Skip to content


The Poet X – WINNER OF THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019 by Elizabeth Acevedo

As seen:

By Elizabeth Acevedo

avg rating

9 reviews


SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE 2019 THE WINNER OF THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD THE WINNER OF THE MICHAEL L.PRINTZ AWARD THE WINNER OF THE PURA BELPRÉ AWARD THE WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE-HORNBOOK AWARD ‘I fell in love at slam poetry. This one will stay with you a long time.’ – Angie Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give ‘This was the type of book where ""I’ll just do 50 pages"" turned into finishing it in 2 reads. I felt very emotional, not just because the story and the words themselves were so beautiful but because I knew it was going to make so many teens who felt like no one cares about them or listens to them feel seen.’ – Tomi Adeyemi, bestselling author of The Children of Blood and Bone THE POET X – THE WINNER OF THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL. A stunning New York Times bestseller with a powerful and unforgettable YA voice. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi’s The Children of Blood and Bone, Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and Sarah Crossan’s One. Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. When it comes to standing her ground in her Harlem neighbourhood, she lets her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But X has secrets – her feelings for a boy in her bio class, and the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed. And a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight. Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent. A novel about finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in, no matter how hard it is to say. Brave, bold and beautifully written – dealing with issues of race, feminism and faith. “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 ‘A story that will slam the power of poetry and love back into your heart.’ – Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Chains ‘Acevedo breathes words instead of air’ – Lisa Heathfield, author of award-winning Paper Butterflies ‘Powerful, finely crafted verse … Readers will yearn to finish this verse novel in a single sitting, but its echoes will remain with them much longer’ Guardian ELIZABETH ACEVEDO was born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. The Poet X is her debut novel and a National Book Award winner. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on BET and Mun2, as well as delivered several TED Talks. She has performed internationally and her poetry has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and Teen Vogue. Acevedo is a National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C, where she lives and works.


20 Dec 2021

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.

16 Sep 2021

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.

30 Aug 2021

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.

03 Aug 2021

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!

30 Jul 2021

This book is about romance and discovering your own soul and defying who you need to be, until you realise the truth

25 Jun 2021

Ruth Cornick

Brilliant page turner written in poetry form, well deserved winner of Carnegie

13 Oct 2020

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.

14 Aug 2020

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.

18 Sep 2019

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...

Latest offers

View our other programmes