Student Book Review – What Sunny Saw in the Flames

Student Book Review – What Sunny Saw in the Flames

Two fantastic reviews of What Sunny Saw in the Flames by Nnedi Okorafor from Book Club students at the West London Free School.


Reviewed by Aaryan

What Sunny Saw in the Flames by Nnedi Okorafor is a very good book to read for a variety of reasons. Firstly, if you are interested in stories set in a mythical setting, but you feel that the books that you read all seem to be fairly similar, then this would be a great book to read. It allows you to enjoy a whole new culture, the culture of Nigeria, and learn about the magical creatures and powers that are part of Nigeria’s identity.

As well as introducing Nigeria’s mythical creatures and powers, it helps a reader to understand the mindset of some Nigerians, with references to problems that they deal with. It is now very important for people to become more aware of Nigeria, as it is the most populated country in Africa and will have a major role to play in the future to determine what the world will be like.

The book also has an interesting protagonist in Sunny, who is an albino girl. This book teaches of the persecution that albinos face, but it also shows the sort of character that a person needs to possess in order to overcome such persecution. As a consequence of this, Sunny can be seen as a role model, and it would be good for her character to be able to influence people.


Reviewed by Martha

As a Book Club Leader for Year 7s, it’s clear the students benefit from it. The book club is a good way for new students to socialise and also to practise reading aloud and becoming comfortable with sophisticated vocabulary, expression and empathy with characters in the book. We explore relatability in characters and how our impressions of characters may change, and from there try to reflect on how this relates to our own lives.

We follow closely the character of Sunny, following her experience of bullying and her own judgement of others, as well as gaining independence as a teenager, all things these students can understand. She is a character who is somewhat alien to our readers as she lives in a very different culture to us and (of course) has magical powers we cannot quite identify with! The readers enjoy this mix of the supernatural and the relatable and can explore how Sunny’s culture differs from ours.

Not only is the book filled with themes young people can explore, but it is also exciting for young people and makes Book Club easier to do when the students are so excited by the book and eager to discuss it.


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