YA Mystery “Everyone’s Thinking It” Finalist for NAACP Image Awards

Omotoni’s book, a YA mystery romance about two Nigerian cousins at a predominantly white private school, made big waves when it debuted last year.

YA Mystery “Everyone’s Thinking It” Finalist for NAACP Image Awards
The award winners will be announced next month in a ceremony airing on BET and CBS.

“Everyone's Thinking It” by debut author Aleema Omotoni was recently named a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards in outstanding literature for youth and teens. The winners will be revealed during a two–hour live TV special on Saturday, March 16, 2024, airing on both BET and CBS.

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A post shared by aleema omotoni (@aleemawrites)

Omotoni’s book, a YA mystery romance, made big waves when it debuted last year. “Everyone’s Thinking It” tells the story of two Nigerian cousins who must reckon with life in very different ways at their predominantly white private school in England. This compelling exploration of the high price of fitting in, which has been compared favorably to “Mean Girls” (2004), was praised heavily at the time of its publication.

The summary of “Everyone’s Thinking It” from the publisher HarperCollins’ website:

“Mean Girls” meets “Dear White People” (2017–2021) in this big-hearted, sharp-witted U.K. boarding school story about family, friendship and belonging — with a propulsive mystery at its heart.
Within the walls of Wodebury Hall, an elite boarding school in the English countryside, reputation is everything. But aspiring photographer Iyanu is more comfortable observing things safely from behind her camera.
For Iyanu’s estranged cousin, Kitan, life seems perfect. She has money, beauty and friends like queen bee Heather. But as a Nigerian girl in a school as white and insular as Wodebury, Kitan struggles with the personal sacrifices needed to keep her place — and the protection she gets — within the exclusive popular crowd.
Then photos from Iyanu’s camera are stolen and splashed across the school the week before the Valentine’s Day Ball — each with a juicy secret written on it. With everyone’s dirty laundry suddenly out in the open, the school explodes in chaos, and the whispers accusing Iyanu of being the one behind it all start to feel like déjà vu.
Each girl is desperate to unravel the mystery of who stole the photos and why. But exposing the truth will change them all forever.

Aleema Omotoni is a British Nigerian author. She writes novels that center Black teens coming of age, falling in love and navigating all kinds of contemporary and fantasy worlds. She loves musical theater, astrophysics and rainy Autumn days (via Omotoni’s website).

Also nominated for an award in the same category is “Fatima Tate Takes the Cake” by Khadijah VanBrakle. “Fatima Tate Takes the Cake” follows a 17-year-old aspiring baker who thinks her dreams have come true when her parents serendipitously arrange a marriage between Fatima and her secret boyfriend, the charming college boy Raheem. But once a ring is on Fatima’s finger, Raheem’s charm twists into manipulation and control. And when Fatima tries to leave, Raheem threatens to reveal their premarital relationship to their whole community, leaving Fatima to own her body, her choice and her future. VanBrakle’s book has been described as “a powerful coming-of-age story that gives a much-needed voice to young Black Muslim women.”

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A post shared by Khadijah VanBrakle (@khadijahvanbrakle)

Both “Everyone’s Thinking It” and “Fatima Tate Takes the Cake” are on sale now. The winners of the 55th NAACP Image Awards be revealed on Saturday, March 16, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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