The Poet X

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The Poet X (audiobook)

by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

The Poet X is about a girl named X (Xiomara) who is looking for her voice.  Rather, she’s found her voice, but she’s looking for someone to hear it.  X lives with her immigrant parents and her twin brother.  Her mother is a devout Catholic who wishes X were more like herself and less opinionated and outspoken.  She is rigid and unaccepting of who X is.  Her father has a shady past and basically ignores her.  Her twin, who normally sees and accepts her, has his own secret, so he is not as supportive as he could be.  He does, however, give her a nice leather journal, which she uses to write down her poetry.  She writes about her doubts about God and confirmation, her teacher, and the boy she’s been hanging out with.  She realizes poetry is her best outlet when no one else is listening.

What I liked about this book was that it was written from a perspective I’m unfamiliar with.  I will never be in her position, and reading about hers gives me a broader world view.  I also really like that it is about something many of my students are also feeling, or will be feeling soon, which is searching for themselves and their own voices.  Although I am not able to hand this off to one of my sixth graders due to the content, I would definitely recommend one of my former students read it.

What I didn’t like about this book was X’s mother.  I felt the same as when I read I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.  I was so frustrated with both of their mothers, because they were unable or unwilling to view their daughters for who they were, and both were brilliant, beautiful young women who were searching for more than what they had been dealt in life.  I was particularly upset with X’s mother, because oh my gosh… the first period is a huge milestone for a young girl, and her mother turned it into a dirty, shameful, embarrassing moment.  That upset me.  As a mother of two daughters, I pray to God I learn from these mothers and make sure to see my girls and not expect them to be my clones.  Because really, I’m not that great, and they can be greater if I allow them to be.

Book 78 of 40

(Book 44 of 2018)

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