The Poet X

The Poet X

A Novel

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award!

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers--especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.

With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can't stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

"Crackles with energy and snaps with authenticity and voice." --Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation

"An incredibly potent debut." --Jason Reynolds, author of the National Book Award Finalist Ghost

"Acevedo has amplified the voices of girls en el barrio who are equal parts goddess, saint, warrior, and hero." --Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062662804
0062662805
Branch Call Number: TEEN ACE
Characteristics: 361 pages

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a
Ana_Becerra
Jul 07, 2019

For those who see themselves reflected in this book, for those who are living the life of the character in this book, this book must be amazing. However, I personally failed to see myself reflected in this girl and thus did not particularly gain much from it.

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AwesomeErin_07
Jun 06, 2019

This amazing book by Elizabeth Acevedo shows, not tells, us about Xiomara, who is a complicated character, who we can easily relate to. I, thankfully, don’t have a fear about speaking aloud in front of people about my work. Xiomara, unfortunately, does, which is relatable to others for sure.
I would suggest this book for people who are stuck in their cultural box, and wants to find the way out of the taping. I LOVE this book, was sad when I finished it. I read it over and over again, never visualizing the same thing.
I highly recommend this book. It has reasons to why it’s won like a million awards.

kobrien3 Jun 03, 2019

A quick and powerful read, The Poet X delivers a beautifully raw coming of age story that is as joyful as it is heart wrenching. I listened to the audiobook and was blown away by Elizabeth Acevedo's narration -- a must listen if you're into spoken word poetry!

dplSami May 28, 2019

A coming of age through clashing cultures and family traditions makes for a powerful story; told through verse makes it incredibly unique.

JCLTiffanyR Apr 19, 2019

The Poet X has won multiple awards and for good reason. It's a powerful novel with a strong, yet vulnerable female voice. Told in free verse, this is a lightning-fast read with some serious depth. Xiomara Batista feels stifled by her religious mother, who resents her for her bodacious curves that suggest sin. Poetry is Xiomara's outlet and what a powerful outlet it is. You'll root for Xiomara to find her voice as the Poet X.

OPL_MichelleC Apr 11, 2019

When I finished National Book Award winner The Poet X, I felt chills. Powerful, descriptive narrative poetry that details a story of first love, family, and religion. I was awed, shocked, warmed, saddened, angered, and calmed.

VaughanPLKim Apr 10, 2019

I'm not usually a fan of poetry or reading novels in verse, but I really enjoyed this book. Xiomara is such a well-written character and her voices really shines through in her poetry. Her struggle to be who she wants to be rather than who her parents want her to be is one that many teens will relate to.

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pink_panda_1782
Apr 04, 2019

One of the best things about a novel in verse is how immediate the character’s voice can feel. Xiomara is an outstanding character who is trying to figure out how to express herself and coming to terms with the fact that what her church teaches (and her mother staunchly believes) does not reflect the world as she sees it or the way she wants to live. She is sharp, witty, and always bracing for a fight, and some of my favorite poems are the contrasts between what she wants to say and what she actually feels she can say (e.g., her homework assignments).

a
anneelliot
Mar 14, 2019

Beautiful and powerful--my favorite read so far this year! I saw and heard Elizabeth Acevedo give a powerful reading from it at the Portland Book Festival in November, and though I'm not normally an audiobook fan, I will definitely be listening to the audio version as well.

hockeymdm Mar 07, 2019

Amazing Listen!

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AwesomeErin_07
Jun 06, 2019

AwesomeErin_07 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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pink_panda_1782
Apr 04, 2019

pink_panda_1782 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 25

OPL_KrisC Jun 13, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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pink_panda_1782
Apr 04, 2019

http://richincolor.com/2018/03/review-the-poet-x/

Review: Note: The Poet X includes physical and religious abuse, sexual harassment, and references to homophobia.

One of the best things about a novel in verse is how immediate the character’s voice can feel. Xiomara is an outstanding character who is trying to figure out how to express herself and coming to terms with the fact that what her church teaches (and her mother staunchly believes) does not reflect the world as she sees it or the way she wants to live. She is sharp, witty, and always bracing for a fight, and some of my favorite poems are the contrasts between what she wants to say and what she actually feels she can say (e.g., her homework assignments).

The Poet X is a great coming of age story. Xiomara pretty much does it all—falling in love, questioning religion, clashing with family, finding an outlet for her passion, calling out rape culture and sexism—and good times and the bad help her discover who she truly is and what she believes. Xiomara discovering and falling in love with slam poetry while we’re reading her poetry is a beautiful experience. It made me want to pull up some of my favorite Sarah Kay videos (yes, I had a slam poetry phase in my 20s) and just put them on repeat.

Even without knowing author Elizabeth Acevedo’s impressive and extensive body of slam poetry work, her love for the form was clear throughout the book. And so was Xiomara’s. I loved every time Xiomara made it to the poetry club or interacted with the other members, especially Ms. Galiano. Women mentoring other women is one of my favorite things, and having this teacher repeatedly reach out to Xiomara and encourage her talents was honestly inspiring.

But Xiomara’s story isn’t just a steady upward climb of honing her poetic talents; it touches on several more difficult topics. She is keenly aware of how much rape culture permeates her life and how much her mother buys into it and into the church’s sexism. There are some awful, painful scenes where Xiomara is punished (or insulted) for her budding sexuality and religious doubt. While there is a mostly hopeful conclusion to some of this, it left me concerned that Xiomara had only really bought herself some breathing space with her mother. (But that’s my pessimistic self.)

The romantic relationship between Xiomara and Aman is very well done, and Aman is one of the many interesting supporting characters in the book. One of the best traits a romantic lead can have, in my opinion, is consistently demonstrating a desire to listen. When Xiomara felt like she had to be silent, Aman was there, encouraging her with her poetry. (Another excellent trait is knowing when to apologize and how to make up for doing wrong.) I was also very fond of Twin (Xiomara’s twin brother, Xavier) and Caridad, as well as Ms. Galiano.

http://richincolor.com/2018/03/review-the-poet-x/

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