Thank you for letting my daughter read this book she absolutely adored it. Nigeria Jones was supposed to be working with and I like that she was a good role model for my teenage daughter. I look forward to her reading more books by this author
"Nigeria Jones" by Ibi Zoboi offers a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of identity, family, and the courage to challenge the status quo. While not my favorite book by Zoboi, I found myself drawn into Nigeria's world and captivated by the issues raised in the story.
Nigeria, raised within the confines of the Movement, finds her world turned upside down when her mother disappears, leaving her to navigate newfound responsibilities and confront uncomfortable truths about her family's past. As she searches for her mother, Nigeria is forced to confront her own beliefs and desires, ultimately discovering the power of self-discovery and the importance of forging her own path.
Zoboi's narrative is both powerful and nuanced, tackling complex themes such as race, identity, and the pursuit of authenticity with sensitivity and depth. Nigeria's journey of self-discovery is compelling and relatable, offering a poignant coming-of-age story that resonates with readers.
While "Nigeria Jones" may not be my favorite book by Zoboi, it is undeniably an important addition to her body of work. Its exploration of identity and the courage to challenge societal norms makes it a relevant and impactful read for teens navigating their own journeys of self-discovery.
Ibi Zoboi is an automatic read for me. Nigeria Jones is no exception. Great oremise for the book. Well written and planned out. I wouldn't change a thing about this book.
This YA gem is a vibrant tapestry of diverse voices and experiences that breathes new life into the genre. The characters are a dynamic mix of backgrounds, each bringing a unique perspective to the narrative. The author effortlessly captures the essence of teenagehood with authenticity and relatability.
The plot is not just a journey of self-discovery but a celebration of individuality and the strength that comes from embracing one's roots. The pacing is swift, reflecting the energy and passion of the young protagonists as they navigate the challenges of adolescence.
What sets this book apart is its commitment to showcasing a multitude of cultures, identities, and voices. It's a refreshing departure from the conventional YA narratives, offering a much-needed representation of the diverse tapestry of our world. The themes explored, from friendship and love to identity and acceptance, resonate deeply with the target audience.
The prose is engaging and accessible, making it a perfect read for both seasoned YA enthusiasts and newcomers to the genre. In the end, this diverse and dynamic YA novel is a beacon of inclusivity, reminding readers that everyone's story deserves to be told and celebrated.
Nigeria Jones. Warrior Princess. A teenage black girl raised in Philadelphia to be a part of a movement. Everything about her life has been as a part of the movement. She is homeschooled, her diet is subject to the ways of the movement, rituals are practiced together and her family is her community....her community is her family.
Until she is forced to face it all and, with a bit of distance and outside perspective, she realizes that not all of what the Movement stands for is what she wants to stand for.
While this is a story of racial divides and culture, this is even more so a story of coming of age. Of defining freedom. Of finding oneself and deciding, on one's own terms, what values and dreams will make up one's future.
There were some really wise commentary on evaluating what we've always being told and looking for the truths (and the untruths) to be found.
At times I found a bit of it on the nose but I think it was written to be purposefully pointed to show the dichotomy that Nigeria was caught in. She was raised to understand systematic racism but longed to be a part of the white school and once there found that maybe it wasn't exactly as her father and the movement had portrayed. As a movement, instead of wanting to change the systems and structures, they wanted to create their own world and remove themselves which, in itself, felt a bit cultish to me. There was a lot being said and some deep emotions brought to the table that I think are valuable and important. I was intrigued by some of the conversations about race and color because she didn't take the usual approach in a lot of her thought process. In some cases, I was left wondering what Zoboi actually believed in the matter; was she being sincere and searing or was she bringing satire to the table?
Despite all the deep themes presented, I did find it a bit of a slog to read. It took a long time to build for me and I struggled to connect to any of the characters. I found her father completely unapproachable and I found Nigeria to be a bit all over the map, both which could have been intentional. As much as I wanted to feel the rage and emotional connection to what Nigeria was experiencing, and at some points did, I was more often frustrated with her. The side characters were equally unlikeable and the two love interest characters were hard to root for.
I found myself rolling my eyes at the sex scene and the twist at the end was far more expected than surprising. I would have rather that a massive truth like that be wound into the story to enrich the emotion than dropped at the end.
