My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Poet X is Elizabeth Acevedo’s extraordinary debut novel that speaks from the depths of the beauty and power of the written and spoken word. It is a novel in verse, told in three parts about Xiomara Batista, a 15-year old girl hailing from Harlem.
Xiomara (meaning “One who is ready for war”) is the daughter of two old school Dominican parents. She is often misunderstood and unheard in a home where her mom’s voice rings loudest, casting judgement and laying down the law in the name of religion. With a father who is at once present and absent; there but…”gone as anybody.”
She keeps these notebooks, at least one of which was gifted to her by her brother who’s long believed in Xiomara and has been a source of quiet strength and encouragement. She fills her notebooks with inspirational quotes and her thoughts of which, every now and then she dresses “in the clothing of a poem.”
A flyer hanging in the hallway at school catches Xiomara’s attention, calling out to all poets, rappers, and writers for a Spoken Word Poetry Club. Will she have what it takes? Can she speak up and be seen? Will she find her voice?
Favorite Quote from the Text
“The world’s been waiting for your genius a long time.” (Xiomara’s brother)
The cover is alluring and powerful and colorfully portrays the defining words that are etched into Xiomara’s very being. Those words hidden inside that affirm her and those that are freeing, as well as those that are vying to confine. She is Xiomara, listen to her voice. If you were looking for that book that you wish you’d read as a teenager, this is it. Now as a 40-year-old woman I am thankful for an honest, relevant read. This is one I can give to my daughters. It leaves me brimming with hope for the ways it will speak to its reader. Hats off to Elizabeth Acevedo for this exceptional debut.
Shout – Outs
Elizabeth Acevedo | http://www.acevedopoetry.com/#home-section
An imprint of Haper Collins Publishers
Epic Reads | http://www.epicreads.com/
Book Excursion | PLN Group of Rockstar Reading Educators| #BookExcursion