Tag Archives: igbo amaka

Beasts Made of Night

Title: Beasts Made of Night

Author: Tochi Onyebuchi

Publisher:  Razorbill

Number of pages: 295

Type of Book: Fiction, adventure, fantasy

Genre: Young Adult

Age: 13+

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Beasts-Made-Night-Tochi-Onyebuchi/dp/0448493918/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $9.99

MY SUMMARY

Taj is the most talented aki in Kos, the best sin-eater in a town where sins are murderous beasts – inisisa – that make sinners sick until they’re drawn out from their bodies by mages and eaten by akis, where sin beasts leave tattoos on the bodies of the aki and drive them to madness before they get to adulthood, where the aki are treated as outcasts in spite of the fact that people depend on them to live, where even the royals depend on the aki they despise to maintain the premium placed on purity. When Taj eats the King’s sin, he becomes involved in a sinister plot that changes his life and threatens to destroy all he holds dear.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book is a masterpiece. It packs a mean punch with adventure, magic, humour, tragedy, light romance, great pacing, world building and imagery, the use of sensory language, the use of Igbo 😀 , a pseudo Nigerian setting, all in one story. It is YA fantasy at its best. Compared to most books in the same genre, it is short and sweet. I got it because it came highly recommended as mentor text for a novel I’m working on. I love it because it didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, it surpassed expectations.

Tochi is gifted with writing amazing scenes. This gift is pronounced in the action scenes in the book. He uses sensory language and amazing pacing to create scenes which suck you in and make you feel like they’re unfolding right before your eyes. I cannot rave fully about this book without giving spoilers. Spoiler alert: The arashi’s appearance was nothing short of MAGNIFICENT! I had goosebumps! I put the book down, shouted, picked it up and continued reading. 😀

Then the ending, oh my God, the ending!!! It ended with a cliff hanger. He got me!

Finally, the absolute best part of all of this: There’s more to come! Crown of Thunder, the sequel is available online.  

Here’s a paragraph where we’re introduced to our very first sin-beast:

I don’t even hear the doors close behind me, because the sin-beast rears up and roars in my face. I stare up at a massive lion, one of the biggest I’ve seen. The inisisa is formed of shadows so dark that it seems to suck all the light out of the room, even taking the glow from the daga in my hand. Its claws, inky tendrils of black, click against the floor tiles as it settles back on its enormous haunches. Sin made into living, breathing flesh by dark magic.

DOWN: It had a bit of the sagging middle syndrome. There was a brief lull in the story somewhere in the middle (or should I say the beginning of the middle😀 where I found myself struggling to avoid skipping whole paragraphs. I eventually understood why that section was necessary but it was much slower than the other sections of the book.

RATING

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/545186/beasts-made-of-night-by-tochi-onyebuchi/9780448493916/excerpt

CHALLENGE: Beasts Made of Night 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read the excerpt using the link above, then read the excerpt of Children of Blood and Bone in this post and compare the literary devices used by both writers.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 13+ age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 22nd 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

THE ADVENTURES OF OBI AND TITI: QUEEN IDIA’S MASK by O. T Begho

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The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt1

Chapter 1

12 L

“A real waterfall? A real-life waterfall?!” Iphie jumped up, hands on hips, “It’s not true Ada or whatever your name is! There is NO waterfall in Nigeria! It’s only in America and London that you can find things like that! I’m going to another seat, Gennie! Bisi! Let’s go! I don’t have time to sit with people who are not intelligent!” She picked up her school bag and stomped away.

Ada stared at her, her mouth wide open. Suddenly she heard someone laughing behind her. She turned around to see a girl with nice chuku and colourful glass beads that danced as she laughed. She was shaking and wiping tears from her eyes. The name on her tag read ‘Joy’

“Close your mouth joor!’ The girl named Joy said. “Don’t mind her! She doesn’t know anything. She’s a stupid girl. Miss Suo said she’s a fool that doesn’t know that she’s a fool” she laughed harder.

Ada’s eyes opened wider than her mouth.

The girls in this school are mean. I don’t like this school. She thought

“Joy! Iphie is not stupid! YOU are stupid!” the one named Bisi shouted from the back of the class, pointing her forefinger at Joy. “Everybody knows there’s no real waterfall in Nigeria!” She had a huge scowl on her face.

Joy laughed harder. “Chicken Brain!”

“Who are you calling Chicken Brain?!” Bisi jumped up, hands on hips. Ada looked from one girl to the other.

