Binti by Nnedi Okorafor [in School Library Journal]
At 16, Binti embarks on an interplanetary voyage to Oomza Uni, the galaxy’s supreme institution of higher learning. As the first of her people offered such an opportunity, she leaves home without even warning her family of her departure. When the vessel is attacked by the alien Meduse, Binti’s only hope of survival is a pot of native clay—and her exceptional intelligence.
Equal parts thriller, adventure, and quest, this work also serves as a timely parable about the power of educating girls. In spite of every possible obstacle, Binti is a girl determined to succeed, whose acute intellect will save her world.
With her rich, lyrical voice, narrator Robin Miles effortlessly moves among such emotions as anticipation, fear, resignation, and fortitude with just the slightest adjustments in breath. Her prodigious range elevates this short novella into a resonating performance that will linger long beyond its mere two-plus hours.
Verdict: For sci-fi groupies in need of a quick aural fix, Okorafor’s latest educates, explicates, and, of course, entertains.
Readers: Young Adult