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Dispatches from Terabithia

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Binti - Nnedi Okorafor I received this in a Tor giveaway. Thank you!

I wish I was smarter so I could write a better review of this book. Okorafor always makes me particularly aware that I lack of the vocabulary to discuss the themes relating to colonialism and race, and so I tend to sit back in wonder.

As it was, I saw some interesting implications in themes of colonialism, cultural theft, and the grace involved in intercultural communication and conflict resolution. As always, it's very different from what we're accustomed to reading. And as always, I'm so glad to get something so very different.

Binti, our protagonist, is a Himba, a people of Africa who are insular but revered for their ability to work with mathematics and harmonics. They wear a layer of oily mud instead of bathing with water, given the lack of fresh water in their community, and its orangey hue smells of flowers. She leaves her community and ventures to an off-world university, knowing that she will never be accepted home again once she has left. Her journey is full of adversity and wonder and the fear you encounter when you journey far away from home. And the story is also full of the wonder and talent she holds for mathematics, which are both an integral part of the story and a part of technology that one would never have conceptualized.

Either way, very cool, and I'm glad I got a chance to read something else from Okorafor's talent. :)