The Poet X – WINNER OF THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019
By Elizabeth Acevedo
I think it was a good coming of age story that shows the importance in freedom within a relationship and the problems that come with not having freedom. It is a good quick and easy read for someone. The first poetry/ verse written book I have read, I enjoyed trying something new.
This is a very different book for me, as it is written in the form of poems that Xiomara Batista has written in her journal. Once I got used to the style, I found that I could not put the book down as I wanted to know what happened next. It explored the relationships with parents which was interesting. As well as how to deal with getting your first boyfriend and how parents may react to this scenario. Though out the book Xiomara discovers the Poetry Slam and finds poetry a great way to express and understand her feelings.
Written in verse, this is the story of Xiomara and her struggles of growing up in a home with a strict Catholic mother. She’s not allowed to talk to boys and she’s not allowed to join the school’s poetry club. Her mum wants her to focus on church and live the life she wants for her rather than letting Xiomara learn for herself.
I was uncertain whether I would enjoy this 'novel' set out as poetry, but I didn't even notice! The narrative was strong, as were the characters - they all felt real. The joy and pain experienced by Xiomara made me root for her at all times; her doubts about religion resonated with my own when I was that age.
I would recommend it to anyone who loves words. It is somewhat edible!
This book is about romance and discovering your own soul and defying who you need to be, until you realise the truth
Brilliant page turner written in poetry form, well deserved winner of Carnegie
I recently read this to support literacy lessons within school and loved the beat poetry style of the text. Xiomara's struggles in New York were a refreshing read and opened the eyes of our students to how different education is in America to their experience of school. Some of the language is challenging and shocking but several students remarked after reading extracts that although they usually dislike poetry, they enjoyed the rhythmic narrative and would be encouraged to read and try more poetry after reading this novel.
Considering the amount of poetry that has been written (and posted) during lock down, this book would definitely be one I would recommend for students in KS4. It has a strong female voice, cultural and relationship issues, a credible plot and all written in poetry.
I have given it 4 rather than 5 as I was a little disappointed with some parts of the ending but that's more my problem with endings and I suspect I am in the minority here.
Written in verse, it's an amazing book about a girl trying to find her voice. It's also about first love and a difficult home situation...