Ikenga

Set against the backdrop of contemporary Nigeria, Nnedi Okorafor’s first novel for middle grade readers introduces a boy who can access super powers with the help of the mystical Ikenga.

Nnamdi's father was a good chief of police, perhaps the best Kalaria had ever had. He was determined to root out the criminals that had invaded the town. But then he was murdered, and most people believed the Chief of Chiefs, most powerful of the criminals, was responsible. Nnamdi has vowed to avenge his father, but he wonders what a twelve-year-old boy can do. Until a mysterious nighttime meeting, the gift of a mystical object that enables super powers, and a charge to use those powers for good changes his life forever. How can he fulfill his mission? How will he learn to control his newfound powers?

Set against the backdrop of contemporary Nigeria, Nnedi Okorafor’s first novel for middle grade readers introduces a boy who can access super powers with the help of the mystical Ikenga.

Nnamdi's father was a good chief of police, perhaps the best Kalaria had ever had. He was determined to root out the criminals that had invaded the town. But then he was murdered, and most people believed the Chief of Chiefs, most powerful of the criminals, was responsible. Nnamdi has vowed to avenge his father, but he wonders what a twelve-year-old boy can do. Until a mysterious nighttime meeting, the gift of a mystical object that enables super powers, and a charge to use those powers for good changes his life forever. How can he fulfill his mission? How will he learn to control his newfound powers?

I’m so excited to present this tale of a black boy embracing his power on his own terms in the face of strife. It’s both a universal and specific narrative full of mysticism and adventure, and this was an absolute joy to write..
-Nnedi Okorafor