A Finalist for the National Book Award
When Ada leaves home for her freshman year at a Historically Black College, it’s the first time she’s ever been so far from her family—and the first time that she’s been able to make her own choices and to seek her place in this new world. As she stumbles deeper into the world of dance and explores her sexuality, she also begins to wrestle with her past—her mother’s struggle with addiction, her Nigerian father’s attempts to make a home for her. Ultimately, Ada discovers she needs to brush off the destiny others have chosen for her and claim full ownership of her body and her future.
“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 familydynamic, 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
About the Author
Candice Iloh is a first generation Nigerian-American writer, teaching artist, and youth educator. She has performed her work around the country, most notably at Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City, the Women in Poetry & Hip Hop celebration at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore (where she performed as Nikki Giovanni), and as part of the Africa In Motion performing arts series at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Howard University and holds an MFA in writing from Lesley University. Her work has earned fellowships from Lambda Literary and VONA among many others. This is her first novel. www.becomher.com
A Finalist for the National Book Award
"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
"I can't remember the last time I read a story that stood this effortlessly at the axis of so many slivers of young American life. To show complexity without box-checking, and empathy without melodrama, to me, makes this a story with legs, and Iloh a writer to watch." —Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author of A Long Way Down
"Lyrical, insightful, and searing."—Teen Vogue
★ "In this stunning debut for young adults, Iloh crafts succinct, beautiful poems to illustrate the difficulties of navigating the tangle of family history and obligation, the power of art to heal and express, and the strength it takes to chart an authentic, independent path."—
★ "This book is a testament to the beauty of Black girls, their circumstances, bodies, and cultures."—Booklist, starred review.
★ "Iloh uses verse beautifully…[A] captivating, sometimes heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful story."—Kirkus, starred review.
"Every Body Looking is a powerful acknowledgement of what we gain when we grant ourselves permission to embrace who we are fully and completely."—BookPage
"A hopeful, beautifully written, deeply affecting story of what we endure and overcome in the journey to become ourselves."—Teen Librarian Toolbox
“Readers will be left wishing they could accompany Ada as she pursues her passion and finds her way to a genuine relationship, while left hopeful and inspired by her beautifully-told story.”—SLJ