December 2, 2023

The book is the third placement in the Akata series.

By Helena Olori

World Fantasy award-winning Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Woman, has been announced as the winner of this year’s Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book at the 81st World Science Fiction Convention on October 21, 2023, in Chengdu, China.

Sharing the news via a post on X, Okorafor said, “My novel Akata Woman won the 2023 Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book! It was presented last night at the Hugo Awards in Chengdu (my 1st time in China!).” 

Nigerian-American Author, Nnedi Okorafor’s “Akata Woman” Wins Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book- Afrocritik
Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor - Afrocritik

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The book, described by Time Magazine as “a stunningly original world of African magic”, is the third book in the series that started with Akata Witch, named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time” and “100 Best YA Books of All Time”. The second book in the series, Akata Warrior, was also the winner of the inaugural edition of the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book in 2018.

Akata Woman, like its preceding editions, narrates Sunny Nwazue’s adventures story, an American-born Nigerian girl who sought to understand and control her powers after discovering she had mystical energy flowing in her blood. While grappling with the complexities of her dual life in America, Nigeria, and a mystical world, Sunny embarks on a mission, with the help of her friends, to find a precious object hidden deep in an otherworldly realm.

Akata Warrior - Nnedi Okorafor

(Read also: Ouida Books Launches Phoenix Imprint for African Science Fiction And Fantasy Writers)

The Akata series is one of Okorafor’s bestselling titles. The multiple award-winning and New York Times bestselling novelist has carved a niche for herself in African futurism and African-jujuism, drawing from her African roots “to create captivating stories with unforgettable characters and evocative settings”.

Her work, Who Fears Death, is currently being developed into a TV series at HBO, as well as the Binti Novella Trilogy, a recipient of Hugo and Nebula awards, which is set to hit the big screen soon. 

The Arizona-based author has also written a number of African-futurist comics for Marvel, including Black Panther: Long Live the King, Wakanda Forever, and The Shuri Series.

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