The Poet X

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The Poet X
First edition (publ. Quill Tree Books)
AuthorElizabeth Acevedo
Audio read byElizabeth Acevedo
GenreYoung adult fiction, Poetry
Set inHarlem, New York City
PublisherQuill Tree Books
Publication date
March 6, 2018

The Poet X, published March 6, 2018 by HarperTeen, is a young adult novel by Elizabeth Acevedo. Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, also known as "X" or "Xio," works through the tension and conflict in her family by writing poetry. The book, a New York Times bestseller,[1] 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 Poet X was well reviewed, receiving starred reviews from The Horn Book Magazine,[2] Kirkus Reviews,[1] Publishers Weekly,[3] Shelf Awareness,[4] and School Library Journal,[5] as well as positive reviews from Booklist,[6] the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books,[7] and The New York Times.[8]

The audiobook received a starred review from Booklist.[9] It was the fourth most ordered book at the New York Public Library in 2018.[10]

In 2018, Kirkus Reviews named The Poet X one of the best young adult books of the year.[1]

Awards for The Poet X
Year Award Result Ref.
2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature Winner [11][1]
New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Book of the Year for Young Adult Winner [12]
Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature Finalist [1]
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction & Poetry Winner [13]
Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature Winner [14]
Goodreads Choice Award for Poetry Nominee [15]
2019 American Library Association's Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Top Ten [16]
American Library Association's Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten [17]
American Library Association's Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Top Ten [18]
Association for Library Service to Children's Notable Children's Recordings Selection [19]
Association for Library Service to Children's Notable Children's Books Selection [20]
Amelia Bloomer List Top Ten [21]
Carnegie Medal Winner [22]
Lambda Literary Award for Children's and Young Adult Finalist [23]
Michael L. Printz Award Winner [24]
Odyssey Award Honor Book [24]
Pura Belpré Award Winner [24]
Walter Dean Myers Award Winner [25]
YALSA's Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Top Ten [26]
2020 Lincoln Award Nominee [15]
Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee [27]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Poet X". Kirkus Reviews. December 21, 2017. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  2. ^ Swan, Jennifer Hubert (2018-03-20). "Review of The Poet X". The Horn Book Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  3. ^ Paquett, Ammi-Joan (2018-01-22). "Children's Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-266280-4". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  4. ^ Coulter, Emilie. "Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, March 13, 2018". Shelf Awareness. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  5. ^ Farrell, Della (2018-03-15). "The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo | SLJ Review". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  6. ^ Bratt, Jessica Anne (November 1, 2017). "The Poet X". Booklist. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  7. ^ Kirkwood, Melanie (2018). "The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo". Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. 71 (7): 276. doi:10.1353/bcc.2018.0148. ISSN 1558-6766.
  8. ^ "The Poet X". IndieBound. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  9. ^ Booth, Heather (March 1, 2019). "The Poet X". Booklist. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "National Book Awards: 2018 winners". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
  12. ^ "NAIBA Book of the Year Awards". New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  13. ^ Book, Horn. "2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards acceptance speeches roundup". The Horn Book. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  14. ^ "BookPrizes by Award - 2019". Festival of Books. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  15. ^ a b "The Poet X". Goodreads. Retrieved 2021-04-21.
  16. ^ ALAM (2019-01-22). "YALSA names 2019 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults". News and Press Center. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  17. ^ NGILBERT (2019-02-19). "2019 Top Ten Best Fiction". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  18. ^ "Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults: 2019". Booklist. March 15, 2019. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  19. ^ "Notable Children's Recordings: 2019". Booklist. March 15, 2019. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  20. ^ "Notable Children's Books: 2019". Booklist. March 15, 2019. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  21. ^ "2019 Amelia Bloomer List". American Library Association. 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  22. ^ Flood, Alison (18 June 2019). "Carnegie medal goes to first writer of colour in its 83-year history". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
  23. ^ "31st Annual Lammy Finalists". Lambda Literary. 2019-03-07. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  24. ^ a b c Morales, Macey (2019-01-28). "American Library Association announces 2019 youth media award winners". ALA News and Press Center. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  25. ^ "The Walter Awards > Past Winners and Honorees". We Need Diverse Books. 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  26. ^ "Top 10 Quick Picks: 2019". Booklist. March 15, 2019. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  27. ^ "Announcing the 2019 RITBA Winner and the 2020 List! | Rhode Island Teen Book Award". Rhode Island Teen Book Award. Retrieved 2021-10-29.

Preceded by Carnegie Medal recipient
Succeeded by