Read It Forward: “Akata Witch” Author Nnedi Okorafor Visits

St. Louis Public Library presents our spring 2018 Read It Forward with Nnedi Okorafor featuring her fantastic young adult novel “Akata Witch.” “Akata Witch” is a thrilling story about Sunny, an albino girl born in America, who has returned to her homeland in Nigeria. Struggling to fit in, she makes three unlikely friends who reveal the world of the Leopard people, humans who have magical abilities and links to the spirit world. Sunny soon discovers she is a “free agent” with extraordinary powers of her own and a secret family tree. These friends work together to hone their unique magical skills to take on a dark force that has been terrorizing their town.

Nnedi Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism for both children and adults. Born in the United States to two Nigerian immigrant parents, Nnedi is known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. She is the winner of the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy Awards, and the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. “Akata Warrior,” the sequel to “Akata Witch,” was released in 2017. Nnedi is a full professor at the University at Buffalo, New York (SUNY). She is currently working with George R.R. Martin and HBO to develop a new television series. Learn more about Nnedi Okorafor at

The St. Louis Public Library’s Read It Forward program promotes literacy and offers teens an opportunity to grow their personal library and meet an amazing author. Free copies of “Akata Witch” are available for teens and adults at any St. Louis Public Library location, while supplies last. Nnedi Okorafor will be presenting at Central Library (1301 Olive Street) on March 14th from 7-8pm. Enjoy the book, meet the author, and Read It Forward by sharing the experience with others. 

For more information click here or call 314-539-0332. 

[TED]. (2017, November 22). Sci-fi stories that imagine a future Africa I Nnedi Okorafor. Video Source.



Below is an excerpt from "Akata Witch" by Nnedi Okorafor.

"Good," Anatov said. He walked a circle around her. "Okay," he mumbled. He reached into his pocket and brought out a handful of white powder and started sifting it from his hand as he circled her again. This time he moved slowly. When he’d completed the powder circle, he brought out a knife. It had a handle with red jewels. The blade was shiny and very sharp looking.

Sunny glanced at Orlu, who gave a small smile of encouragement. All she could think about was the Black Hat. Anatov was too close for her to make a run for the door. "Excuse me," she stammered. "What are you…"

"You’ll remember this for a long time,’"Anatov said with a chuckle. She leaned away from him, her hand up as a shield, as he raised the sharp, shiny knife. She braced herself. But no blow came. He seemed to be drawing in the air. A soft --a circle with a cross in the center—floated above her head like smoke. Slowly, it descended on her.

"Hold your breath," Chichi said just as it touched her upturned face. But before she could, she was pulled down. Yanked like a rag doll. First through the hut’s dirt floor and then into sweet-smelling earth.

Akata Witch

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