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Ikenga
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Ikenga
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Nnedi Okorafor's acclaimed first novel for middle grade children introduces a boy who can access super powers with the help of the magical Ikenga. Nnamdi's father was a good chief of police, perhaps...
Nnedi Okorafor's acclaimed first novel for middle grade children introduces a boy who can access super powers with the help of the magical Ikenga. Nnamdi's father was a good chief of police, perhaps...
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  • Nnedi Okorafor's acclaimed first novel for middle grade children introduces a boy who can access super powers with the help of the magical 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 magical 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? Award-winning Nnedi Okorafor, acclaimed for her Akata novels, introduces a new and engaging hero in her first novel for middle grade readers set against a richly textured background of contemporary Nigeria.

About the Author-

  • Nnedi Okorafor is an author of fantasy and science fiction for both adults and younger readers. Her Tor.com novella Binti won the 2015 Hugo and Nebula Awards; her children's book Long Juju Man won the 2007-08 Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa; and her adult novel Who Fears Death was a World Fantasy Award winner.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 22, 2020
    A year after his father—respected police chief of Nigerian suburb Kaleria—is murdered and 12-year-old Nnamdi and his mother fall into difficult circumstances, the boy encounters his dad’s ghost. The spirit gives him an Ikenga, an ebony figurine that can transform Nnamdi into an enormous space-black figure with immense strength and superhuman senses. Through this alter ego, soon dubbed The Man and called out by the new police chief for embracing vigilante justice, the boy takes on Kaleria’s most nefarious criminals, including the feared Chief of Chiefs, whom Nnamdi believes is responsible for his father’s death. The powers also ignite equally powerful feelings that Nnamdi struggles to control. Blending Nigerian culture and American comics, Okorafor (the Akata series) has created a black hero struggling to work toward justice while navigating inequitable power structures and others’ definitions of who he is. Details, including Igbo phrases, villain names (Three Days Journey, Mama Go-Slow), and food descriptions, evoke a vivid sense of place amid the story’s recognizable beats. Fans of classic
    superheroes—including Nnamdi’s favorite, the Incredible Hulk—and readers looking for a young superhero will find a champion in Nnamdi. Ages 10–up. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine With his remarkably deep and resonant voice, narrator Ben Onwukwe adds even more intrigue to this nuanced superhero story, set in contemporary Nigeria. While mourning the murder of his father, young Nnamdi receives a supernatural gift. With it, he can transform into a powerful shadowman, the ideal alter ego for exacting revenge on the superpowered criminals he blames for his father's death. Onwukwe's dramatic pacing and exaggerated characterizations are perfectly in keeping with the story's heightened world-building. Listeners can easily imagine the comic book speech bubbles surrounding the dialogue of the eccentric villains. Onwukwe's narration provides a vivid contrast to the gravity of Nnamdi's grief and rage. A superlative listen for superhero fans. R.A.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine

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    Tantor Media, Inc.
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