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Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels – Tolá Okogwu

When I look at Niyì, the expression on his face freezes the smile on mine. Longing blazes back at me, and I suck in a short breath. Niyì catches me and flinches, then he spins away, heading towards the double glass doors that lead to the barn.

I move to follow when a hand on my shoulder stops me. Aunt Naomi shakes her head.‘Leave him. He needs some space.’A heavy weight settles in my belly is Niyì retreats from us. This is what I was worried would happen. This is why I wanted to wait. We should all be celebrating right now, but what little joy there is evaporates as Niyì moves further away into the distance.

After exposing villainous Dr Dòyinbó’s plans for the Academy of the Sun, Onyeka and her superhero friends are on the run. When their safe house is compromised, Onyeka decides to trust a group of Academy rebels known as the Rogues. Can she trust them? More importantly, can they work together to defeat their nemesis?

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun was one of the best books of 2022 (you can find my review here!) so I’m thrilled Onyeka is back to fight back against Dr Dòyinbó in this thrilling sequel, Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels. I would definitely suggest reading book 1 to fully understand the characters and events as this book moves at a breakneck speed – like Onyeka’s powerful hair shooting to defend her, you are quickly transported across Nigeria for the adventure of a lifetime. I loved how Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels builds on the mythology of book 1 and as well as the Nigerian Pidgin English, it was great to be immersed into Nigerian culture. There’s some new characters thrown into the mix plus it’s great to get resolution around what has happened to Onyeka’s parents, as well as learn more about Adanna and Gbénga.

I mentioned in my review of Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun the importance of representation so I’m glad to see Onyeka’s story continue (with a third expected March 2024). Onyeka is such a brilliant role model for children and with superheroes dominating cinemas and tv at the moment, there is no better time to introduce Onyeka to your child. Once again, there’s a heart-stopping finale, which had me wondering which direction book 3 would go in, but I know once you start reading, you won’t be able to put Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels down!

Suggested reading age: 9+

Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels is written by Tolá Okogwu and is published by Simon and Schuster. It’s available now so get your copy today (the special sprayed edges edition is available at Waterstones).

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Published by Tom G

Avid reader. Dad of 2. Husband. Assistant Headteacher.

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