From the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, a biography in verse and prose of science fiction visionary Octavia Butler.

Acclaimed novelist Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of the visionary storyteller Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler experienced an American childhood that shaped her into the groundbreaking science-fiction storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight readers fifteen years after her death.

Cover art © 2022 by Zharia Shinn
An NPR Best Book of 2022
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2022
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2022
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2022

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2022

★"A one-of-a-kind masterpiece of literature. This must-read biography belongs on every library shelf and will redefine the way readers engage with biographical texts.”—SLJ, starred review 

★"A biography that’s as unique in form and content as the groundbreaking sci-fi/fantasy author herself.... Informational and inspirational, this innovative work will draw committed Butler fans and entice those unfamiliar with her work to seek it out."—Horn Book, starred review 

★"Zoboi has created a necessary addition to school and public library collections through this memorable look at how writers incorporate their lives into their work."—Booklist, starred review

★"A radiant biography spotlights the life of science fiction great Octavia Butler through a compilation of poetry, prose, quotes and photos."—Shelf Awareness, starred review

★"An inspiring look at the formative years and work of a literary giant that’s sure to capture young readers’ attention."—Kirkus, starred review

★"This title truly has something for every reader."—SLC, starred review 

"Here’s a true statement for you: If you live a good life and are true to yourself and persevere, you might, you MIGHT, be lucky enough to get someone like Ibi Zoboi to write your biography for kids."—Betsy Bird, Fuse #8 

"Zoboi movingly highlights the importance of empathy in Butler’s work and her role as a mentor and source of inspiration for countless other Black creatives."—BookPage

"A fittingly expansive tribute to Butler’s visionary mind and the childhood that sowed it."—Publishers Weekly

"Zoboi pairs elegantly crafted poems with direct, informative prose to create an emotionally charged look at a Black woman who changed the literary landscape, writing in a genre dominated by white authors and white characters. [T]his is a compelling blend of artistry and nonfiction that will likely send readers directly to Butler’s books."—BCCB