Submitted Date 02/21/2022

Genre: Romance/Realistic Fiction,

Format: Audiobook

Awards: Printz Award 2019

Reading Level: Grades 9-12th

Stars: 5/5 Stars

Plot Summary: Told in verse, High Schooler from Harlem Xiomara Batista is struggling to understand how she fits in the world, what voice she has and what it means to be a young woman in her community. She discovers slam poetry and learns how she can use her writing and voice to understand the restrictions put on her by her religious mothers and society.

Potential Challenge Issues: Some discussion of religion is had in this novel that may be challenged, but the author's discussion with religion adds to the discourse and allows teen readers to explore the various perspectives of it.

Review: The novel was read via audiobook which the author narrates. Elizabeth Acevedo portrays Xiomara's voice powerfully, clear, and with ease. Readers are able to dive into the story smoothly and vividly see the characters and the journey being made. This story highlights many struggles and conflicts that occur within the Latinx community and Acevedo doesn't stray from using language that is most natural within the context of the community. This story was so incredible I could not put it down. As an afro-Latina and a twin myself, I unexpectedly related to X and her struggles as a Latina woman and the Hispanic community. I connected with her love of words. I laughed and felt heartbroken and empowered all at once. I am overall so happy I read(listened to) this story. I highly highly recommend listening to the audiobook it was fantastic.

Author Background: Elizabeth Acevedo's debut novel, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. She is also the recipient of the Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award. Additionally, she was honored with the 2019 Pure Belpré Author Award for celebrating, affirming, and portraying Latinx culture and experience. She attended George Washington University and holds a BA in Performing Arts and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo is also a National Poetry Slam Champion.




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