Blindingly wonderful. I read this in one sitting and promptly began recommending it to every yong person I encountered. (And there were several; I was at a family gathering.) This novel-in-verse tells the story of Xiomara, who is struggling with her overbearingly religious mother, as well as the space her body occupies in the world--a body everyone feels free to comment upon at will. It's also a story about why word matter. And when Xiomara finds the power of her voice and words, you will feel her triumph in your bones.
--Elese— From Flyleaf's 2018 YA Holiday Picks (Holiday 2018)
“This book is a great coming-of-age story for any teenage girl. A collection of poems make it a quick and thoughtful read. Xiomara is a Dominican girl living in the city, getting used to her changing body and attention from her lab partner, and wrestling with ideas of right and wrong. Her ideas of right and wrong are completely different from her highly religious mother’s. Her poems are her freedom, but how can you be free when home makes you feel trapped?”
— Lulu Roush, Waucoma Bookstore, Hood River, OR
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award!
Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
“Crackles with energy and snaps with authenticity and voice.” —Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation
“An incredibly potent debut.” —Jason Reynolds, author of the National Book Award Finalist Ghost
“Acevedo has amplified the voices of girls en el barrio who are equal parts goddess, saint, warrior, and hero.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street
Elizabeth Acevedo is the author of The Poet X—which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the Walter Award—as well as With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land. She is a National Poetry Slam champion and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo lives with her partner in Washington, DC. You can find out more about her at www.acevedowrites.com.