First, this book is not due until March of this year (this is a perk of working in an Independent Bookstore: getting to see some books before they are officially out). Second, this is told in prose poetry, so the format will not be for everyone. However, for me (as an alleged poet and a lover of good stories regardless of format) this is a great way for an author to tell their story by saying so much with few words. Finally, it is also told in slam poetry format. This is a very unique way of speaking poems and when it is on the page, the poem is even shorter and again, must say a lot with little.
Elizabeth Acevedo, the author of this amazing book called The Poet X, is going to be a strong voice in young adult literature. She has a different take on coming of age. Cultural and religious differences aside, Xiomara’s story is relatable to girls of all backgrounds. A reader can forget our heroine is of Dominica descent and should see themselves in her struggles and in the words she shares with us. Even adults reading can remember what it was like to be on the edge of womanhood, questioning all around us, finding out the world has flaws and realizing how to handle it. Even as an adult we can see ourselves currently.
The story is simple: Girl and her twin brother are coming of age in a lot of social, religious overtones, cultural overtones, parents trying to live out their dreams with their children, friends and love all intertwined. But how Acevedo tells this story is what is important. I rarely reread a book, but I will reread this.