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Publisher's Summary

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing #ownvoices 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, whom 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.

©2018 Elizabeth Acevedo (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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highly recommended

I heard about this book on Facebook. I typically do not like novels on audio since the narrators don't always capture the emotion of the characters and scenes. this narration was spot on. a great plus for a great story
I might add that I've outgrown coming of age novels, but this one has so many relatable topics which made it enjoyable. interested to see what this author does next

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    5 out of 5 stars

open mic night

It's like sitting in the front table at a cafe on open mic night. Listening to and bearing witness to a teen's life with the strength, angst, love, and struggle

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AMAZING!!!

I loved everything about this book. I felt every emotion and would read it again. Love that the author narrated this. Although my mom doesn’t rice me at the knees, she is a strong Christian. Xio has the same questions I have about the Bible and the curiosity. This book is going to be in my Top 5!! Love it love it love it!!!

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Omg I'm in shock!!!

I loved it!!! This is amazing. It's the first time that I read and listened to a poetry novel and I'm in love with it. I loved the characters, the plot and how the author interpreted the book. I recommend it. You will fall in love with it...

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Beautiful!

This book was very good!! Expression was amazing!!! the expression and performance was real read!!!

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Powerful Story

I love that this story truly resonates with so many children in the Latino community. Elizabeth paints a vivid picture with her words. Listening to her narrate her story was like watching a movie. I could close my eyes and see the story play out right in front of me. Can’t wait for her next novel! Keep up the great work Elizabeth you have a real gift.

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Epic YA story

An intense free verse style ya contemporary. Amazing narration, and encompasses everything I felt about myself growing up as a teenage afro Latinx girl.

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Incredible

Beautiful, powerful, and Raw. Acevedo is a gift to us and each word she writes and speaks in a present. I will listen to this again and again.

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Beautifully written story of adolescence

The poems flow effortless into a wonderful story. A story the provokes all the emotions of being a teenager.

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Epic poem of girlhood

I have never read anything like it. A beautiful, perfect epic coming of age long form poem for young women. Not just for young girls, it captures everything about being 16 and Dominican American in lyric lines that I couldn’t stop listening to. The author is a spoken word poet and I really do think it’s best heard in audiobook form. Brava Ms. Acevedo!