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5 Spooky Books to Read for Halloween by African Authors

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5 Spooky Books to Read for Halloween by African Authors

Africa is home to millions of cultures that all bred legends and folklore like no other. This Halloween is the perfect time to crack open a book and delve into the spooky and delightful horror written by some of the most well-known African authors today. These diverse titles are sure to keep you up at night - and give you a taste of modern African literature that you’ll be unlikely to forget. 

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor 

Affectionately dubbed "the Nigerian Harry Potter," Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one's place in the world. Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?



My Sister, The Serial Killer

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead.

Korede's practicality is the sisters' saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she's exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she's willing to go to protect her. Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite's deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening.



White is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi 


As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there’s the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by Miranda’s father. Dover has long been known for its hostility toward outsiders. But the Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.

With distinct originality and grace, and an extraordinary gift for making the fantastic believable, Helen Oyeyemi spins the politics of family and nation into a riveting and unforgettable mystery.




Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor 

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. It doesn’t take long for the girl to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu—a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, but she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.

 

The Hidden Star by K. Sello Duiker 

Eleven-year-old Nolitye's granny used to say: if you mess with a woman, you mess with a stone. When Nolitye finds a magical stone on the dusty streets of Phola, her granny's words take on a new meaning. Along with her two friend - the somewhat pampered Bheki, and Four Eyes, a reformed member of the Spoilers gang led by Rotten Nellie - Nolitye puts the powers of the stone to good use: for the first time the threesome can stand up to the Spoilers; Nolitye can save the life of Rex, the leader of a pack of talking township mutts; and dare to look scary MaMtonga with her living brown-and-green snake necklace in the eye. But soon Nolitye finds out that the purplish-blue magic stone is but five stones needed to put right things that started to go wrong the day her father died in a mining accident when she was five years old. Or so she was told by her mother... 

By merging a cast of characters straight out of African myth folklore with everyday township life, K. Sello Duiker created a magical world and a truly wondrous quest, a timeless tale that will appeal to an ageless audience.