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The Poet X Hardcover – March 6, 2018

4.8 out of 5 stars 2,086 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Magnificently crafted, Acevedo's bildungsroman in verse is a stunning account of a teen girl's path to poetry. Sophomore Xiomara Batista is simultaneously invisible and hyper visible at home, school, and in her largely Dominican community in Harlem—her body is "unhide-able" she tells readers early on, yet she bristles at how others project their desires, insecurities, failures, patriarchal attitudes toward her. Though she is quick to battle and defend herself and her twin brother Xavier, Xiomara's inner life sensitively grapples with these projections and the expectations of her strict, religious mother. Acevedo's depiction of a faith in crisis is exceedingly relatable and teens, especially those going through the sacrament of Confirmation, will deeply appreciate Xiomara's thoughtful questioning of the Church and how it treats women. Forbidden kisses with a crush and an impromptu performance at an open mic prove to be euphoric, affirming moments for Xiomara: "it's beautiful and real and what I wanted." Acevedo's poetry is skillfully and gorgeously crafted, each verse can be savored on its own, but together they create a portrait of a young poet sure to resonate with readers long after the book's end. VERDICT Truly a "lantern glowing in the dark" for aspiring poets everywhere. All YA collections will want to share and treasure this profoundly moving work.—Della Farrell, School Library Journal

Review

“The force and intensity behind her words practically pushes them off the page, resulting in a verse novel that is felt as much as it is heard. This is a book from the heart, and for the heart.” (New York Times Book Review)

“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))

Product details

  • Lexile measure : HL800L
  • Grade level : 8 - 9
  • Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
  • Hardcover : 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0062662805
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062662804
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.17 x 8.25 inches
  • Publisher : Quill Tree Books; 1st edition (March 6, 2018)
  • Language: : English
  • Reading level : 13 and up
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 2,086 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
2,086 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

LJBentley
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2019
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L J Newsholme
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and powerful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2018
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4 people found this helpful
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Casey Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars 𝔸𝕄𝔸ℤ𝕀ℕ𝔾!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars 𝔸𝕄𝔸ℤ𝕀ℕ𝔾!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2020
“𝓢𝓸 𝔀𝓱𝓪𝓽𝓼 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓰𝓮 𝓷𝓪𝓶𝓮, 𝓧𝓲𝓸𝓶𝓪𝓻𝓪?“

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.“

Elizabeth Acevedo
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.
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Pamela Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful voice
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2019
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Clare Wapshare
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprise worth reading.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 13, 2020
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