Today's book review is brought to you by my 12-year-old son, Simeon. To say he's a voracious reader would be an understatement. It's not an exaggeration to say that the kid goes through a dozen books a week. But after visiting a recent book sale at our local library, a couple of his choices surprised me. Now that he's plowed through the texts, I was curious about them, so I decided on a short interview/review of the series: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.
TITLE: Akata Witch (Book 1) and Akata Warrior (Book 2)
AUTHOR: Nnedi Okorafor
PAGES: 349; 377 (respectively)
AUDIENCE: Sim says that since there is some terrorism and racism in the book, he would say that kids 12 and older should read it.
Because I haven't personally read these books, the format for this Q&D will be a little different.
Me: What made you choose this series to read, Sim?
Sim: Well, I found it at the book sale, and it looked interesting because it was about magic but from the perspective of an albino African girl. Not something you would usually see. It intrigued me.
M: What was your favorite aspect of the story?
S: I really like that it talks about magic and fantasy and plays it from an African perspective. Basically, the characters are witches and wizards, but there are no broomsticks or wands. It's kind of like Harry Potter but set in Africa. There is one character from Africa, but the other is an African-American from the United States. I don't want to give anything away. But the characters have disabilities, things that make it hard for them. But those things are also what gives them greater magical abilities. That's cool.
M: Who do you think would like reading these books?
S: It would definitely have to be older kids, people who would understand stuff. Probably someone who likes Harry Potter or Inkheart [by Cornelia Funke] would like it. It does have good humor it in. The characters are really witty, and the plot is pretty fast-paced.
M: What was your personal take-away from the book?
S: Well, when the world around you is changing, it's hard to find your place in it. But you can discover who you are through all that changing. It's a good message.