The Akata Books

Finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

The term “Leopard person” is a West African coinage, derived from the Efik term “ekpe,” or “leopard.”

All people of true mystical ability are Leopard people.

Akata Witch

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Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. She looks West African, but is so sensitive to the sun (due to her albinism) that she can’t play soccer during the day. She doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

Then she learns why.

Her classmate Orlu and his friend Chichi reveal that they have magical abilities- and so does she. Sunny is a “free agents,” overflowing with latent power. 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. Her new world is a secret from her family, but it’s well worth all of the silence, exhaustion and sneaking around.

Still, there is a dark side. After she’s found her footing, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi, and their American friend Sasha are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a criminal. Not just a run-of-the-mill bad guy. A real-life hardcore serial killer-with abilities far stronger than theirs.

Buy on Amazon

Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. She looks West African, but is so sensitive to the sun (due to her albinism) that she can’t play soccer during the day. She doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

Then she learns why.

Her classmate Orlu and his friend Chichi reveal that they have magical abilities- and so does she. Sunny is a “free agents,” overflowing with latent power. 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. Her new world is a secret from her family, but it’s well worth all of the silence, exhaustion and sneaking around.

Still, there is a dark side. After she’s found her footing, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi, and their American friend Sasha are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a criminal. Not just a run-of-the-mill bad guy. A real-life hardcore serial killer-with abilities far stronger than theirs.

Akata Warrior

Release date: October 3rd, 2017

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A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, a 12-year-old American born girl raised mostly in Nigeria, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society, began developing her magical powers, and, as if this weren’t enough, was chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu.

Now, stronger, feistier and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and unlocking the secrets of the living script in her strange Nsibidi book. Then a monster tries to drag her into a lake and this is only the beginning of her troubles. Eventually, Sunny must confront her destiny and with the support of her Leopard Society member friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face Anyanwu, journey to the mysteries town of Osisi to fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards, merges real images of Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior is a compelling tale that mixes culture, fantasy, history and magic into a unique blend that will keep readers spellbound

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, a 12-year-old American born girl raised mostly in Nigeria, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society, began developing her magical powers, and, as if this weren’t enough, was chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu.

Now, stronger, feistier and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and unlocking the secrets of the living script in her strange Nsibidi book. Then a monster tries to drag her into a lake and this is only the beginning of her troubles. Eventually, Sunny must confront her destiny and with the support of her Leopard Society member friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face Anyanwu, journey to the mysteries town of Osisi to fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards, merges real images of Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior is a compelling tale that mixes culture, fantasy, history and magic into a unique blend that will keep readers spellbound

Awards (for both books)

The Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (finalist)

An Amazon.com 2011 Best Book of the Year

A YALSA 2011 Best Book of the Year

A Junior Library Guild Selection

A New York Times Editor’s Choice selection

A New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2017

A Barnes & Noble Best Young Adult Book of 2017

A 2017 Booklist Editor's Choice.

A Best Book of the Year by Black Authors (The Root)

