Candice Iloh weaves the key moments of Ada’s young life—her mother’s descent into addiction, her father’s attempts to create a home for his American daughter more like the one he knew in Nigeria, her first year at a historically black college—into a luminous and inspiring verse novel.---from the publisher
Every Body Looking is a debut novel in verse in the style of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds. Candice Iloh's book tells the story of Ada--daughter of an immigrant father and an African American mother--and her struggle to find a place for herself in America and in her own family.
Every Body Looking is a heavily autobiographical novel of a young woman's struggle to carve a place for herself--for her black female body--in a world of deeply conflicting messages.
Told entirely in verse, Ada's story encompasses her earliest memories as a child, including her abuse at the hands of a young cousin, her mother's rejection and descent into addiction, and her father's attempts to create a home for his American daughter more like the one he knew in Nigeria.
The present-tense of the book is Ada's first year at Howard University in Washington D.C., where she must finally confront the fundamental conflict between who her family says she should be and what her body tells her she must be.---from the publisher
416 pages 978-0525556206 Ages 13 and up
Keywords: coming of age, immigrants, immigration, family, father/daughter, expectations, gender role, novel in verse, abuse, addiction, drugs, diversity, diverse books, African American, African American author, Nigerian, 13 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old, first generation children, other people's dreams. childhood secrets, family pressure, reclaiming your body, Historically Black College
“Candice Iloh’s beautifully crafted narrative about family, belonging, sexuality, and telling our deepest truths in order to be whole is at once immensely readable and ultimately healing.”—Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times Bestselling Author of Brown Girl Dreaming
“An essential—and emotionally gripping and masterfully written and compulsively readable—addition to the coming-of-age canon.”—Nic Stone, New York Times Bestselling Author of Dear Martin
“This is a story about the sometimes toxic and heavy expectations set onthe backs of first-generation children, the pressures woven into the family dynamic, culturally and socially. About childhood secrets with sharp teeth. And ultimately, about a liberation that taunts every young person.” —Jason Reynolds, New York Times Bestselling Author of Long Way Down
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