Ikenga (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

"Featuring a young protagonist learning to channel his anger responsibly through a talisman given to him by the ghost of his murdered father, this is a superhero origin story set in contemporary Nigeria. After his father--the Chief of Police of Kalaria--is shot and killed, Nnamdi leaps at a chance to deliver justice when, one year later, the ghost of his father offers him an ikenga. The talisman changes his appearance--he grows tall, his voice deepens, he gains incredible strength, and his skin turns dark as a starless sky, with no face--and with this disguise, Nnamdi starts going after the major criminals of Kalaria. Bullets whiz, wicked villains get pummeled, and there are some deep moments as Nnamdi learns to grow with his power, use it responsibly and with focus, and to rely on his friends-- even when the world is against you. If you're at all a fan of masked vigilantes striving for justice, you'll be cheering for Nnamdi as he comes into the power of IKENGA."

— Tomoko


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.

About the Author

Nnedi Okorafor is the daughter of Nigerian-born (Igbo) parents. She grew up in the Chicago area, with frequent trips back to Nigeria. There she absorbed the history and mythology that infuse her works of science fiction and fantasy. She has received the Hugo, the Nebula, the World Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award for her work, and her fans include Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, John Green, and Ursula Le Guin.  Ms. Okorafor holds a PhD in English. She lives with her daughter in the suburbs of Chicago.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593113523
ISBN-10: 0593113527
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 18th, 2020
Pages: 240