Fun fact: April is National Poetry Month! What better time than to revisit your favorite YA story told in verse? The stories told through poetry in all its many forms is often the most powerful form of storytelling there is. If you haven’t read The Poet X already, you definitely want to make that happen. And of course, check out Elizabeth Acevedo’s book With the Fire on High, and keep an eye out for her upcoming book, Clap When You Land (slated for May 5th, 2020).
If you’re rereading The Poet X, reading more YA novels told in verse, or just reading more poetry in your daily life, share with us! We’d love to hear about it — especially if you’ve got any recs.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet 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. [Image and summary via Goodreads]