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Fatima Tate
Takes The Cake

Released Jun 13, 2023!

Fatima Tate wants to be a baker AND enjoy some innocent flirting with her hot friend Raheem—but her strict Muslim parents would never approve of either…

Seventeen-year-old Fatima Tate, aspiring baker (100% against her conservative parents’ wishes), leads a pretty normal life in Albuquerque: long drives with BFF Zaynab, weekly services at the mosque, big family parties, soup kitchen volunteering (the best way to perfect her flaky dough recipe!), stressing about college. But everything changes when she meets a charming university student named Raheem. Knowing the ‘rents would FREAK, Fatima keeps their burgeoning relationship a secret… and then, one day, her parents and his parents decide to arrange their marriage. Amazing! True serendipity!

Except it’s not amazing. As soon as the ring is on Fatima’s finger, Raheem’s charm transforms into control and manipulation. Fatima knows she has to call the whole thing off, but Raheem doesn’t like to lose. He threatens to reveal their premarital sexual history and destroy her and her family’s reputation in their tight-knit Muslim community. Fatima must find the inner strength to blaze her own trail by owning her body, her choices, and her future. Combining the frank authenticity of Elizabeth Acevedo and the complex social dynamics of Ibi Zoboi, FATIMA TATE TAKES THE CAKE is a powerful coming-of-age story that gives a much-needed voice to young Black Muslim women. 

* A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection *

"Fatima is a fierce protagonist who will stop at nothing to preserve her dignity. Skillful examinations of the intersections between culture, gender, and religion, as well as nuanced perceptions of one Black Muslim community, round out VanBrakle's searing debut." -- Publishers Weekly Review



Author Blurbs for Fatima Tate Takes The Cake:

"A captivating portrayal of Black American Muslim girlhood. Fatima Tate Takes the Cake reflects the challenges of navigating parental and communal expectations while staying true to one own's dreams." --Laila Sabreen, author of You Truly Assumed

"Fatima Tate Takes the Cake reads like a rich dessert course, filled with both sweet characters and sour moments. VanBrakle wastes no time in taking you on a delicious journey, opening you to new experiences and bittersweet lessons. Even when I thought I needed a break, I couldn't help but want a second helping. The hardest part about reading it was doing so on an empty stomach. You'll want to both swallow it whole and savor each chapter!" --Vincent Tirado, Pura Belpre Award winning author of Burn Down, Rise Up

Fatima Tate Takes the Cake book cover with Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection award
JLG Award
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