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‘The Poet X’ Won the National Book Award and Elizabeth Acevedo’s Speech Was Everything

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‘The Poet X’ Won the National Book Award and Elizabeth Acevedo’s Speech Was Everything

The National Book Awards are basically like the book Oscars (fancy, right?) and guess what? Our ‘Why Not YA?’ pick, The Poet X, won the Young People’s Literature Award last night!!

We streamed this part of the ceremony live on our Instagram last night, and if you tuned in, you could probably tell we were 100% freaking out from all the cheering and camera shakiness (can you blame us? We were literally beside ourselves!!) when Robin Benway announced that the winner was The Poet X!

And can we talk about that amazing acceptance speech that Elizabeth Acevedo gave? It was truly remarkable.

“As the child of immigrants, as a black woman, as a Latina, as someone whose accented voice holds certain neighborhoods, whose body holds certain stories, I always feel like I have to prove that I’m worthy enough and there will never be an award or accolate that would take that away.”

We had chills and could not stop nodding and clapping and crying while she was speaking.

“But every single time I meet a reader who looks at me and says, ‘I have never seen my story until I read yours,’ I am reminded of why this matters. And that it’s not going to be an award or accolade. It’s going to be looking at someone in the face and saying, ‘I see you,’ and in return be told, ‘I am seen.’ And so, thank you so much to the readers who time and again remind me why I took this leap, why it matters, and why books matter.”

Whoa. If you missed the speech and want to see it for yourself, we saved the video and just posted it to our IGTV. Go check it out literally right now!!

And if you haven’t read the book, don’t worry, we aren’t judging you! Well, we sort of are, but we’ll let it pass. Because you have time to read it before our very first ‘Why Not YA?’ Facebook Watch episode on November 30th!! Head over and follow us now if you haven’t already!

Comment right on the page! Tell us what you think! Do you have any questions for Elizabeth you think we should ask? We want to know it all!

And more than anything, happy reading!!

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