The Poet X

Book review by Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
The Poet X Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Powerful, haunting story of finding your voice and power.

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 15 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 12+

Beautiful, powerful, authentic coming of age story

Searching for highly-engaging and well-crafted coming of age stories for my then-13 YO, I found this novel on so many short-lists and award winner lists, I had to check it out. I found it refreshing to hear an uncommon voice articulating the complexities of daily life kids face. Heartbreaking as it is to watch this not-so-perfect mother-daughter relationship play out, I welcome the exploration of dangers and risks and the thoughtful examination of what feels right, what feels wrong and how to navigate and apply to the street corner the rules and principles we lay out in the safety of the dinner table.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 14+

Sweet and empowering but for more mature readers

I’ll start this by saying that I let my 11 year old daughter read this. However, I would rate this 14+ because I think that a reader should be as mature as the average 14 year old in order to read this. If you aren’t sure what I mean by that— this book contains some mild violence and a little bit of swearing (about as much as the average YA novel), and sex (6/10 in terms of descriptiveness, but only briefly). If that’s okay with you, then I would recommend this book. It’s heartwarming at times, and creatively written, and it has important themes in it. I would say that in my opinion it’s written very well. Overall— good book, but keep in mind that it’s mature.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Book Details

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