Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun
by Tolá Okogwu
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Pub Date 06 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 15 Jun 2022
Simon & Schuster (Australia), Simon & Schuster Children's UK
I close my eyes, trying to push the power bubbling in me back down . . . Hairbands snap as my hair shoots out like superfine arrows, tearing through everything in its path.
Onyeka has a lot of hair – the kind that makes strangers stop in the street. She’s always felt insecure about her vibrant curls, until she makes an important discovery: she can control her hair with her mind!
Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari – children with superpowers – are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the Academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves caught up in an epic battle . . . one that puts the future of all Solari at risk.
Praise for Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun:
‘Exhilarating and original, Onyeka is the superhero you’ve been waiting for.’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars
‘Brilliant characters, action-packed plot, heartfelt themes of identity, family and friendship. A DAZZLING story about finding your power.’ Sophie Anderson, author of The House with Chicken Legs
‘An incredible story that reinvents the concept of a school for magical kids. So inspiring and creatively original.’ L. D. Lapinski, author of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency
‘Fast-paced, action-packed and empowering. Tọlá Okogwu’s storytelling shines so bright you’ll want the next instalment immediately.’ A. F. Steadman, author of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief
‘An inspiring, original and exciting roller coaster of a book.’ Katie Tsang, co-author of Dragon Mountain
‘A rich and gripping story of discovering that your greatest power can come from within. I loved it!’ Lisa Thompson, author of The Goldfish Boy
‘Brilliant, witty writing and spot-on characterisation.’ Louie Stowell, author of Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good
‘A thrilling, magical page-turner. Children will fall in love with this story.’ Jenny McLachlan, author of The Land of Roar
'Wildly fun and a huge breath of invigorating fresh air.’ Sam Copeland, author of Charlie Changes Into a Chicken
‘A thrilling, action-packed adventure full of heart. Onyeka is sure to be everyone's new favourite superhero.’ Hannah Gold, author of The Last Bear
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 2 members
okay, how do i articulate how beautiful this story was? at the heart of it, i found that, beyond the magic and the mystery and the world unfolding for onyeka, it was really about a young black girl finding pride and acceptance in her hair, and that alone stoked me, as someone who has had difficulty accepting my hair when compared to white beauty standards. that being said, i really enjoyed the fantasy world that the author drew for us, the richness of the culture, the diverse cast of characters, the mystery at the heart of the story and the very coming-of-age arc that onyeka went through as she learned more about herself, her powers and her family. the voice was fantastic, very believable coming from a teenager, the underlying metaphor of child exploitation was well-executed, and the twists were intriguing. definitely a great read!
There is so much to love about Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun. The black representation and a futuristic high-tech Nigeria, the strong found family theme and a young girl’s (Onyeka) journey to finding her place in a world that has often been confusing and full of rejection.
There were definitely Black Panther Vibes and the world building was beautiful and lustrous with impressive and unique ideas.
I was disappointed when the story ended because I wanted to keep reading! I can’t wait for what book 2 has in store for Onyeka and her friends.