Hasmeen/Jasmine-Grace's Reviews > Ikenga

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor
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it was amazing

A huge thank you to Netgalley and Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From the acclaimed author of Akata Witch and Binti, comes a middle-grade book about a boy yearning for justice who gains the power he desires to make a difference. A year after the death of his father, the honorable chief of police of Kaleria, 12-year old Nnamdi remains filled with grief and anger over his father’s unsolved murder. Everyone believes the Chief of Chiefs, the kingpin of Kaleria’s criminal world, is responsible, but everyone feels powerless to do anything, especially Nnamdi. One night, the ghost of his father visits him and gives him a gift, an Ikenga. The Ikenga gives him the power he craves, but at what cost? Will he be able to channel his newfound powers to find justice for his father and protect his beloved town from being overrun by crime? Or will his rage consume him instead? Read Ikenga to find out. Available starting August 18, 2020.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so that I read the entirety of it in one sitting. It gives a wonderful glimpse into Nigerian life and culture. I especially loved all the mention of the different food. And you best believe, I googled all of them and plan to try some of the recipes I found.

Our protagonist Nnamdi is a huge superhero fan and this made Nnamdi getting super powers extra fun to read about because he gets to reference his favourite superheroes. But the story also highlights the difference between superhero stories and real life. Nnamdi learns that things aren’t always black and white and things are not always what they seem.

One of the main themes of the story is the importance of dealing and controlling our emotions, and not letting it cloud our judgement or consume us. This book also explores themes of injustice and corrupt systems which can open larger conversations with young readers. Ikenga is a story filled with action and heart and I would definitely recommend this book to teachers and librarians everywhere. I myself will be recommending this to the kiddos at our library.
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Reading Progress

May 27, 2020 – Shelved
May 27, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
August 7, 2020 – Started Reading
August 7, 2020 – Finished Reading

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