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Worthy of all the praise and then some

Cover of The Poet X: A Novel
A review of The Poet X: A Novel by Elizabeth Acevedo

This novel is all the things. All the words. All the awards. All the feelings.

I first became aware of The Poet X when it was awarded the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2018 and then moved it to the top of my reading list when it was awarded the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults and the Pura Belpré Author Award during the ALA Youth Media Awards announced in January. It's a novel in verse about a teenager named Xiomara Batista. She's a twin, she's bigger than her brother Xiavor, and she's a poet. She's also struggling with what it means to be first generation American with a Dominican mother that constantly threatens to send her away to live with relatives, a father who is present but still absent and a curiosity and questioning about the Catholic Church and boys that does not help soothe things with her mother at all.

Author Elizabeth Acevedo is a renowned slam poet and there's a slam event at the end of the book that's so authentic I felt myself clapping and cheering with the audience. I highly recommend this book and exploring more novels in verse.

Some favorites of mine:

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Moo by Sharon Creech
Rebound by Kwame Alexander
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Apr 3, 2019