Happy Halloween! My favorite part of Halloween is always children and pets in cute costumes. A couple years ago I bought a costume for my cat, but he hates it more than anything in the entire world and wriggled out of it in 30 seconds flat. He’s selfish that way. Anyway. What I don’t like about Halloween are scary, gross things. For example, zombies. Zombies are disgusting. Everyone knows that, right? Does everyone like zombies because they’re disgusting? I don’t get it. The last scary movie I willingly saw was Scream 2, and that’s because, back in my day, Jamie Kennedy was a dreamboat. (He was. I swear. Zac Efron hadn’t been invented yet.)
That said, despite my general aversion to the horror genre, sometimes I accidentally read scary books. Sometimes I even like them. Here are my favorite scary books. They’re spooktacular!! (They’re not really.)
I had heard a lot of great reviews of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, but I wasn’t sure if I would want to read it. I don’t often read historical fiction, especially not war fiction. Also, the cover kind of freaked me out. (I know, I know–don’t judge a book by its cover. But everyone does it!) But since I’d heard so much about Code Name Verity (and observed Abby ignoring everybody at lunch so she could read more of it), I decided I might as well jump in and read it myself. And I’m super glad I did!
Here is the thing about Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor: it is so good that after I read it I just started telling strangers to read it when I was out at bookstores. I know you might think that, as a librarian, I do that all the time, but the thing is… I don’t, at least not outside the library. At least not for books that are as good as Akata Witch.
I guess I also go out of my way to promote Akata Witch because it might not be a book you’d pick up, if it weren’t for a crazy stranger telling you about it at Barnes & Noble. There’s the title. “Akata Witch? What does that even mean?” Then there’s the fact that there’s no movie tie-in. And there’s not even a love triangle or any hot vampires. Why would you even read it?
Well, guys, read it because it’s so so good. It’s a totally unique magic story.