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Author: Acevedo, Elizabeth
A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother's religion and her own relationship to the world.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 195165
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 6.30
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 72794
School Library Journal (00/03/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2018 Gr 7 Up—Magnificently crafted, Acevedo's bildungsroman in verse is a stunning account of a teen girl's path to poetry. Sophomore Xiomara Batista is simultaneously invisible and hyper visible at home, school, and in her largely Dominican community in Harlem—her body is "unhide-able" she tells readers early on, yet she bristles at how others project their desires, insecurities, failures, patriarchal attitudes toward her. Though she is quick to battle and defend herself and her twin brother Xavier, Xiomara's inner life sensitively grapples with these projections and the expectations of her strict, religious mother. Acevedo's depiction of a faith in crisis is exceedingly relatable and teens, especially those going through the sacrament of Confirmation, will deeply appreciate Xiomara's thoughtful questioning of the Church and how it treats women. Forbidden kisses with a crush and an impromptu performance at an open mic prove to be euphoric, affirming moments for Xiomara: "it's beautiful and real and what I wanted." Acevedo's poetry is skillfully and gorgeously crafted, each verse can be savored on its own, but together they create a portrait of a young poet sure to resonate with readers long after the book's end. VERDICT Truly a "lantern glowing in the dark" for aspiring poets everywhere. All YA collections will want to share and treasure this profoundly moving work.—Della Farrell, School Library Journal - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.