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The Participant Observer Book of the Month is Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy.
Binti is a compact gem of adventure, bravery and other world. The author, Nnedi Okorafor efficiently and effectively uses the short novella form (96 pp.) to create a visual, suspenseful ride. And the heroine, Binti, invites us along to participate in her secret mission. From the start she is special and destined for greater things, but without knowing the tests that will challenge her resilience. As a result, her heroism and vulnerabilities grab our attention, holding tight until the end.
Nnedi Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. Born in the United States of two Nigerian parents, she shuttled between Nigeria and the U.S. with her family for much of her youth. She is known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters.
Winner of the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella!