I’ll See You in Ijebu

Barefoot. Mar. 2024. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781646868438.
Gr 3-8–A book that teaches readers about Eid al-Adha, while enchanting them with a special story. A young girl is in a car on the way to Baba’s house in Ijebu. It takes a long time to get to Baba’s house, so readers know this isn’t a frequent trip but a treasured journey to be with loved ones. Once there, it is the smell of Baba rising “slowly from his seat…his scent of native black soap and mothballs” that surrounds the girl in an embrace she wants to remember. In the beginning, readers are transported to a hot, sweaty traffic jam with the smell of “crunchy dundun and sweet puff puff frying” that makes the girl’s stomach growl. This humanizing moment—loud and embarrassing and funny, all at the same time—is relatable for readers, who will automatically be enamored from this point. Emenanjo writes like a veteran, with words that cling to thoughts and resonate with all the senses: the sounds and smells linger.
VERDICT A story to be read again and again. Good for the entire family, and a must-have for middle school libraries.

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