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The Poet X Hardcover – March 6, 2018
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From School Library Journal
“A story that will slam the power of poetry and love back into your heart.” (Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Chains)
“Crackles with energy and snaps with authenticity and voice. Every poem in this stunningly addictive and deliciously rhythmic verse novel begs to be read aloud. Xiomara is a protagonist who readers will cheer for at every turn. As X might say, Acevedo’s got bars. Don’t pass this one by.” (Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation)
“In The Poet X, Acevedo skillfully sculpts powerful, self-contained poems into a masterpiece of a story, and has amplified the voices of girls en el barrio who are equal parts goddess, saint, warrior, and hero.” (Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street)
“Though vivid with detail about family, love, and culture, The Poet X is more of an exploration of when the poet becomes the poem... Acevedo delivers an incredibly potent debut.” (Jason Reynolds, author of National Book Award Finalist Ghost)
“A glorious achievement. This is a story about what it means to be a writer and how to survive when it feels like the whole world’s turned against you.” (Daniel José Older, author of the Shadowshaper Cypher series)
“A powerful, heartwarming tale of a girl not afraid to reach out and figure out her place in the world.” (Booklist)
★ “Themes as diverse as growing up first-generation American, Latinx culture, sizeism, music, burgeoning sexuality, and the power of the written and spoken word are all explored with nuance. Poignant and real, beautiful and intense.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★ “Debut novelist Acevedo’s free verse gives Xiomara’s coming-of-age story an undeniable pull, its emotionally charged bluntness reflecting her determination and strength. At its heart, this is a complex and sometimes painful exploration of love in its many forms, with Xiomara’s growing love for herself reigning supreme.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
★ “In nearly every poem, there is at least one universal truth about adolescence, family, gender, race, religion, or sexuality that will have readers either nodding in grateful acknowledgment or blinking away tears.” (Horn Book (starred review))
- Lexile measure : HL800L
- Grade level : 8 - 9
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062662804
- ISBN-10 : 0062662805
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.17 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Quill Tree Books; 1st edition (March 6, 2018)
- Reading level : 13 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #47,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Considering this is written in prose, the story pacing is excellent.
Then the end. Without spoilers, just know abusive people don't change. They just don't. Victims hope their abusers will wake up and love and validate them. And I'm appalled by how many fictional books, this one, Twilight, Fifty Shades... portray this as being real and possible.
My good friend who has been a therapist for twenty years has seen hundreds and hundreds of abusers, and only one sorta changed. Not good odds, which makes stories that end like this very unrealistic.
What is more realistic is that Xiomera's mother has put up the pretense of change, because someone in her community has discovered her abusive ways. As soon as time passes, so will the "honey-moon-phase" and "dear-ole-mom" will return to her controlling ways once again, worse for the wear.
I can't believe the message this sends to youth and the fact that it won such prestigious awards. It's sad and deplorable.
We read this book in my book group and all the members agreed, this is not a good message to send to people in abusive relationships. Return home after running from the abuse, and your abuser will realize the error of their ways and suddenly love you? Sorry that never happens...
The formatting of this book is gorgeous. The way the poems are structured on the page tell the story and convey the mood of a scene just as effectively as the words.
The story is conveyed in a deftly succinct, but rich and moving way. The minimal approach to storytelling really makes the character come alive in your mind. I felt at home in Xio’s head, comfortable and able to understand her heart through the language And pacing Acevedo utilizes like a great chef utilizes familiar but perfectly balanced flavor profiles.
If you enjoy great writing and a unique approach to storytelling, you will love this book.
As for my personal experience with The Poet X?
Poetry has always felt like nourishment to my soul, but I’ve never felt it pierce so deeply and so directly into my heart as this book and its narrative poetry managed to do. As a Latin blooded teenager, I felt all wrong in my own body compared to my white friends, and I related to Xio’s discomfort in a lot of ways. While she became tough, I became invisible. My story isn’t like hers, except that I too found comfort in words and writing. I found enough connection to move me to tears by the end of this beautiful, heartfelt story about finding your words. I love this book. It has become an instant favorite. Beautiful and moving and earnest doesn’t even begin to cover it. Anyone who has latinx roots, has ever been a teenage girl, has ever struggled to find our voice, or who has a compassionate, empathetic heart should read this book.
