Author: P. Djèlí Clark
Like a West African and African Diaspora-inspired Spirited Away, Abeni's Song follows a reluctant apprentice witch out of her village and into a world of spirits on a quest to save her friends. This is P. Djèlí Clark's kids' debut.
On the day of the spirits festival, the old woman who lives in the forest appears in Abeni's village with a terrible message:
You ignored my warnings. It’s too late to run. They are coming.
The old woman hasn't come to save them, only to collect one child as payment for her years of service and protection. When warriors with burning blades storm the village and a man with a cursed flute plays an impossibly alluring song, everyone Abeni has ever known and loved is captured and marched toward far-off ghost ships set for even more distant lands.
But not Abeni. Abeni escapes the warriors in the clutches of the old woman, magically whisked into the forest away from all she’s ever known. And there she begins her unwanted magical apprenticeship, her journey to escape the witch, and her impossible mission to bring her people home.
Abeni’s Song is the beginning of a timeless, enchanting fantasy adventure about a reluctant apprentice, a team of spirit kids, and the town they set out to save from the evil Witch Priest who enslaved Abeni’s people.