The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo | Teens |
ISBN: 0062662805 Global Overview for this book
Registered by k00kaburra of San Jose, California USA on 3/9/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by k00kaburra from San Jose, California USA on Friday, March 9, 2018
PAPERBACK ARC.

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Amazon Editorial Review

“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

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing #ownvoices 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.

Journal Entry 2 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Friday, March 9, 2018
Started listening to an audio version of the book today.

Journal Entry 3 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Friday, March 23, 2018
Finished several days ago.

First of all, if you get the chance to hear the audio version of this book, do it. It's such a treat It's read by the author, Elizabeth Acevedo, and really captures the emotion of Xiomara's life. Plus, the performance of poetry is central to the story, so it really adds something to hear it spoken aloud.

This is a beautiful, raw coming-of-age story. Acevedo captures the turmoil of teenage years so vividly. Xiomara is struggling to figure out who she is and wrestling with words to express herself. She's the daughter of immigrants and a child of the Catholic Church, but she's not a Dominican or a Christian in the way that her mother is. Mami doesn't understand why her daughter acts so wild and wanton and out of control, when by many parents' standards Xiomara is fairly well-behaved. The endless friction between mother and daughter, old world and new, is universally recognized by all teens, but especially those with immigrant parents.

I wonder if Xiomara is made to suffer doubly because her brother, called Twin, is gay. He's closeted and I'm sure his parents haven't been told, but I can't help but wonder if they sense it and subconsciously double down on their daughter, raising her with extra strict rules less they end up with two sexually deviant kids. I'm not saying homosexuality is deviant, but I'm trying to project myself into the mind of Xiomara's mother to guess why she sometimes treats her daughter so harshly.

Xiomara has a great fondness for apples, and of course with all the talk of Catholicism and the Church one can't help but tie that into Eve. I should have catalogued the times she eats fruit and see if there was a pattern. Sounds like a good project for the next time I read the book!

Journal Entry 4 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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