Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, 90 pages
A young Namibian woman and mathematician, Binti is the first of the Himba people to be accepted to the prestigious Oomza University. Against her family's wishes, Binti boards a ship to another planet to attend the university. But before she can arrive at her dream university, the ship is attacked by the Meduse, a jellyfish-like race with a grudge against the Khoush, the human race that makes up the entire population of the ship, save Binti. What follows is a survival story, but also a story of identity, strength, heritage, and politics.
With a fairly simple plot and writing style, Okorafor packs quite the punch in these 90 pages. There's a lot to think about simmering below the surface — from race to cultural identity to microaggressions to family to individuality. I found it fascinating, and I can't wait to read the second volume. I'm also really looking forward to our discussion of this book at the Orcs & Aliens book group on Monday.