AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: Akata Witch (Akata #1) by Nnedi Okorafor



Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged into the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?

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Why the YA Community isn’t for teens, a lot of the timeĀ 

I’m back again! 

This time not a review or a reaction, a thinkpiece at best. 

YA without a doubt is my go to genre. Whenever I go to my local library that’s my safe place. I know that they’re new things to explore and familiar things as well. I’ve been reading YA my whole life, as a teen it’s awesome to be taken seriously when so many brush us off. 

As much I was a fan of the YA genre, I was terrified to start a book blog. I didn’t think I would be taken seriously as a reviewer in the YA genre. Most of the reviewers I saw in this community where older and it was intimidating. Finally I said screw it, isn’t YA for teens anyway?

That’s what I think so many people forget: YA is for teens! Why should I be intimidated to talk about a genre written for me? Why should I be afraid to speak out in a community that’s about me? I admit I’m late to game, I just turned 18 and to most that means I’m not a kid anymore. They’re right I recognize that I’m getting older but, why aren’t teens getting recognition in a genre that’s about them?

Why should those that are clearly not teenagers anymore and don’t work with teenagers get more rep in this community than a 15 year old? 

We need to make this community safe for all teens. Give them a platform to speak out in this community, don’t speak over them. YA is for teens but so many of us forget that too often. 

As someone who’s barely out of her teens, I often feel ignored in favor of those older than me. I feel way more afraid to speak my mind than someone who is thirty years old and white. I live in constant fear that I’ll be attacked for speaking out against injustices in this community. I feel the constant need to prove myself in this community that should be about kids my age. When I hear people say this community isn’t fun anymore, I laugh because it’s hardly fun for a teen my age. 

 I’m not the most eloquent writer, nor do I know how to express myself very well but I try all the time. I’m not perfect but I’m willing to listen and learn to those I’ve hurt. But those that are older in this community very rarely listen. 

I’m rambling now, but I wrote this post because I want teens to feel safe and heard in this community. I want teens to have a voice in a genre that’s about them.