by Candice Iloh
This young adult novel in verse is the #ownvoices debut from Candice Iloh, a first-generation Nigerian-American author. It's a poetic coming-of-age story that deals with some heavy themes like the protagonist's complicated relationships with a mother who struggles with addiction, a religious father, and the intense family pressure of being a first-generation college student. There's also some reference to sexual assault. Written in verse, the rhythm of this story feels like a dance as young Ada grows and comes around to accepting her body, her preferences, and her choices. Ultimately this is a story about finding yourself and writing your own story. I loved Ada's connection to dance as the embodiment of this struggle: doing things technically perfect or being perfectly free in your body. The audiobook version is a wonderful way to spend three hours.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages