Then she learns why. Her classmate Orlu and his friend Chichi reveal that they have magical abilities- and so does she. And she has a lot of catching up to do. Orlu and Chichi have been working with their teacher for years. Sunny needs a crash course in magical history, spells, juju, shape-shifting and dimensional travel.

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Our main character is Sunny, a twelve-year-old girl born in the U. Sunny stands out in more ways than one shes albino, shes a prodigy at soccer, and shes teased at school for being an akata literally a wild animal because she is from I spent the weekend with a great book: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.

This is the first sign that Sunny is not like other kids. Her powers have begun to awaken. Soon, Sunny makes three new friends who introduce her to the secret world of magic. There is Orlu, her classmate, a kind-hearted boy who has a natural talent for undoing juju spells. Then there is Sasha, an African American boy from Chicago, who was sent to Nigeria for corrective education after terrorizing his classmates back home with an evil spirit — a masquerade. Sunny learns that she is one of the Leopard People, a subset of humans who have strong links to the spirit world.

The Leopards as opposed to the Lambs, regular people have their own society, with centers of juju learning throughout the world. In Nigeria, their town is called Leopard Knocks, and can only be reached by crossing an invisible bridge over a magical river.

As Sunny begins to master her own powers, she realizes the world is a much more incredible and dangerous place than she imagined. A serial killer is on the loose: Black Hat Otokoto, who is stealing and killing children, often removing their eyes in the process.

Can four young Leopard People master enough magic and learn to work together to stop a killer? The answer is by no means certain. Lambs is just a takeoff on Wizards vs. Muggles, or Demigods vs.

Mortals, or any number of other fantasies in which the heroes find they are special and magical. Sure, Akata Witch has some structural similarities I particularly loved the fact that ADHD and dyslexia may be signs that you are a Leopard Person — great minds think alike, etc.

In the world of Leopard People, money is called chittim, and can only be gained by learning. Whenever you cast a new spell or find out something important about your powers, magic money literally falls from the sky — copper the most valuable, gold the least valuable. Any video game fan will appreciate the idea of coins appearing when you defeat an enemy, and personally I felt like chittim fell at my feet whenever I learned about a new monster, spirit or god from Nigerian myth — which happened a lot.

We would read the animal fables of the Ashanti from Ghana and learn the adinkra symbols. We would read Yoruba myths from Nigeria and learn about the ancient gold-rich kingdoms. We would eventually work our way down to the DR Congo and I would tell the heroic epic of Mwindo from the Nyanga people Nkuba the lightning hedgehog — best character ever.

Still, there are so many cultures in West Africa alone, one could spend a whole year learning stories of gods and heroes and only scratch the surface. Best of all, the book hints at future adventures for Sunny and her friends.


Spirit Face



The Akata Books



Everything You Need to Know About AKATA WITCH by Nnedi Okorafor


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