by Nnedi Okorafor
Nnamdiís dad was the police chief of Kaleria, Nigeria, until his unsolved murder a year ago. A surprising and all-too-brief encounter with his fatherís ghost leaves 12-year-old Nnamdi in possession of the Ikenga, a magical statue. With it, Nnamdi can transform into a larger-than-life, powerful man. He begins targeting the communityís chronic criminals almost by accident, but soon hopes to avenge his father by discovering who was behind his murder. The more he transforms, however, the more Nnamdi struggles to manage his powers and the rage that is starting to become a regular emotion, even when heís himself. And while this mysterious avenger with the dark black skin was initially praised, media coverage begins shifting perception, framing him as someone to fear. The kidnapping of a classmate gives Nnamdi and his best friend, Chioma, the opportunity to begin to put all the pieces of the mystery together, but there are still unexpected revelations before Nnamdi discovers the truth behind his fatherís death. Nnamdiís grief and anger over the loss of his father are so genuine in a story in which the challenges of mastering his supernatural abilities and feelings so he doesnít turn violent adds to the tension. (Ages 8-11)
CCBC Choices 2021. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.
Nnedi Okorafor's acclaimed first novel for middle grade readers 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.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.