Top Picks: Nnedi Okorafor’s 50th Birthday

For some readers, they seek books that will not only spark their interest but take them to worlds far beyond their own. No author knows this more than the critically acclaimed writer Nnedi Okorafor. For over a decade, this Nigerian-American writer has captured the imaginations of both children and young adults with her page-turning works that blend Afrofuturism and Afrojujuism. In celebration of her 50th birthday on April 8, we're going to look at this award-winner's greatest works.

In 2015, Okorafor launched what is known as the Binti series, a trilogy of Africanfuturist science fiction novellas centering around the titular character's journey as she leaves Earth to attend a prestigious university in space. Powerful, enticing, and dynamic, the series remains one of the author's most successful, winning both the Hugo and Nebula Awards in subsequent years.

Self-discovery can be a challenging journey, especially in post-apocalyptic Africa. For Onyeswonu, this proves to be true as she struggles with society's rejection and her magical powers in the gripping novella Who Fears Death. This polarizing work sees Onyeswonu recalling her life and quest for the truth whilst awaiting her execution.

What is in a name? For Sankofa, this question is difficult to answer. In the critically acclaimed novella Remote Control, Sankofa walks alone, looking to find purpose in a world that doesn't embrace her. With the help of a mysterious fox, she embarks on a journey to realize her true identity.

In life, we must expect the unexpected. This is especially true of Anwuli Okwudili or AO, the woefully misunderstood protagonist in Noor. A disfigured young woman who was dismissed since birth, AO becomes an unlikely hero as she races against time with a herdsman to save Northern Nigeria from destruction and chaos.

If you hop in a Kabu-Kabu (illegal taxi), who knows where you'll end up? This collection of short stories is exciting, magical, and occasionally dangerous, which is tailor-made for a reader looking for a thrill.

Do you have a favorite book by Nnedi Okorafor? Let us know in the comments below.