Book Reviews

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo



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, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she 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.


Isn’t it give you such a warm a fuzzy feeling to have high expectations for a book—and then it delivers?

Mmm. Mm-hmm. Yeahhh.

I really can’t put much into words except to tell you that this multiple award winner is worth it. Maybe knowing that it’s a novel in verse makes you hesitate, but please, read it anyway.

It shows how painful it is when everyone around you has already decided who you are for you—especially as a girl.

“And I think about all the things we could be
if we were never told our bodies were not build for them.”

It shows how hard it can be to break away from those judgements and the path you are expected to take when someone pushes you back every step you take.

How especially hard it can be when you have grown up in a household where you have been taught that what happens in the home stays in the home.

Xiomara deserves to have her voice heard.

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