The Books to Watch Out for in 2024!

As we bid farewell to 2023, we look back with a sense of fulfilment for a year that expanded our title list to include unforgettable stories, Queer literature, daring debuts, children, and middle grade books.

It’s time to gear up and look ahead to 2024 for what promises to be another memorable year. We’re excited to share some of our forthcoming titles with you! Our list features, fiction, non-fiction, children’s picture books in English and Hausa, and children’s non-fiction, from familiar authors and others new to you. As always with Cassava Republic, expect authentic stories of the Black experience from Africa and it’s diaspora.

Like Water Like Sea by Olumide Popoola

2024 lead title

LIKE WATER LIKE SEA is an immersive novel of self-discovery, resilience, and the unifying power of love. It follows the life of Nia, a queer, bi/pansexual naturopath in London, as her life unfolds across three pivotal moments, spanning from her 28th year to a life-altering realisation at the age of 50. At the heart of this gripping narrative lies Nia’s profound encounter with grief. A decade after the devastating loss of her sister, who tragically succumbed to suicide while battling with cyclothymia—a similar mental illness that her mother battles with—Nia’s world is forever transformed. As she grapples with the pain of her sister’s passing, Nia embarks on a poignant self-exploration, revealing grief as the ultimate manifestation of love, forever shaping our very being.

Pub. date: UK: 28th May 2024 | ISBN: 9781913175627 | Fiction

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Ladies and their Handbags by Mylo Freeman

He is always by her side. He’s got everything she needs. She strokes him lovingly and breathes in his scent. And yet she’ll eventually trade him for a new one: the lady and her handbag. In this book, Mylo Freeman introduces fifty inspiring women from all over the world. From big names such as Queen Elizabeth II, Jane Birkin and Paris Hilton, to lesser-known women such as South African fasion designer Palesa Mokubung, Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi and journalist-explorer Nellie Bly. For each of them, their handbag carries a different meaning: accessory, practical aid, feminist manifesto. However different the women and their bags, each of them are unique and a force to be reckoned with.

Pub. date: UK: 18 June 2024 ISBN: 9781913175665 | Non-fiction

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Henrietta Lacks: The Mother of Modern Medicine by Dawne Allette

Henrietta Lacks: The Mother of Modern Medicine introduces young readers to the remarkable story of story of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cancer cells revolutionised medical science. This book charts Henrietta’s life, from her upbringing in Virginia through to the births of her five children, before she passed away aged31 from cervical cancer. Henrietta’s cells lived on, taking from her tumour while she was undergoing surgery without her knowledge, leading to the discovery of the first ‘immortal cell line’, and giving Henrietta the name ‘the mother of modern medicine’.

Pub. date: UK: 17 Sept 2024 ISBN: 9781913175276 | Children’s Non-Fiction

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The World Was in Our Hands by Chitra Nagarajan

A moving, often provocative, and ultimately vital collection of first-hand accounts of people living through the Boko Haram conflict. From abducted girls to brash soldiers, and from community leaders to simple fishermen, this collection provides an insight into the realities of those living through the conflict, making this an essential cultural archive. The World Was in Our Hands covers themes of patriarchy, the economy, climate change, and corruption, to paint a picture that is much broader than what has been captured through news coverage.

Pub. date: UK: 20th Aug 2024 | ISBN: 9781913175566 | Non-Fiction | Hardback

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Flying Up the Mountain by Elizabeth-Irene Baitie

Sequel to Crossing the Stream

Ato and his friends Dzifa and Leslie have been selected to visit Nnoma, the bird sanctuary that Ato’s father helped build before he died. Ato is convinced that his father hid something valuable on the island, meant only for him. When the trio arrives at Nnoma with other children from across West Africa, they are split into teams and given missions to help broaden their knowledge of nature. The winners will become Asafo—ambassadors of Nnoma and defenders of the Earth. But then the adults running Nnoma start behaving erratically and Ato suspects foul play. When the trio uncovers a sinister plot to exploit the sanctuary, Ato and his friends must work together to protect it—and his father’s legacy.

Pub. date: UK: 16th July 2024 | ISBN: 9781913175702 | Middle Grade

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Outriders Africa edited by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Layla Mohamed

It is Spring 2020, and 10 writers of African heritage, travelling in pairs, set out on journeys across Africa. It is a strange time to be travelling, and the shifting state of the world is reflected in temperature checks at borders, hand sanitiser outside churches, and truncated journeys. Against this backdrop, their travels take them from the tourist beaches of Madagascar and Comoros to the Rastafarian town of Shashamane in Ethiopia, and from questions of renaming amongst the flora and fauna of Cape Town to learning to walk in circles and embrace sensuality in The Gambia. Through essays, travel diaries, letters and poetry, Outriders Africa is an evocative and enthralling exploration of forgotten family histories, reckoning with grief (both personal and historical), and what it truly means to return.

Pub. date: UK and US: 12th Nov 2024 | ISBN: 9781913175238 | Non-fiction

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Hassan and Hassana Share Everything by Elnathan John

Hassan and Hassana are twins, and they’re practically identical. Even though one is a boy and the other a girl, ever since they were babies people have had trouble telling them apart. For their 8th birthday, Hassan gets a bike and Hassana gets drums. Hassan’s friends tell him that girls can’t ride bikes, leaving him with an important decision to make. Will he decide to share, or will he let Hassana feel left out? A beautiful story about sharing, kindness and standing up for what is right.

Pub. date: UK: 18th Oct 2024 | ISBN: 9781913175405 | Children’s Picture Book

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