The nomination is notable because the majority of Rakim’s lyrics relate to his identity as a Muslim, which has gone on to influence other contemporary Muslim rappers.
YA Romance “Four Eids and a Funeral” Cover Revealed
In the announcement, Àbíké-Íyímídé said, “I’ve always wanted to write stories about Nigerian/Black Muslims, as we are often erased from conversations and depictions of Muslims in the media. I grew up questioning whether I was Muslim enough, so it has literally been a dream to write this book.”
Award-winning Young Adult authors Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and Adiba Jaigirdar have just revealed the cover for their new YA contemporary romance "Four Eids and a Funeral." The book follows ex-best friends Tiwa and Said, who must confront the events of past Eids that made and broke their friendship as they work together to save their Islamic Center from demolition.
The publisher describes the book as follows:
These days, Said Hossain spends most of his time away at boarding school. But when his favorite hometown librarian Ms. Barnes dies, he must return home to New Crosshaven for her funeral and for the summer. Too bad being home makes it a lot harder to avoid facing his ex-best friend, Tiwa Olatunji, or facing the daunting task of telling his Bangladeshi parents that he would rather be an artist than a doctor.
Tiwa doesn’t understand what made Said start ignoring her, but it’s probably that fancy boarding school of his. Though he’s unexpectedly staying through the summer, she’s determined to take a page from him and pretend he doesn’t exist. Besides, she has more than enough going on, between grieving her broken family and helping her mother throw the upcoming Eid celebration at the Islamic Center—a place that means so much to Tiwa.
But when the Islamic Center accidentally catches fire, it turns out the mayor plans to demolish the center entirely. Things are still tense between the ex-friends but Tiwa needs Said’s help if there’s any hope of changing the mayor’s mind, and Said needs a project to submit to art school (unbeknownst to anyone). Will all their efforts be enough to save the Islamic Center, save Eid, and maybe save their relationship?
The story holds a special place for the co-authors. In the cover reveal announcement to We Need Diverse Books, Àbíké-Íyímídé said, “I’ve always wanted to write stories about Nigerian/Black Muslims, as so often we are erased from depictions of Muslims in the media and also erased from conversations. I grew up always questioning whether I was Muslim enough, and so it has literally been a dream to write this book with Adiba.”
In the same announcement, Jaigirdar added that, “Faridah and I first bonded over having similar experiences of feeling othered as Muslims in largely non-Muslim spaces. We’ve talked a lot about being Muslim, what that means, and how it looks different — and in many ways similar — for both of us being from different cultures and races. This book highlights some of these experiences, and also celebrates the diversity of Muslims and our strength of community.”
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is the New York Times chart-topping, international bestselling and award-winning author of “Ace of Spades.” She is a recent graduate from a university in the Scottish Highlands, where she received a BA in English Literature, and is currently pursuing an MA in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College London. When she isn’t spinning dark tales, she can be found examining the deeper meanings in Disney Channel Original Movies.
Adiba Jaigirdar is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed and bestselling author of “The Henna Wars,” “Hani & Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating,” “A Million to One” and “The Dos and Donuts of Love.” She is a Bangladeshi/Irish writer and former teacher with an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent, England and a BA in English and History from UCD, Ireland. She is the winner of the YA book prize 2022, the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2021 and was a finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary awards.