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Cover reveal and excerpt: EVERY BODY LOOKING by Candice Iloh


Jacqueline Woodson loves it, Nic Stone loves it, Jason Reynolds loves it! And we just know you’re going to love it too! Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh, is a that 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.

Told entirely in verse, Ada’s story encompasses her earliest memories as a child, including her mother’s descent into addiction and her father’s attempts to create a home for his American daughter more like the one he knew in Nigeria.

Every Body Looking is a novel of a young woman’s struggle to carve a place for herself in a world of deeply conflicting messages.

And this cover!!! Oh this COVER!!!

And don’t forget to scroll down for an excerpt of Every Body Looking




they got me out here

wearing a dress




hope Mama’s proud


she sure does look like it

looking at me and squealing

like proud mamas do when

their baby looks something


like she came from them


her squeals bounce

from every wall of this hotel lobby

her screams shake from

her fragile body exploding


like she’s shocked by her own joy


unsteady heels click

against the tile toward the person she can say

was the best thing she ever did

with her life



from high school

and this weekend I learn to juggle


my father and his new wife

are on their way to the Home of the Chicago Doves


decked out, like they’re about to glide down the church’s red carpet

him in his crispiest suit, her bulging from a flowered dress


my baby brother dressed

as Dad’s mini identical twin


belted in the back seat

of my father’s golden Toyota Camry


is giddy knowing nothing

about what day it is


or how his big sister

will survive it


after picking up her own mommy

keeping her seated somewhere


she can fidget

far from his side of the family



in my passenger seat

more on edge than me

maybe cause it’s been

like five years since we’ve seen

each other but she is here


scoffs under her breath

thinking, just like her

this hoopty is proof

of yet another thing

I don’t need


shrugs away small thoughts

not knowing

Dad demanded

I save and buy my first Camry



sits and tugs

at her lopsided wig

pulls down the mirror

reapplies bloodred lipstick

smudges some on her cheeks

with her fingers


and I thank god knowing

without this

I may not

recognize her



for the last day I will ever have to smile at these people like I ever belonged here / for the ten minutes it takes Mama and me to get to the stands along the football field, a place she has never seen / I imagine the sounds of our heels to be / like a song we are for once dancing to together / today / I’m not angry / at her slurred speech / I’m not angry / at her missing teeth / I’m not angry / at her fuss / I’m not angry / that she looks nothing like / the last time I saw her / or that / I don’t know when the next time will be / for the ten minutes it takes Mama and me to get to the stands along the football field / I’m just happy we’re both here / alive



but not really

it’s what my father’s side

calls me cause I was born




and on this day

I’m only three months

from leaving this place behind


they tell me there’s

a big world out there

and they tell me


there’s so much I can do

and I know nothing

but this city


but my father

but these schools

where I’ve always


been one of few specks

of dingy brown

in a sea of perfect white


but I know the bible

and I know how to do


the right things


so how hard could college

really be


Join the Ember Read-Along!

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The Beautiful Read-Along!

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BookConline with Penguin Teen!

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Every Book Hitting Shelves in May!

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