All of that said, this was a debut from an author with lots to say. While I might be a bit mixed in my feelings about it, I think it's a unique telling of a not so unique story that can certainly bring something to the table.
I have to admit I was a little confused when I first started this book and trying to figure out if it was in the past or present setting wise, Nigerias world is vastly different that most and seeing her navigate it is hard.
Nigeria Jones's father is the leader of a Black liberation group, and her whole life has been about the movement. But her world has been shaken ever since her mother left--now Nigeria's life is all about caring for her baby brother and supporting the men in the movement. As she begins to seek out a life beyond the movement, she finds her own voice and begins to chart her own future.
I've read most of Ibi Zoboi's books and I think this is one of her stronger ones! I did feel that the writing was a little hard to get into at first but once I switched to the audiobook it worked much better for me. I really enjoyed watching Nigeria wake up to the misogyny within her father's movement and begin to question the way women are treated within their community. It's an empowering read that I think will resonate with many readers, especially young Black girls/women.
I'll be recommending this one to fans of "This is My America" by Kim Johnson or "I Rise" by Marie Arnold.
Nigeria is trying to find herself within the confines of her father's world...he is an African American prophet of sorts...and of her mother having left the family. Zoboi's writing is wonderful. This book could have been a bit shorter but I think HS girls will like it.
*Given an advanced reading copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi follows the daughter of a Black revolutionary in Philadelphia trying to fulfill her mother’s wish for her to have a normal life.
Sixteen-year-old Nigeria is the daughter of Kofi Sankofa, an activist who has built his identity and his community around uplifting people in the African diaspora with his pro-African beliefs. Nigeria has always been in his shadow as his warrior princess who can practice shooting guns under the protection of the Second Amendment and organize the youth who seek guidance in their community household. She also takes care of her 1-year-old brother Freedom.
With her mother missing, Nigeria takes it upon herself to be that motherly figure to Freedom while trying to find answers of why her mother is no longer around. Her mother’s friend KD, a White woman, tells Nigeria that her mother wanted her to attend the Philadelphia Friends School, a Quaker high school. It’s the same school KD’s daughter Sage, who is biracial, attends. And Sage and Nigeria used to be close, but Kofi has driven a wedge between the families, not wanting someone White in his circle who could allegedly taint his daughter’s mind. Nigeria has been homeschooled her whole life with her education focusing on the African diaspora rather than European history taught in American schools. But if Nigeria’s mother wanted her daughter to go to school, then what is the problem?
While still upholding her responsibilities, Nigeria wanders into the high school her mother had hopes she would attend. At Philly Friends, she follows Sage and her cousin, Kamau, through hallways and in classrooms struggling to find the balance between her tailored education at home and the one presented to her at a predominantly White school. Her new environment welcomes new opportunities, like getting involved in the diversity, equity, and inclusion club and practicing for debate club with a White boy named Liam, who seems to understand Nigeria better than she thought he would. As she battles her father in attending the school, she finds herself tracing the events that led to her mother’s disappearance. Since it was her mother who registered her for the previous school year before she faded out of the picture, Nigeria feels she needs to better understand her mother’s whereabouts in order to accept the new life she envisions for herself.
The story touches on eldest daughter syndrome, a branch of the birth order theory that has taken over the internet. The eldest daughters are usually the ones with the most responsibility and the ones who receive the most blame. Nigeria is experiencing this phenomenon while also coming out of being the only child for 15 years. Though her father treats her as his version of the apple of his eye, Kofi smothers any chance for Nigeria to find her own path under his roof. She supports his teachings while not quite understanding the world outside her home. The father-daughter dynamic pushes Nigeria to seek her own world because her mother is no longer there to soften the blow of any tension between her and her father. Most teenagers are finding themselves around 16, but Nigeria's journey feels more complicated without her mother and knowing that her mother had other plans for their lives.
Overall, the conflict between Nigeria and the Movement she grew up in makes this young adult novel more layered. The main character is a teenager who really hasn't experienced the real world with being tied to a community house where she is homeschooled. She is striving to do something most kids her age already do: attend school, especially attend an excellent high school in order to attend an excellent university. But we see all these factors at home weighing her down to the point she doesn't know how to escape, or she escapes with guilt. It's a heavier read with the blend of racial and social justice elements that come up throughout the story, but it speaks to the teenage girl who feels like she is unable to think for herself because her life is being controlled at every turn.
