Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Book rating: 05 CD-Audio

By (author) Benjamin Alire Saenz, Read by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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  • Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER AUDIO
  • Format: CD-Audio | 7 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 145mm x 23mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 9 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1442366419
  • ISBN 13: 9781442366411
  • Edition: Unabridged
  • Edition statement: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 747,161

Product description

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Saenz. 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.

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Author information

Benjamin Alire Saenz is an American Book Award-winning author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. His first novel for teens, "Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood," was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the "Los Angels Times" Book Prize. His second book for teens, "He Forgot to Say Goodbye," won the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, the Southwest Books Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Customer reviews

By Laura Graves 27 May 2013 5

I had to give myself some space from this novel after I finished it because I was so floored. I'm still not sure I can capture exactly how it made me feel or how much I loved it.

Aristotle, or Ari, is angsty and confused. He's angry that his parents won't talk to him about his brother, who's in prison. He's also a loner, never feeling like he quite fits in with other boys. Dante is a brilliant boy who tries to look on the brighter side of life. The two seem to have nothing in common, but learn a lot about themselves through their friendship. Ari and Dante are the kinds of characters that feel very real and jump off the page, but you would be hard-pressed to find real people like them. I loved the literary references, commentaries on different aspects of life, and their parents. It's so easy to find YA books with parents who are either never around or are unsupportive. Ari and Dante have wonderful parents who love them, talk to them, and want them to be happy. I wish everyone could have parents like them. The writing was so beautiful that I immediately wanted to read everything Saenz has ever written. I liked that the LGBT elements weren't of the in-your-face variety. It's just genuine. I also loved their struggle with where they stand as Americans and Mexicans. It was so refreshing to read about these topics when they're handled subtly and well. This book definitely deserves all of the acclaim and awards. The narration was good, but I had to let it grow on me. I wasn't sure about his voice in the beginning. After listening to nearly the entire book in one sitting, his voices became the characters' voices to me. I'm already re-reading this one in print to pick up on any quotes I might want to tag and I can still hear the narrator's voices in my head.

Go read this book now!

Review quote

"I'm absolutely blown away. This is Saenz's best work by far...It's a beautiful story, so beautifully told and so psychologically acute! Both Ari and Dante are simply great characters who will live on in my memory. Everything about the book is absolutely pitch perfect...It's already my favorite book of the year!"--Michael Cart, Booklist columnist and YALSA past president