harbinger of things to come.

Oct 26, 2019

Amazing! An enjoyable read.

Jul 15, 2019

This book really brings to light how different we all are, and that imperfections just make you better. If you enjoy books that involve fantasy and adventure, it is a must read. Imagine that The Hunger Games had a baby with Harry Potter.

Jun 16, 2019

If you like Harry Potter, this is a very similar story and there are many one-to-one comparisons. This is a diverse book read, so if you are dying to step away from a fantasy stories centered on a white male in a European country, this is a fantastic choice. You will not regret it! The audio book is also highly recommended! #PACL2019

IndyPL_JosephL Mar 28, 2019

A fantastic look at the kinds magical fantasy you might see in an entirely different culture from the standard British/European fantasies, specifically the juju magic of Nigeria, Africa, and even some African American traditions. With this twist and the book's focus on the strong female character of the albino Sunny Nwazue, this is a delight to read. What's especially interesting, though, is the way the book sets itself apart from but still reads and flows much like the Harry Potter series.

IndyPL_DeandraW Mar 04, 2019

This magical, fantasy filled book was a great read. You feel a deep connection with the main character Sunny, as she embarks on a journey in finding who she is and what her purpose is. This book teaches you that although you may be different or look different, there is always something extraordinary about you and that sometimes your best friends can help bring out your greatest strengths. I highly recommend this book to those that love to read about magical and mysterious adventures with intriguing characters!

Jan 10, 2019

Sunny Nwazue was born in the US but lives in Nigeria but with her Nigerian-born parents and older brothers. She is an albino. She is picked on at school and doesn't fit in. When a classmate comes to her defense, they become friends and it leads her to some new discoveries about herself, her friends, and the world around her: Sunny has latent magical power.

I was not sure about this book initially. Witches are not my thing usually, but I loved it. It is very close to a 5-star book to me. I felt like sometimes the characters played too much to types, but otherwise it was so much fun. Great teen fantasy that introduces you to another culture. Not so teen that adults can't enjoy it too.

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IndyPL_JosephL Mar 28, 2019

IndyPL_JosephL thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 28, 2017

Natashastales thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

SCCLD LIBRARIANS FOR TEENS thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Nov 28, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: This could be a little frightening. So warning before you read.


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