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Elizabeth Acevedo is the New York Times bestselling and 2019 Carnegie Medal winning author of THE POET X. She is also the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, The Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children's Fiction and the Pura Belpré Award for a work that best affirms the Latinx cultural experience.
A few spoken work performances and a TED talk can be found here.
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From the one-of-a-kind author of The Poet X comes a one-of-a-kind novel suffused in YA’s finest features - friendship, shifting family relationships, fighting to find your voice, romantic passion – and more besides, thanks to the exuberant drive of its teen mom protagonist. Emoni has an extraordinary gift for creative cooking and a complicated home life. Her mom, whose family is “straight-from-the-Carolinas Black” died in childbirth, which caused her grief-stricken Puerto Rican dad to head home to his island. As a result Emoni was raised by his mother, the fabulous ‘Buela. Emoni is used to hearing other people’s problems with her dual heritage (“it’s like I’m some long-division problem folks keep wanting to parcel into pieces, and they don’t hear me when I say: I don’t reduce, homies. The whole of me is Black. The whole of me is whole”), but since falling pregnant in her freshman year she has a new set of struggles to contend with. It’s not easy being a teenage mom while also studying, working and dealing with Babygirl’s judgmental paternal grandmother, but somehow Emoni keeps it all going, finding soulful solace in the kitchen: “I’m happier in the kitchen than anywhere else in the world…my food doesn’t just taste good, it is good – straight up bottled goodness that warms you and makes you feel better about your life”. Enrolling on a culinary arts class makes Emoni even more determined to accomplish her gastronomic career goals, and also brings her heatedly close to new boy Malachi. But with multiple obstacles at every turn, when life reaches boiling point her best friend and family step-up as supporting sous chefs. Spiced with inspirational wisdom (“Taking risks and making choices in spite of fear – it’s what makes our life story compelling” says one of Emoni’s teachers; “The world is a turntable that never stops spinning; as humans we merely chose the tracks we want to sit out and the ones that inspire us to dance,” says Emoni), this luminous novel challenges multiple stereotypes and dances to its own love-infused, inspirational beat.
Winner for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019 | Highly Commended in the UKLA Book Awards 2019 | Winner of the 2018 National Book Award | Xiomara Batista is a Harlem teenager whose parents moved to the US from the Dominican Republic. She has plenty of thoughts, plenty to say, but she’s been rendered voiceless by her domineering mother, by religion, and by the boys and men who objectify her body. She gets “all this attention from guys/but it’s like a sancocho of emotions… partly flattered they think I’m attractive, partly scared they’re only interested in my ass and boobs”. Such is the experience of many young women, but for Xiomara this is exacerbated by racism and her judgmental religious community, and powerfully expressed in her inimitable narrative voice. Talking of which, through the sexual insults, and despite her mother’s meting of cruel punishments, Xiomara does find her voice. She keeps a secret notebook of poems, and dreams of joining a slam poetry club. And she finds love too, with Trinidad-born Aman, a compassionate young man with family heartache of his own. Xiomara’s descriptions of their burgeoning relationship are stunning, evoking first love and passion in all its visceral beauty. Somehow, Xiomara pulls herself free from a mire of obstacles. She stands tall, she burns bright - a wondrously authentic character who finds her own faith through writing poetry. Highly recommended for fans of Nicola Yoon, Angie Thomas and Sarah Crossan, this is a dazzlingly affecting feat.
'A delicious, evocative story' THE GUARDIAN From the author of THE POET X comes a sumptuous prose novel, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas' On the Come Up, Justin Reynolds' Opposite of Always and Nicola Yoon Ever since she got pregnant, seventeen-year-old Emoni's life has been about making the tough decisions - doing what has to be done for her young daughter and her grandmother. Keeping her head down at school, trying not to get caught up with new boy Malachi. The one place she can let everything go is in the kitchen, where she has magical hands - whipping up extraordinary food beloved by everyone. Emoni wants to be a chef more than anything, but she knows it's pointless to pursue the impossible. There are rules she has to play by. And yet, once she starts cooking, and gets that fire on high, she sees that her drive to feed will feed her soul and dreams too. And anything is possible. 'With its judicious depth and brilliant blazes of writing that simmer, then nourish, With the Fire on High is literary soul food' New York Times
WINNER OF THE THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019 SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN'S BOOK PRIZE 2019 THE WINNER OF THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD THE WINNER OF THE MICHAEL L.PRINTZ AWARD THE WINNER OF THE PURA BELPRE AWARD THE WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE-HORNBOOK AWARD 'I fell in love at slam poetry. This one will stay with you a long time.' - Angie Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give 'This was the type of book where I'll just do 50 pages turned into finishing it in 2 reads. I felt very emotional, not just because the story and the words themselves were so beautiful but because I knew it was going to make so many teens who felt like no one cares about them or listens to them feel seen.' - Tomi Adeyemi, bestselling author of The Children of Blood and Bone THE POET X - THE WINNER OF THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL. A stunning New York Times bestseller with a powerful and unforgettable YA voice. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi's The Children of Blood and Bone, Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and Sarah Crossan's One. Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. When it comes to standing her ground in her Harlem neighbourhood, she lets her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But X has secrets - her feelings for a boy in her bio class, and the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed. And a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight. Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent. A novel about finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in, no matter how hard it is to say. Brave, bold and beautifully written - dealing with issues of race, feminism and faith. 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 'A story that will slam the power of poetry and love back into your heart.' - Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Chains 'Acevedo breathes words instead of air' - Lisa Heathfield, author of award-winning Paper Butterflies `Powerful, finely crafted verse . . . Readers will yearn to finish this verse novel in a single sitting, but its echoes will remain with them much longer' Guardian ELIZABETH ACEVEDO was born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city's tough grit. The Poet X is her debut novel and a National Book Award winner. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on BET and Mun2, as well as delivered several TED Talks. She has performed internationally and her poetry has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and Teen Vogue. Acevedo is a National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C, where she lives and works.