Home
Cover for ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Cover for ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

BOOK JACKET BLURB: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012, $17.99
368 pages
ISBN 9781442408937
Also issued as e-book, $12.45
ISBN 9781442408944

 

EMERT’S NOTES:

Saenz has written a lyrical story of two Mexican-American boys, Dante Quintana and Aristotle Mendoza (Ari for short), living in El Paso, Texas, in 1987-1988. They attend different schools and come from different backgrounds, but the boys become friends the moment they meet. Saenz has a beautiful ear for dialogue. Much of the novel is told in conversations between the boys and between the boys and their parents. Both boys are trying to understand how to survive in a universe that often makes little sense. The somewhat quiet conversations, which reveal that each boy is a philosopher in his own way–Dante outspoken and contemplative by turns and Ari internal and dreamy.

Saenz punctuates the philosophizing with high drama–both boys are injured badly in the course of the storytelling. Not completely satisfying as a story, the language of the novel invites the reader to keep turning pages. The emotional impact isn’t quite strong enough, but both characters are lovable and represent the angst that comes with trying to understand one’s place in the world and in the lives of the people who populate that world.

AWARDS:

Stonewall Book Award
Pura Belpre’ Award
Lambda Literary Award
Printz Honor Book

SELECTED PRESS:

“Discovering Sexuality Through Teen Lit,” National Public Radio
Published February 20, 2013

Reviews of the 2013 Belpre’ Author Award Winners, The Horn Book
Published January 18, 2013

“Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Revealed,” School Library Journal
Published July 17, 2013

INTERVIEWS:

School Library Journal, Conducted by Karyn M. Peterson, January 31, 2013

REVIEWS:

Publishers Weekly, December 19, 2011

Booklist, January 1, 2012

Common Sense Media

AUTHOR ON THE WEB:

Author’s Website: http://faculty.utep.edu/Default.aspx?alias=faculty.utep.edu/bsaenz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BenjaminAlireSa

Headshot of Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Headshot of Benjamin Alire Sáenz

 

ALSO BY THIS AUTHOR:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s