Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo



Elizabeth Acevedo


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




The Poet X is a verse novel – told in narrative poetry format. Listening to the author read this lyrical story was music to my ears.

Xiomara tells her life story through her poetry. She’s a 15-year-old who lives with her parents and twin brother. Her parents are older and the birth of the twins is seen as a miracle. Her mother is a religious woman who wanted to be a nun but married instead to get into America. She’s transferred that dream onto her daughter. Xiomara, on the other hand, is realizing she doesn’t really feel like she fits in anywhere. She doesn’t want to be a nun and her body is changing in a way that is making those around her notice.

The struggle for X feels like it could be the struggle of many teens today. Their parents wanting them to be something they don’t want to be. Those same parents don’t take the time to get to know their teens. Their peers teasing them and making them feel like they don’t belong. Discovering their sexual hormones and figuring out how to handle them. And yet, X’s struggle was unique to her and her family because of her family’s culture and expectations.

THE POET X is a standalone. This is a fantastic debut novel. X is a complex character who finds her voice in an after-school Slam poetry club. I can see why this book has won so many awards for the beautiful storytelling. I also loved the beautiful cover art.


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Author: Foxy

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