Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

4.33 (523,151 ratings by Goodreads)
4.33 (523,151 ratings by Goodreads)

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This Printz Honor Book is a "tender, honest exploration of identity" (Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.

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 they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship--the kind of friendship that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through their friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves--and about the kind of people they want to be.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 25mm | 281g
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • f-c cvr (no spfx)
  • 1442408936
  • 9781442408937
  • 153

Review Text

This Printz Honor Book is a "tender, honest exploration of identity" ("Publishers Weekly") that...
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Review quote

* "A tender, honest exploration of identity and sexuality, and a passionate reminder that love-whether romantic or familial-should be open, free, and without shame." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review * "Authentic teen and Latino dialogue should make it a popular choice." -- School Library Journal, starred review * "Meticulous pacing and finely nuanced characters underpin the author's gift for affecting prose that illuminates the struggles within relationships." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Saenez writes toward the end of the novel that "to be careful with people and words was a rare and beautiful thing." And that's exactly what Saenez does-he treats his characters carefully, giving them space and time to find their place in the world, and to find each other...those struggling with their own sexuality may find it to be a thought-provoking read." -- Booklist "Saenz has written the greater love story, for his is the story of loving one's self, of love between parents and children, and of the love that builds communities, in addition to the deepening love between two friends." -- VOYA "Ari's first-person narrative-poetic, philosophical, honest-skillfully develops the relationship between the two boys from friendship to romance." -- The Horn Book "Primarily a character- and relationship-driven novel, written with patient and lyrical prose that explores the boys' emotional lives with butterfly-wing delicacy."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Saenz is a master at capturing the conversation of teens with each other and with the adults in their lives." -- Library Media Connection, Recommended "This book took my breath away. What gorgeous writing, and what a story! I loved both these boys. And their parents! Don't we all wish we had parents like theirs? The ending - and the way it unfolded - was so satisfying. I could go on and on...suffice it to say I will be highly recommending it to one and all. I'm sure I'll reread it myself at some point. I hated having it end." -- James Howe, Author of Addie on the Inside "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 "Benjamin Alire Saenz is a writer with a sidewinder punch. Spare sentences connect resonant moments, and then he knocks you down with emotional truth. The story of Ari and Dante's friendship widens and twists like a river, revealing truths about how hard love is, how family supports us, and how painfully deep you have to go to uncover an authentic self." -- Judy Blundell, National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied
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About Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Benjamin Alire Saenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He was the first Hispanic winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and a recipient of the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. 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 Angeles 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 Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He lives in El Paso, Texas.
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Rating details

4.33 out of 5 stars
- 523,151 ratings
5 55% (287,307)
4 29% (153,054)
3 11% (60,058)
2 3% (15,239)
1 1% (7,493)

Our customer reviews

Absolutely beautiful, I really feel in love with this book, it made me cry and laugh and just i have so many feelings. I recommend this to EVERYONEshow more
by Lucinda
This is one of the most beautifully written contemporary coming-of-age stories I've ever read. This is a love story at its core, but it's not a traditional love story. It's a love story about learning to love and accept yourself, your family, your friends, and your heart. The book is from Ari's first-person narrative, which I really liked. He's brutally honest about some things, but will shy away from the truths of other thinks, like most people do when the truth is too much to confront at the time. Through Ari's voice, the reader also gets to know and understand Dante, the one person that Ari doesn't really understand but whom he's fascinated by. I fell in love with Ari and Dante as characters. I really enjoyed both sets of parents in this book as well. In a lot of YA books, the story doesn't become too involved with the parents, which tends to keep them sort of two dimensional. But not this book. For the most part, when Ari and Dante aren't spending their time together, they're spending it with their parents. The parents add so much to this story. They each have distinct voices, thoughts, problems, and story arcs. What makes this book stand out the most, however, is the writing. It's utterly perfect. It's poetic, lyrical, philosophical, and totally captures the essence of these two boys. Although the writing is simple and the chapters tend to be short, there's a lyrical quality to it. The pacing is relatively slow. Not much happens in the story. There's not really even a plot in this book. These two boys are just coming into themselves in their own time. It's a character driven story about love, friendship, family, and their Latino culture. The ending is perfect. The way this story comes to a close is just the cherry on top of a wonderful book. There were tears of happiness and a wonderful grin plastered across my face during those last few pages. Everything about this story is incredible. I couldn't put the book down (and clearly judging by this review, I simply loved it). Anyone and everyone that enjoys YA contemporaries should definitely check out this book. The story focuses on two Latino families and dapples in the GLTB genre, so readers outside of the YA contemporary, that might be your in too. But really, just go pick up this book, everyone and anyone. I promise you'll enjoy it!show more
by Ryann Dannelly
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