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“Ace of Spades” by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now.

The anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game… 

First I need to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Faridah and the Usborne team for sending the book. THANK YOU, GUYS YOU ARE AWESOME! [And Faridah! I don’t think I’ve ever had a chance to say this but your hair is AMAZING.]

Secondly, I want to say how AMAZING THE COVER IS. ITS, LIKE, REALLY, REALLY COOL. It’s ilustrated by the incredible Adekunle (@kunle_paints) and designed by Elizabeth H. Clark.

And thirdly, I want to give all you wonderful readers a warning.

WARNING: THIS BOOK HAS THE BIGGEST PLOT TWIST IN THE WORLD. [Normally I get halfway through a book, guess the plot twist, and feel good about myself when I’m right. BUT THIS ONE WAS JUST SO BIG I DIDN’T SEE IT!]

Devon and Chiamaka are AMAZING characters! Devon is kind, sweet, and I really like how he looks after his mum. Chiamaka is. . .Chiamaka? I wasn’t sure about her at first, but as I read on I grew to like her A LOT.

It’s a powerful look at how systematic racism can affect Black teens even in this day and age. This book grapples with three VERY important themes:

  • Institutionalized racism
  • What it’s like for some people who are LGBTQ or a person of color [OR BOTH]
  • Socioeconomic status and the ways it affects people of color

I think this book will help readers develop empathy for people dealing with these issues. But this book isn’t all serious! It also has romance, funny scenes, and scary scenes too. It is AWESOME and AMAZING.

I would suggest that this book is suitable for readers 14 up. [Or maybe 12 up if the 12 year old is OK with swear words]

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