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Parents need to know that Elizabeth Acevedo’s New York Times bestseller “The Poet X” is a coming-of-age story that deals with a teen girl, Xiomara, growing up as a thoroughly American young woman with a developed body in a deeply religious immigrant home. There are instances of street harassment, parental abuse, religious discussions, sexual exploration (some kissing, and one scene of heavy petting), and the revelation of a character being gay. Xiomara hits boys who ogle and grope her and also fights boys who threaten her brother. As punishment, her mother makes her kneel on uncooked rice and hits Xiomara, causing injury. Parents should be prepared to talk about agency, finding your voice, religious texts and meaning.

Parents need to know that “Love,” by Newbery Medal-winning Matt de la Peña (“Last Stop on Market Street”) and illustrated by Loren Long (“Otis”), highlights the ways love is expressed and the ways that love shows itself simply and unexpectedly in everyday life. The illustrations feature warm, loving families of different races, most in humble circumstances. These families live in trailers by the sea or run through summer sprinklers in urban playgrounds, and their strong examples deliver the book’s message: We can look for and notice real human connection and love. Most spreads are warm and reassuring, but a couple tackle more complex issues (a child affected by parental substance abuse, protecting kids from disturbing images on TV).

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Name: Mike Bibby 

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