**4.5-stars rounded up**
Nnedi Okorafor’s, Akata Witch, is an absolute treat for any YA or Middle Grade Reader who loves a magical school trope!
I was absolutely blown away by how invested I became in this story. The lore, the action, the relationships were all beautifully done.
Sunny, a 12-year old albino girl, who recently moved from New York city to Aba, Nigeria, has a hard-time fitting in. When people look at her, they seem to immediately pass judgement on her because she looks different.
At school, there are some kids she always seems to be butting heads with.
The one person who seems to accept her, full stop, is a boy named Orlu. They begin spending time together and he introduces her to a vibrant girl named, Chichi.
Chichi doesn’t go to their school as she is home-schooled by her Mom.
When Sunny first goes to Chichi’s home, she’s astounded by the number of books. The house itself seems to be built of books and on such interesting topics.
It is through Orlu and Chichi, and their afternoons together, that Sunny ultimately learns of the Leopard People, a group of magical individuals living amongst them.
Sunny is then told, that she herself, is one of these people. It is then that Sunny’s education truly begins.
Orlu and Chichi have been learning about their gifts as Leopard People for a while, so Sunny starts out a little behind.
In spite of this, she learns quickly and begins to relish her new found powers.
Together the three kids are joined by Sasha, a boy from America, and they form the youngest Oha Coven ever.
They are tasked with hunting down a serial killer, Black Hat Otokoto, kidnapping and killing children in their area.
The fearsome-foursome go head-to-head against some truly dark forces to try to protect life as we know it.
I loved this friend group so much. Their relationships blossomed over the course of the story and I grew to love each and every one of them.
I loved how Okorafor weaved the magical realm seamlessly into our own world. It was so believable. It made me believe anyway.
If you are someone who loves a strong friendship group, coming together in the face of evil, with magic, heart and humor, you absolutely need to pick this book up.
It’s so much from the very start. Super engaging, full of action and interesting characters.
I also loved the the way the folklore and legends were introduced into the story. I thought it was such a clever format for learning about the world.
I will absolutely be picking up the next book, Akata Warrior, very soon.
Is this really only going to be a duology? I feel like there is so much room this story to grow. I never want to say goodbye to Sunny, Orlu, Chichi or Sasha. Damn. I’m getting emotional already and I’ve only read the first book…