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The Poet X cover art

The Poet X

Written by: Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo
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Publisher's Summary

Don't miss this acclaimed audiobook, read by the author-winner of an Odyssey Honor and an AudioFile Earphones Award winner!

The Poet X is also the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award.

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, whom 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.

"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)

This young adult novel, a selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List, is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades six to eight, in the classroom or for homeschooling.

Plus don't miss Elizabeth Acevedo's With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land

©2018 Elizabeth Acevedo (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What the critics say

"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)

"The author's passion and pacing unite in her rhythmic reading of linked free-verse poems telling the story of Xiomara Barista. The author, a performance poet, and her heroine possess a gift for arranging words, sequencing sounds, and enriching both with emotions.... The subject, tone, form, and expression of this audiobook are diverse and poignant." (AudioFile)

Featured Article: The Best Young Adult Audiobooks For Women Of All Ages


Many people equate "growing up" with "growing serious." But while interests may change over time, age does not have to be the deciding factor in what games you play, movies, or books you enjoy. Young adult novels are the perfect example of this. Though written with a teenage audience in mind, women of all ages are sure to enjoy the genre’s hallmarks: strong yet flawed characters, heartbreaking twists and turns, romance, and drama.

What listeners say about The Poet X

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Poetic Justice

Current themes and struggles of youth in ethnic communities. It is beautifully written. Going to suggest it to my students.

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  • Overall
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Amazing

I am not usually a fan of books I have to read/listen to my uni classes, but this one was amazing. Very, very well written, impactful, and it made me tear up. Thank you for writing this story.

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I love tHIS

that was the most I've cried from a book in a while. I'm literally drowning in my tears.

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A must hear!

A perfect partnership with Audible. Acevedo's performance was superb; it made me smile with the nostalgia of teenage love and cry at the pains of growing up.

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loved the story presentation was perfect

Immediately a favourite. Am sharing this one with my network. Reader captures your attention and you are left wanting more at the end.

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I Wish I Had This Book When I Was Younger

I tore through this book like I was hungry. Like I have been starving for a long time. Like the author, when I was a teenager I was in a home that shamed me for my poetry for religious reasons. I wish I could have had this book when I was younger... it might have made an impact on some of the choices that I made back then. I loved tbe narrator... I really feel like she captured the soul of the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is searching for a story and a heart to get lost in. #Audible1

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  • KSS
  • 2019-01-09

Better

I don't have the words
To say how much
I needed -
As a mother,
As a teacher,
As a human -
To hear Xiomara's/Elizabeth's words
Straight from her own lips.
I'm a better
mother,
teacher,
human
having listened!

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76 people found this helpful

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  • Kiana
  • 2018-09-24

Brilliant!!

I don’t even know how to review this in all honestly. Acevedo, who has earned herself favorite new author status in my eyes, has written ( in verse!!) the moving story of Xiomara. A girl just trying to figure herself out while living with a ultra religious mom, a cinnamon roll brother, and a dad who pretty much stays out of matters at home. Acevedo did a marvelous with the narration. The emotion she put into this made the characters seem so unbelievably real. LISTEN TO IT!! You will not be disappointed.

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26 people found this helpful

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  • rdk
  • 2019-06-30

fthoughts on Poet X

I really enjoyed Poet X. I think it is a remarkable book for book club with High School students and. many great topics can be covered. I would like to see our parents and their religions portrayed a bit differently. we can oppose their beliefs with out their beliefs needing to be portrayed as abusive or archaic. A bit more balance in YA. in general. nice almost to good to be true resolution.

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20 people found this helpful

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  • TC Austin
  • 2019-06-09

deep cultural story about the power of one's word

Riveting. Heartfelt story of a young girl's struggle for expression in face of an overbearing mother, society that defines her in a certain way, and doubts about purpose and faith. Wow, what a story.

Read by the author with brutal truth, hypnotic poetry, and a voice overflowing substance.

One of the best books I've heard in a long time.

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17 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah Donovan
  • 2018-04-13

open mic night

It's like sitting in the front table at a cafe on open mic night. Listening to and bearing witness to a teen's life with the strength, angst, love, and struggle

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17 people found this helpful

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  • Lilyfee
  • 2019-03-20

Amazing, must be experienced this way

A beautiful and relatable story told in verse, about a teenage girl reconciling with family, religion, sexuality and race. The author reads the audiobook herself and she is fierce. She becomes Xiomara and I would listen to her read anything. After listening to the audiobook I can’t imagine experiencing this book any other way. You won’t be disappointed!

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14 people found this helpful

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  • Thistle
  • 2018-09-17

Beautiful inside & out

This book seems best suited for audio. I'm so glad I listened, it makes the Poetry Jam nights such an amazing experience! And it feels like the first book I've ever read that actually portrayed what it's like to be a beautiful girl in high school - it's not all rainbows

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14 people found this helpful

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  • Fina Julianna
  • 2018-04-10

AMAZING!!!

I loved everything about this book. I felt every emotion and would read it again. Love that the author narrated this. Although my mom doesn’t rice me at the knees, she is a strong Christian. Xio has the same questions I have about the Bible and the curiosity. This book is going to be in my Top 5!! Love it love it love it!!!

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14 people found this helpful

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  • Mitch
  • 2019-03-06

Beautiful

I loved this book. It was so powerful. It’s a quick read but it leaves a lasting impact.

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8 people found this helpful

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  • Grace
  • 2020-02-10

Written in Verse - great for audio

Beautifully told story of teen girl of Dominican parentage in NYC navigating being true to herself, her parents' expectations, fitting in at school -very likable protagonist .

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7 people found this helpful

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  • Consommatrice
  • 2019-02-09

Incredible

This was the 1st audio book I listened to and it was amazing. The Poet X felt so real to me. The author describes everything vividly and it was a real pleasure! So much emotion in her voice, so many feelings raised from within. This is a beautiful book. An excellent read that I will buy a physical copy of because it moved me that much.

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