Six MG/YA novels featuring protagonists with albinism:

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Ghost Boy by Iain Lawrence
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
The Badger Knight by Kathryn Erskine
The Likes of Me by Randall Beth Platt
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban

We’re thrilled to see these characters represented! However, public perception of people with albinism is fraught with stereotypes and inaccuracies. We’d love to know how well the characters in these novels were written. Have you read any? What did you think?

Also of interest may be these brief reviews of novels featuring albinistic characters on the website of NOAH, the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation.

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Haroon Ghori reviews Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor at Disability in Kidlit:

As a person of color growing up with albinism, Sunny’s character particularly resonated with me. Her interactions with her classmates and countrymen strongly resembled my own. The odd looks and comments that Sunny deals with from her Nigerian counterparts are familiar to any “albino of color” as we see the confusion in the faces around us—as if we’re pieces in a puzzle that don’t fit correctly. Between the devices we use to protect ourselves from the sun, the blond or white hair, and the pale skin, we’re seen as misfits even among our own societies. Nevertheless, Okorafor does not allow Sunny to succumb to this atmosphere. Unlike most  characters with albinism who are meek, easily manipulated characters, Sunny is an athletic, adventurous, and confident preteen who is not held back by her albinism and is quick to challenge those who question her looks or sun-shield umbrella. In fact, in the Leopard society her condition is seen as an indication of her power and abilities rather than a reason to ostracize her.

However, Sunny’s ready acceptance into Leopard society also plays into the “magical albino” myth that permeates fantasy movies and novels. While Okorafor attempts to distance Sunny’s albinism from the novel’s mysticism, in Leopard society a Leopard person’s abilities are very much influenced by their most striking physical features and/or maladies; the more striking or severe the disability, the more powerful the associated magic. Thus, while in principle Sunny’s albinism is not meant to contribute to the “magical albino” myth, Okorafor’s use of Leopard society ideology and mythology invokes an element of the aforementioned trope which mars what otherwise is an unprecedentedly mundane depiction of albinism.

While Sunny’s character is strongly affected by her albinism, Okorafor ignores or marginalizes some aspects of the condition. Because of our lack of melanin, people with albinism tend to have varying degrees of low vision. But Sunny didn’t suffer from any type of visual impairment; she didn’t even suffer from photophobia, the most common visual impairment associated with albinism. Okorafor’s mysterious “cure” for Sunny’s susceptibility to sunburn was an even more blatant affront to the integrity of her albinism.

[read the full review]

More white deer are hunted every year than people think.
The picture going around with the little boy and the “albino” deer isn’t as big of a deal as folks are making it out to be.
They are rare, but not that rare. Deer share a very common gene that involves loss of pigment in their skin. If you think about it, there are more albino, leucistic, and piebald deer in the world then there are bangal tigers on the planet.

Even though it is pretty, albinism is a serious genetic defect. It is good that white deer are hunted. Albanism causes a higher risk of:
Skin cancers (very common in deer)
Early onset of blindess in the eyes
Antler deformities as well as muscle deformities.

The breeding of albinistic and leucistic animals should not be idolized, because the animal’s natural camouflage is what help’s it survive in the wild. A white deer that survives over a year in the wild is very lucky.


My pal @annlarimer drew me these a long time ago for an rp game. It was a pokemon game where at one point they were going to find an albinistic pikachu living in a cave and take her in. The bottom row are the before and after of taking care of it.

Ann Larimer basically draws the best pokemon, as far as I’m concerned. The best.

Dendrobium pachyphyllum  (S.E. Asia)

Den. pachyphyllum can be variable in color- some will have thin red striping on a cream flower and others I have grown will be almost albinistic with crisp white and yellow markings.  But a few things remain consistent among them all: they are remarkably fragrant for their size, the flowers are short lived at only 1-2 days, and they all bloom according to a change in barometric pressure. Within a couple of days of thunder storms you will see buds developing on the tips of the canes and after a couple more the crescent-shaped buds will have fully opened revealing their charming shape.