Cover image for The poet X
Title:
The poet X
Title:
The poet X
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publisher Info:
New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Physical Description:
361 pages ; 22 cm
Abstract:
When Xiomara Batista, who pours all her frustrations and passion into poetry, is invited to join the school slam poetry club, she struggles with her mother's expectations and her need to be heard.

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Summary

Summary

National Book Award and Golden Kite Honor Award Winner!

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


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Harlem sophomore Xiomara Batista isn't saintly like her virtuous twin brother. And her tough exterior-she's always ready to fend off unwelcome advances and unkind words-hides questions and insecurities. As her confirmation nears (after two failed attempts), Xiomara begins to voice her uncertainties about the Catholic faith and patriarchal piety pressed on her by her mother and the church. Both intrigued and disgusted by the advances of her peers and older men, she begins a secret relationship with her lab partner Aman, who seems interested in more than her curves ("who knew words,/ when said by the right person,/ by a boy who raises your temperature,/ moves heat like nothing else?"). Xiomara pours her innermost self into poems and dreams of competing in poetry slams, a passion she's certain her conservative Dominican parents will never accept. 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. Ages 13-up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

This coming-of-age story from the streets of Harlem centers on Xiomara Barista, a teenage poet seeking to express herself. X has loved writing down her thoughts from an early age. Unfortunately, she doesn't get to share them with her family, due to her mother's strict dedication to making sure X is focused on being a good Catholic girl. When X starts questioning her faith and realizes her brother is hiding his own secrets from their mother, she starts figuring out how she can stand up for herself and her beliefs. The story, though centered around the family drama, explores other poignant themes facing girls today, diving into human sexuality, the psychological impacts of going through an early puberty, and how girls have to fend off advances from men as well as the slut-shaming stigma that simultaneously can come from women. Ultimately, though, this is a powerful, heartwarming tale of a girl not afraid to reach out and figure out her place in the world.--Bratt, Jessica Anne Copyright 2017 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-That Acevedo narrates her debut novel in verse is a sublime gift. She's undoubtedly the ideal aural arbiter of her spectacular coming-of-age tale about a Harlem teen whose generational, cultural, religious, and emotional conflicts coalesce to teach her "to believe in the power of [her] own words." Not yet 16, Xiomara is unlike her brilliant, never-gets-in-trouble twin brother: "He is an award-winning bound book,/Where I am loose and blank pages." She fills those pages with everything she can't say, revealing doubts, aches, secrets: "It almost feels like/the more I bruise the page/the quicker something inside me heals." She's not devout like her immigrant mother or her best friend, and she's hidden her maturing body for years, until that first kiss: "He is not elegant enough for a sonnet /too well-thought-out for a free write,/taking too much space in my thoughts/to ever be a haiku." Encouraged by her English teacher to claim her voice, Xiomara's performance of her verses will be "the most freeing experience of [her] life." VERDICT Libraries should prepare for eager audiences requesting multiple formats. Patrons who opt for the audio format can access Acevedo's additional explanatory track about a final contrapuntal poem.-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.