Every once in a while I get frustrated with all the middle-grade and young-adult fantasy books I read that have a cast of all White kids. When that happens, I start searching for stories that have a character of color in the lead, especially a Black protagonist. Last year sometime I got lucky and found Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch. Here’s what I thought of it.
Akata Witch is middle-grade, fantasy novel about an albino Nigerian-American girl, Sunny, who discovers that she is part of a secret, magical world — the Leopard People.
The story is set in Nigeria and is infused with Nigerian culture and bits of its folklore. Magic is referred to as juju and its side-effects can be dire. Sunny is introduced to this secret magic society by her friends Orlu and Chichi. She soon starts taking night classes to improve her magical abilities and meets Sasha, an American boy, there who joins their group. The four are trained together to combat the evil Black Hat Otokoto, who has been kidnapping children for his nefarious means.