Joy clapped her hands and laughed harder “No one! I’m just singing a song” and she sang to the tune of ‘Old MacDonalds Had a Farm’

Someone has a chicken brain, chicken chicken brain (2x)

With a cuckoo here and a cuckoo there

Here a cuckoo, there a cuckoo, everywhere a cuckoo

Someone has a chicken brain, chicken chicken brain

Everyone in the class burst into laughter. Bisi’s eyes immediately filled with tears.

“Girls are so stupid.” A boy sitting directly behind Ada said to his neighbour and they laughed too. Ada stared at the boy. His name was Osa.

They are all mean. They are all mean. They won’t stop insulting themselves. I don’t like this school

Suddenly the laughing stopped abruptly, and all the girls and boys sat up and faced the front of the class. The class was so quiet that you could hear the sound of Bisi’s angry breaths from the back.

Ada turned slowly away from Osa back to the front of the class. She looked at the classroom door. A woman stood there. She was a tall skinny woman with tight chuku that drew her tiny eyes towards her hair, lips that were so thin they looked like two lines drawn with a very sharp pencil and a pointed nose with a shiny tip. She was frowning so much that her eyebrows were almost touching.  She looked like a bird, a very angry bird.

“Good morning Ms. Emem” The class chorused.

“Stand up all of you, raise your hands, close your eyes and open your mouth! You’ll stay in that position for 10 minutes!”

Through half-shut eyes, Ada watched as the rest of the class quickly obeyed the teacher. Ms. Emem walked round the class immediately, her heels tapping hard against the floor as she slapped backs, raised hands higher in the air, making sure they all obeyed her instructions.

“My class is always the noisiest class in the whole school.” She muttered as she walked to her desk.  “Stupid children”

Ada squeezed her eyes shut as she walked past her.

I don’t like this school

Her eyes twitched and lips trembled. She didn’t want to cry, she knew the other kids would laugh at her. I don’t like this school. I want to go back to my old school. I don’t like this school. I don’t like it. 

“Sit!!” Ms. Emem barked from her chair and they hurriedly put their hands down and thanked her. When she sat on her chair, Ada felt something. It was a piece of paper. A note. She turned back and looked around. No one was looking at her, no one smiled. She wondered how the paper got to her chair and who put it there. Slowly she unfolded it and read:

 

There are waterfalls in Nigeria.

Meet me at the library by 12.

Don’t be Late.

Z.

 

 to be continued …  

 

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Only Bread for Eze

EZE BREAD-curves

 

Title: Only Bread for Eze

Author: Ifeoma Okoye

Publisher: Farafina Tuuti

Number of pages: 16

Type of Book: Fiction; African

Age: 2 – 6

Available here: https://www.mobiashara.com/Farafina/only-bread-eze; http://www.amazon.com/Only-Bread-Eze-Ifeoma-Okoye/dp/9784801213

Price: N300; $3.58

MY SUMMARY

There was once a little boy, his name was Eze. He liked to eat only bread.”

In the Eze series, Eze, the protagonist is a little boy who wants what he wants when he wants it. At first, he didn’t want to go to school, read ‘No School for Eze’ to find out the sidesplitting way his mum took care of that problem and without the normal shouting and flogging that was the norm for the mums of my mum’s generation or the ‘ignoring’ and ‘naughty corner’ that is the norm for the mums of my generation. In this book, Eze’s father is the genius. Eze decides that he doesn’t like garri or anything else for that matter, he’d rather eat bread. Angry, Eze’s dad grants Eze’s wish. Read the book to find out how Eze’s dad cures him of his love for ‘only bread’.

This book brings reminds me of the saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for ‘cos you just might get it’

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour! I had a good laugh. Darling Eze’s refusal to eat garri reminded me of my own childhood. I couldn’t understand the mums’ fixation with ‘daily lunchtime garri’ 🙂

The book teaches young children the importance of discipline without being didactic. It is very easy to read. Another highlight was the reference to typical Nigerian meals: rice and stew, beans and plantain, yam, gar and okro soup, etc. I recommend this book for beginning readers.

DOWN: Warning: Eze’s dad’s idea may not work at home (at least not in the same way), simply because, most kids, unlike Eze may not give up quickly. My son, for example, would have stuck it out for a full day at least. I wont explain in detail. Buy the book for your beginning reader or read it to your toddler *wink wink*

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Eze’s favourite food in the world. Bread!

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  • Team the reading experience with a review of your child’s food choices.
  • Watch a video of the book reading here:

CHALLENGE: Only Bread for Eze

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

What do you like eating?

  1. Draw and name three things you like eating (5-6 year oldsOR
  1. Draw two things you like eating (4 year oldsOR
  2. Draw or name one thing you like eating. (2-3 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 2 – 6 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Wednesday, March 2nd 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Hans Christian Andersen