This was such a captivating coming-of-age YA novel that really took me by surprise!!! It was beautifully written and so engrossing it had me hooked from the beginning. I will say it starts out as a slow burn but it was worth every minute. The plot provides a fascinating exploration of family dynamics, self-discovery, freedom, and alternatives for following your own path regardless of your upbringing.
It follows Nigeria Jones raised as part of the Movement, a Black separatist group based in Philadelphia. She was homeschooled, vegan, and participated in traditional rituals to connect her and other kids from the group to their ancestors. But when her mother disappears, Nigeria’s world is upended and she begins to question everything.
The character development was great and very diverse. I loved how all of the characters aided in Nigeria’s life and came to her rescue whether the situation was good or bad. At the end of the day everyone wanted what was best for her. The relationship she had with her father became very dysfunctional after her mother’s disappearance and I found myself siding with Nigeria during their disputes. I felt her dad was overly controlling and to stuck in his ways to really want more for her.
The best part of this story was the mystery that surrounded her mother and actually learning what occurred. I had my assumptions but I was totally wrong so that was a great twist in the novel. I also enjoyed that there were realistic developments throughout that helped Nigeria shape her own path and really come to terms with everything that was happening around her. The last few chapters definitely explain why she behaved a certain way and was suddenly second guessing her father’s way of life.
Overall, the book was amazing and so worth the read. I definitely recommend!!! Special thanks to the author & @balzerandbray for my gifted copy.
Ibi Zoboi is such a powerful author. This new novel packs such a punch. It's a coming of age story. But so much more. We follow our main character Nigeria Jones goes through so much. She has to find herself while also navigating through family secrets, and family decisions. Becoming her own revolution.
Nigeria Jones, by Ibi Zoboi
Nigeria Jones is the only daughter of the leader of a Black separatist group (called The Movement). Nigeria’s mother has left, leaving Nigeria to pick up the pieces and to care for her baby brother. Soon, however, it becomes apparent the Nigeria’s mother had different hopes and dreams for her daughter. Will Nigeria find the strength and wherewithal to step into a new role in The Movement? Or will she finally step into the light and forge a path of her own?
Much thanks to @netgalley & the publisher for this advanced copy!
I am constantly conflicted with Ibi Zoboi's work.
Zoboi has amazing ideas, and hearing her speak about her books is always an experience. She truly is an amazing speaker and the way she talks about her process for writing her books leaves me blown away. Unfortunately I just never see that level of genius translated into her works. I understand that she writes YA, and usually on the younger end of the genre, but I still feel like the stories end up lacking the emotional depth that she clearly has.
I think her work would benefit from being written for the older end so that she could truly show us what she is capable of.
That being said this is still GOOD, but it could've been great.
Wow, what an absolute powerhouse of a book! I don't even know if I will be able to adequately find the words to review it.
I have read multiple books by Ibi Zoboi and every time, I am absolutely blown away by the artistry of her words. Her writing is both poetic and hard-hitting, quiet and loud, vulnerable and strong. And she, without a doubt, wrote one of the best coming-of-age YA books I've read. Nigeria's journey to self-discovery was remarkable to witness. I appreciated how she wanted to create her own story, while also being able to honour both her mother and her father as she did.
In Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi, Nigeria's life in a Black separatist group is disrupted when her mother vanishes. Left to care for her baby brother, Nigeria attends a Quaker school against her father's wishes, leading her on a journey of self-discovery. Uncovering shocking truths about her family, Nigeria must redefine herself, challenging the very foundations of her upbringing. Zoboi's powerful coming-of-age story inspires courage, resilience, and the pursuit of personal revolution. This captivating novel explores identity, family, and the strength to be true to oneself. A must-read for its empowering message and skillful storytelling.
Nιɠҽɾια Jσɳҽʂ by Ibi Zoboi touched on so many issues and resulted in some moments of reflection for me. At times things seemed to be written in a disjointed and confusing way, but I feel as though that was the purpose of the author to help us further connect with how Nigeria was feeling. This is one of those books that can bring about so many emotions because of everything that it is touching on in addition to making you constantly question your understanding of what is happening and who to root for, so I can see how some people were comparing it to Monday's Not Coming. I believe this is a book that you're either going to get into or you're not.
