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
This young adult novel, a selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List, is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 6 to 8, in the classroom or for homeschooling.
Plus don't miss Elizabeth Acevedo's With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Written entirely in punchy verse, this beautiful and profound novel introduces us to frustrated teen Xiomara Batista. Growing up in Harlem, Xiomara finds it hard to be heard, difficult to understand her family—especially her superreligious mother—and nearly impossible to express her own feelings. But then she discovers her incredible talent for slam poetry. Finally, Xiomara, now called Poet X, begins to grow into herself and make sense of the world. In her powerful fiction debut, renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo delivers a memorable portrait of an artist’s creative birth.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Awesome, electrifying, powerful, moving and emotional debut novel by author ! A great read that can be done in one day because of how anticipating each page is.
Spoke to my heart and melted my soul
I had such a profound connection to this book it was comforting to read. I loved the way she’d set a scene and flow the dialogue.
The Poet X