Binti, a member of the Himba people of Earth, secretly applies to prestigious Oomza University and, to her simultaneous delight and consternation, is accepted. Defying her family's wishes in pursuit of her education and natural talents, she embarks on a harrowing and disastrous journey across the galaxy, never having imagined that in addition to being a mere passenger she'd also be playing an unexpected role of interstellar diplomatic negotiator.
I chose this in the "sci-fi/fantasy novella" category for the 2020 Read Harder challenge. At just 90 pages it's a swift read, though there is a lot to chew on. I relished in the details about her culture and the practices she intended to maintain despite her distance from home. Binti's tale continues with further volumes, though as my preferences nowadays lean less toward sci-fi than they used to, I'll be placing those in my 'maybe' pile.