The Poet X

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The Poet X is a 2018 young adult novel by Elizabeth Acevedo. Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, who goes by X, works through the tension and conflict in her family by writing poetry. The book was well received and won multiple awards at the 2019 Youth Media Awards.


Xiomara Batista is a fifteen-year-old Dominican teenager living in Harlem, who loves to write poetry. Though she longs to share it with the world, her religious mother is only concerned with her being confirmed, which has been put off for three years. She feels inferior to her brother, Xavier (affectionately called Twin) as he receives much praise for his work. During the school year, she develops a love for her lab partner, Aman. However, the relationship is broken when her mother sees them kissing on a train. Eventually, her mother finds her poetry, forcing a confrontation between the two.

Reception and awards[edit]

The book was well reviewed, receiving starred reviews from The Horn Book Magazine,[1] Kirkus Reviews,[2] and School Library Journal.[3] It was the fourth most ordered book at the New York Public Library in 2018.[4]

The Poet X was the recipient of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2018.[5]

At the 2019 Youth Media Awards the book won the Pura Belpré Award, for a Latina writer who best portrays the Latino experience for children, and the Michael Printz Award for best young adult literature.[6] The audiobook was given an Odyssey Award honor.[6]

Elizabeth Acevedo also received the 2019 Carnegie Medal for the best children's book published in the UK in 2018.[7]


  1. ^ Swan, Jennifer Hubert (2018-03-20). "Review of The Poet X — The Horn Book". The Horn Book Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  2. ^ "THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo | Kirkus Reviews". 2017-12-17. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
  3. ^ Farrell, Della (2018-03-15). "The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo | SLJ Review". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  4. ^ Hu, Winnie (2019-03-02). "How the N.Y. Public Library Fills Its Shelves (and Why Some Books Don't Make the Cut)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  5. ^ "National Book Awards: 2018 winners". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
  6. ^ a b Morales, Macey (2019-01-28). "American Library Association announces 2019 youth media award winners". ALA News and Press Center. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  7. ^ Flood, Alison (18 June 2019). "Carnegie medal goes to first writer of colour in its 83-year history". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
Preceded by
Where the World Ends
Carnegie Medal recipient
Succeeded by