“Maybe, the only thing that has to make sense
about being somebody's friend
is that you help them to be their best self
on any given day. That you give them a home
when they don't want to be in their own." - Page 172
I've shared photos of this book a couple times here on Instagram (thanks again Page 1 Books!). It's one of my daughter's favorites. When I began reading it she would ask me what part I was on so we could talk about it — the feelings mostly, feelings that you can't help but experience as you make your way through each page. The Poet X is unlike anything I've ever read addressing everyday and complex issues that are relatable and relevant across generations with a beautiful lyrical ease. Pages of poems come together to tell the story of Xiomara, a teen from Harlem, as well as pieces of the stories of the people that are a part of her life.
I experienced a range of emotions while reading this. As my daughter predicted my heart ached (and I was so mad!) when Xiomara lost something that meant everything to her. Later my heart found comfort in the realization that what she lost was not completely gone as she now carried it inside her. X became her own hero and a hero for countless readers who have come to love her story, me included.
The quote above is one of my favorites from the book. Like great friends, great stories can inspire us to be our best self. Sometimes seeing ourselves in these stories can help us to feel at home and give us a sense of belonging. Both, great friends and great stories (written and told), are a gift.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo