Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
by: By Catherine Rayel

Section: Young Adult Book Reviews

April 2013

Catherine Rayel is a Teen Librarian at Long Beach Public Library and Reformista of the Los Angeles Chapter.

A meditative warm story about two Mexican-American teen boys, Aristotle (Ari) and Dante who have different personality types, one is outgoing and sociable, Dante, while Ari is contemplative and enjoys watching and analyzing things from a distance; but on a random day at the local pool in 1987 they start talking and begin a friendship that will last forever.
The story told from Ari’s perspective, is about the anger he feels inside, about his family’s lack of communication, family secrets and personal insecurities. Ari’s friendship with Dante creates awareness about himself where he realizes and better understands his misdirected frustrations. I liked that the book is not marketed as YA LBGT fiction, but rather as a story of the life changing friendships, everyone has had at one point and can relate to. The prose is poetic, with a simple sentence structure that will nevertheless evoke a lot of feelings that will make you want to cry, a good cry.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by: Benjamin Alire Saenz 368 p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers ISBN: 9781442408920 $17.99 Hardcover (Also available in paperback and audio book) Ages 12 & Up
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