This is not one I would pick to Illustrate how to live morally in a sinful society. And it shouldn’t be a required reading for an entire 9th grade high school, in my opinion.
The power behind the lines in this book is undeniable. I felt like tiny hammers were pinging the words into my heart. I read some pages two, three, four...seven times because they were so eloquent, heavy and impactful.
Here’s a favorite stanza from page 340:
“That love can be a band:
tears if you pull it too hard,
but also flexible enough
to stretch around the most chaotic mass.”
Mami and Xiomara’s relationship is so raw and intense, I felt like I was flinching during so many of their scenes together.
So many of the characters complement Xiomara so well...Ms. Galiano, Twin, Caridad, Aman, Father Sean...
This book captures the horrible, painful and metamorphic experience of growing up and magnifies it all with a layer of cultural norms and immigrant narratives. Holy cow.
This is the full package.
Top reviews from other countries
The story is about Xiamora. It is about being a teenager. It is about being of Dominican descent and what is expected of her. It is about being a girl in a world that favours the male. Mostly, it is about growing up with these life conditions and trying to find your own place and not the one that is expected by her extremely religious mother.
My heart broke so many times when I read this story. As a reader, you feel the claustrophobia that Xiamora feels. How the world is both so big and so small at the same time.
The Poet X is amazing. Read it now.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is available now.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓲𝓶 𝓼𝓸 𝓰𝓵𝓪𝓭 𝓱𝓮𝓼 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓰𝓮𝓭 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓼𝓾𝓫𝓳𝓮𝓬𝓽.
𝓽𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓲 𝓪𝓷𝓼𝔀𝓮𝓻 𝓫𝓮𝓯𝓸𝓻𝓮 𝓲 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓴.
“𝓘𝓶 𝓳𝓾𝓼𝓽 𝓪 𝔀𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓮𝓻… 𝓫𝓾𝓽 𝓶𝓪𝔂𝓫𝓮 𝓲𝓭 𝓫𝓮 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓟𝓸𝓮𝓽 𝓧.“
I think I may have found a new favourite author. Some of the best writing I have ever read. Her words pull on my heart strings that most writing has never accomplished before. Elizabeth Acevedo is a genius with words. Her books should be read by everyone worldwide.
’… 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓭𝓼 𝓰𝓲𝓿𝓮 𝓹𝓮𝓸𝓹𝓵𝓮 𝓹𝓮𝓻𝓶𝓲𝓼𝓼𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓽𝓸 𝓫𝓮 𝓽𝓱𝓮𝓲𝓻 𝓯𝓾𝓵𝓵𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓼𝓮𝓵𝓯. 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓪𝓻𝓮𝓷𝓽 𝓽𝓱𝓮𝓼𝓮 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓹𝓸𝓮𝓶𝓼
𝓲 𝓶𝓸𝓼𝓽 𝓷𝓮𝓮𝓭𝓮𝓭 𝓽𝓸 𝓱𝓮𝓪𝓻 𝓶𝓸𝓻𝓮?’
The Poet X follows Xiomara, who is always having to abide by her mothers strict religious rules. Wanting to be free, she is having to sneak around that any other teenage girl would do. But that’s not freedom. The only way she can relive herself of her overwhelming emotions is by writing in her journal. However, it’s not any kind of writing, it’s poetry, and Xiomara is really good at it. She loves poetry. It’s her release, a way to express herself without anyone hearing or seeing.
When she is offered to join a poetry club, she is overcome with joy. A place where she can share her beloved work. Unfortunately poetry club clashes with church, and there is no way she can miss church. Miss church and she must feel her mothers wrath, and that’s something she does not want.
This beautiful novel follows Xiomara through the struggles of wanting to live a normal teenage life, boys, parties and definitely not confined to a church and God. Throughout these struggles she finds solace in her poetry and is reading to share her work with the world, with help from her friends.
I hope Acevedo releases more novels in verse in the coming years, because I need them all.
There was something so compelling about the writing style, the characters, just the whole way this novel was presented!
I didn't want to put this book down; Xiomara was such an interesting and bold character to read about. Her little world and the way she lives gets explored so fantastically.
I can't wait to read more from Elizabeth Acevedo because she has some real talent.