A Bustle Magazine Best YA Novel Of 2011

Praise

“Fans of Akata Witch will fall again for the wondrously intriguing fantasy world in modern-day Nigeria in this imaginative sequel [Akata Warrior]...VERDICT Don’t miss this beautifully written fantasy that seamlessly weaves inventive juju with contemporary Nigerian culture and history.”
-School Library Journal (Starred Review)
“AKATA WARRIOR IS AMAZING! The most imaginative, gripping, enchanting fantasy novels I have ever read!”
-Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of books for all ages
Sunny as a character is beautiful, strong, and resilient, and her host of friends and allies are well-drawn and compelling, adding to the magic of the story. Okorafor’s novel will ensnare readers and keep them turning pages until the very end to see if and how Sunny fulfills the tremendous destiny that awaits her.
-Booklist (Starred Review)
“If you’re tiring of knights, dragons and Merlin-type wizards and are interested in exploring a fresh and different world of magic, try Akata Witch. It’s jam-packed with mythological wonders.”
-Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series and films
“Akata Witch is a spectacular tale of a young woman coming to power in a truly global environment.”
-Ms Magazine
“The book is similar in theme to many other coming-of-age fantasies, but the details are distinctly African, the language unrushed and elegant.”
-The Los Angeles Times
“Started reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor on the plane ride home. All I can say so far is YES.”
-Veronica Roth (author of the Divergent series and Carve the Mark)
“Akata Witch reminds young readers that neither fantasy heroes nor Western nations have a guaranteed “special destiny,” but it also celebrates the shared adventure of everyday life on our planet.”
-The Brooklyn Rail
“Nnedi Okorafor is opening doors into strange and beautiful new worlds. Her heroes are beguiling, her magic firmly rooted in real places and real things. Rich, mysterious and convincing, AKATA WITCH takes fantasy in a haunting new direction.”
-Jonathan Stroud, author of the Bartimaeus series
“Okorafor’s fantastic tale unfolds against the vivid backdrop of Nigeria, a melting pot of culture clash, of the Leopard people vs. the Lambs, of tradition vs. "modern" ways, of community vs. greed. She skillfully weaves a tale of adolescents’ search to belong with a tradition of African magic and a memorable portrait gallery of characters for a most thrilling and different murder mystery.”
-The Buffalo News (New York)
"As always, Okorafor effortlessly blends in critiques and observations of modern culture, reflecting on police brutality; the casual, familial misogyny in even the most modern households; and the cultural misunderstanding that can put Africans and African Americans at odds."
-The Washington Post
"Okorafor invents wild, fantastical creatures and worlds, but she’s got an even rarer gift, too: She can describe the effect of using magic — the emotional and physiological repercussions of it — so viscerally, it’s as if it were a fever we’d contracted ourselves."
-The New York Times
"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."
-Bulletin for the Center for Chiildren’s Books (Starred Review)
“A compelling and often terrifying version of one of fantasy literature's most enduring traditions, [a perilous quest], recast in a thoroughly original way.”
-Chicago Tribune
“Okorafor has created two thoroughly engaging worlds in her books — that of Nigeria today, and the world of spirits, masquerades and secret languages that her main characters alone are able to navigate. The power of this book lies in the fact that she makes both worlds so vividly real, dangerous and intriguing, meaning that readers will be invested in Sunny’s battles in both worlds.”
-RT Book Reviews
“[Sunny’s] story has shifted from what was largely a tale of initiation and education (with even a few echoes of Harry Potter) into a full-blown epic…Okorafor offers a clear-eyed view of the real Nigeria…This is a book about kids trying to learn the world even as they need to battle a few cosmic terrors along the way. AKATA WARRIO turns out to indeed be the epic that AKATA WITCH seemed to promise, and it’s a pretty spectacular one at that.”
-Locus Magazine
“A charming adventure stocked with a house-sized spider, an Afro comb gifted by a goddess, and a giant flying rodent—one who loves hip-hop.”
-Kirkus Reviews
"The reader gets tangled up in Sunny’s journey in the most delicious of ways. The lush world and high-stakes plot are fun, imaginative, timely, and authentic. Sunny as a character is beautiful, strong, and resilient, and her host of friends and allies are well-drawn and compelling, adding to the magic of the story. Okorafor’s novel will ensnare readers and keep them turning pages until the very end."
-Booklist, starred review
"Okorafor invents wild, fantastical creatures and worlds but she has a rarer gift too: She can describe the effect of using magic—the emotional and physiological repercussions of it—so viscerally, it’s as if it were a fever we’d contracted ourselves…the action sequences are enthralling. In the most memorable one, Sunny must ask a favor from a house-size female spider who is so terrifying, even Tolkien’s Shelob would want to wait in the car…Okorafor describes Sunny’s moments of anguish beautifully, as well as her feelings of kinship and wonder. This is a novel about a girl who’s just trying to find her place in the world, when she’s called upon to save it."
-New York Times Book Review
"Akata Warrior is Nnedi Okorafor’s sequel to her award-winning novel Akata Witch, and it is longer and better than its predecessor… As always, Okorafor effortlessly blends in critiques and observations of modern culture, reflecting on police brutality; the casual, familial misogyny in even the most modern households; and the cultural misunderstanding that can put Africans and African Americans at odds. This book, although written for young adults, is sophisticated in parsing out these adult issues, and it is a salve for grown-ups who may see themselves reflected in these very real, funny kids."
-Washington Post
"The sheer joy of something like the ‘Akata’ series is the feeling that I simply have not read this before, and that is so rare…It’s fantasy, yet it comes from a cultural place that isn’t the stuff we’ve already seen 1,000 times before."
-Neil Gaiman
"This new YA novel brilliantly mixes fantasy and today's Nigeria to create a new enticing world."
-PopSugar
"Mythology, fantasy, science fiction, history, and magic blend into a compelling tale that will hold readers spellbound."
-Chicago Review of Books
"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."
-Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
"Nnedi Okorafor’s talented use of the pen is the gift that keeps on giving."
-Okayafrica
"Okorafor’s imagination never ceases to amaze me, nor does her storytelling ability. The layers of story in this installment in Sunny’s adventure were complex and revealed so much about Sunny, her family, and her friends. Sunny’s coming-of-age continues and weaves so perfectly with the brilliantly alive storylines of the people, spirits, and creatures around her—including her wasp artist, Della—and was captivating from page one."
-Wandering Bark Books