Head of High School Brooke Wells discussed his thoughts on the book and the impact he hopes it will have on the SCDS community.
Q: Why did you choose “The Poet X?”
A: I thought the form was really neat. Storytelling through slam poetry is really interesting.
Q: What did you think about the setting of the book?
A: It’s a coming-of-age story set in a city other than Sacramento, starring a Dominican girl. I think it’ll open up more routes for discussion.
Q: What kind of discussions are you hoping to have about the book?
A: The kind of discussions that bring people together. We can learn about each other, and we can meet people from different grades, and they can share their own experiences.
Q: How did you choose “The Poet X” for the entire high school to read?
A: It wasn’t just me. I had other people read it, and I read a lot of other books. I liked the form of it, and I thought it was really fun to read a book written in poetry that tells an overarching story. It’s also a quick read. I sent out sample books to everyone, and they all read it and agreed that it might be a fun book to read, so we chose it.
Q: Did you choose this because it was a coming-of-age story?
A: It’s always nice to have a protagonist that’s similar in age to you, so you can relate to them more. Here’s a girl growing up, so you can empathize. You can connect with that on some level because we’ve all grown up at some point.
Q: What do you think your favorite poem in the book is?
A: Oh, I don’t know… I liked “First Day of School,” though.
Q: What do you think the takeaway message is?
A: I don’t usually have a message in mind for books. We don’t teach books to teach a lesson. The most important thing I’d like us to come away with is we should have a great understanding of our classmates. Anytime we can connect across ninth through 12th grade is what I’m hoping for.
Read a review on “The Poet X” here.
— By Natalie Park