Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Poetry comes alive!

The Poet X is a beautifully written novel by Elizabeth Acevedo. Her debut novel has the cadence and beauty of slam poetry. Of course that makes sense given that the author started her career as a slam poet.

The story features Xiomara, the female half of a Dominican twin set living in Harlem. The story, told in first person, focuses on the struggles that Xiomara faces- a highly religious mother, an unloving father, and being sexualized by the guys from around the way.

Xiomara is a writer. And, when she discovers slam poetry, she finds direction for her passion and writings. Along the way she finds courage and confidence to share her writing with the world.

The book was solid. It shows many facets of the challenges that young women face growing up in a machista culture. The one thing I would have liked to see was a closer relationship between Xiomara and her twin, Xavier.

I had the good fortune of getting to enjoy this book in audio format. The audiobook features the author herself. I found it on @hoopla. She is an amazing narrator. In fact, I enjoy her narration so much that I tried a book by a different author because she narrates that.

The Poet X is an excellent young adult novel. Once you are done with it, you will be eager to find all of Elizabeth Acevedo’s works. My

Check it out and then let me know,

What did you think of “The Poet X?”

Captured moment

The mahogany squirrel stood still. It’s back flat against the cream colored shed in which it hoped to blend.

The Blue jay saw the woman with one eye as he cracked open a birdseed.

“Damn it’s cold.” She said out loud.

She saw both Bluejay and squirrel nod in agreement.

We are all the same thing. She posited.

A perfect moment to capture, she thought to herself and began to fumble for her iPhone.

“Bitch, just be.” The voices of blue jay and squirrel reverberated in her head.

Just be. And they all went their ways.

Book Review: They Call Me Guero

They Call Me Guero by David Bowles is a great middle grade poetry book.

The book features a Mexican-American, middle-school boy who lives on the Texas-Mexico border. He is called Guero because of his light complexion and “white-looking” appearances. For me, this was particularly poignant as the book’s protagonist reminded me of my very own Guero, the oldest of my brothers who’s corn-colored hair and blueish-green eyes earned him this nickname in our family.

The poems in the book share with the reader Guero’s everyday experiences. The topics and titles in the book are wide-ranging. They include “First Day of Seventh Grade”, “Los Bobbys” (an ode to his squad, three boys named Bobby), “Joanna La Fregona” (a poem about his special girl), and “Father’s Day.”

I found Guero’s story endearing and beautiful. This excellent book showcases the rich culture of the Texas borderlands. It is filled with heart and told from the perspective of a hopeful, young man. If you enjoy books like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Diary of a Wimpy Kid you will love this book.

I highly recommend it and encourage you to consider giving it to a young person this holiday season.

Grand New Party

What a grand new party it will be, once we stop thinking you versus me.

And start acting collectively, like a WE.

They call themselves the grand old party A.K.A. GOP.

Their goal: to fuck us over. Yeah, you and me.

They believe in rights if you’re a corporation.

Just not for the people all across this nation.

With them, Poverty is your only station.

They want no health care or public education.

Democrats you ain’t far behind.

For decades you supported racist minds.

You spewed hatred and told minorities “toe the line.”

What’s more? Greed overwhelmed your lives.

Politicians they all knew.

Their rhetoric spread and the anger grew.

The people? They just fell for it.

Didn’t see past the fucking bit.

Fought each other to be the fittest of fit.

At the table, angry cause an “other” took a seat.

Fighting for one damn scrap of meat.

Since we don’t work together, we get beat.

It’s time to act. Don’t be hasty.

Be a voter, large numbers means safety.

Take care of neighbors.

Stop with the race wars.

Don’t let yourself be politicians’ whores.

But oh, what a grand new party it will be,

Once we stop thinking you versus me.

And act collectively, like a WE.