"Nigeria Jones" is a book that will make you doubt yourself at every turn. The titular character lives with her father, who is the leader of the Movement, a separatist group that wishes to dismantle white supremacy and refuses to engage in any aspect of it. When her mother goes missing, Nigeria has to come to terms with what she has known her entire life -- does she truly believe in the tenets of the Movement, or does she want to pursue a life of her own choosing that her mother wanted for her.
Throughout the book, Zoboi illustrates the strained relationship between Nigeria and her father, as well as Nigeria and Movement more generally. There were times when I found myself thinking of the Movement as an empowering organization promoting Black power, but other times Zoboi makes it sound like a cult. I had the same feelings about her father -- at times I thought he was supportive and just wanted what was best for her, but others I felt like he was a misogynistic cult leader. My feelings as the reader paralleled those of Nigeria, which I found propelled the plot forward more.
I did enjoy the overall theme of choosing and doing what is right for you -- many teens will feel this pressure to live up to the expectations of their parents or the rules of how they were raised, so I appreciated that Zoboi gave us a character who finds a way to find her own place in the world.
I like the ideas behind this book. I like that it explores outsider communities and the reality of being raised in one. I like that the conclusion isn't that the group is wrong, or even that Nigeria doesn't belong there. It's that it is wrong for her NOW. She needs a different experience before she can commit to it. That part was fascinating to explore. I didn't like the grief elements as much. It is unnecessarily complicated and masked. And he pacing is a bit off.
I was let down a bit by this book. I didn’t really feel like there was much plot, especially with the end being what it was. It felt like all the growth that Nigeria was making just went out the window.
I just felt confused and bored through most of this book. Before I read it, I saw this book compared to The Hate you Give and Monday’s Not Coming. After reading it, it just didn’t compare in my opinion which added to my letdown.
Nigeria Jones is a thought-provoking and complex read that explores the journey of Nigeria, a teen caught between her father's beliefs and her own desires for independence. The story is filled with history, highlighting Nigeria's deep connection to her heritage and the challenges she faces in navigating her identity.
Nigeria is raised by her father in a Black separatist group called the Movement. When her mother disappears, Nigeria's world is turned upside down and she is left adrift. She takes on more responsibilities as she attends the private Quaker school her mother wanted her to attend against her father's wishes, and she starts to question her upbringing. As she searches for her mother, Nigeria uncovers truths that challenge her understanding of her father's ideals, her family, and her identity.
What stood out to me was the lack of a clear-cut villain or "bad guy" in this story. The characters exhibit human flaws, some acting out of ignorance while others remain silent when they should speak up. I think it's worth noting that her father is not the villain, nor should he be viewed as one. He is radical, outspoken, and does what he believes is best for The Movement and his family (though sometimes is not the most beneficial) Nigeria's internal conflict and her growth throughout the story were particularly very moving. I loved witnessing her navigate her aspirations, despite the uncertainty of reaching them.
The writing is thought-provoking, filled with layers of depth and nuance, which I really love. The exploration of Nigeria's identity as a Black woman in a society that seeks to separate the two identities is masterfully executed, and I can tell from the way each page is infused with emotion, passion, resilience, and strength,that they were written with great care.
The book tackles a multitude of important topics, including race, discrimination, brutality, white supremacy, the patriarchy, while never losing sight of its core message. The story had a lot to do with the choices that people make. Nigeria wanted to break free of her father's reign over her life; she knew the risks, but she did it anyway. I love how beautifully written it is, with the way it deals with love, grief, healing, family and reconciliation.
The twist at the end, I sorta saw coming, but when it was revealed my heart broke for Nigeria. At the same time though, I realized that at its core, it's what made Nigeria break away from The Movement to find her own path in order to grow stronger. (I realize this doesn't make much sense, but you'll have to read the book to find out)
This was a great read that made me challenge my own thoughts and beliefs. I learned so much. I'm glad I got to read this as it's my first book from Ibi Zoboi and I can't wait to check out their other books! :)