by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Young adult chapter book, realistic fiction
Michael L. Printz Honor, 2013
Pura Belpre Author Award, 2013
Stonewall Book Award, 2013
Lambda Literary Award, 2013
5 out of 5 stars
This is an absolutely amazing coming-of-age book for young adults. Ari is a loner, by choice mostly, who struggles to understand his family’s secrets. Dante is outgoing, an artist who loves poetry, swimming, and his parents. These two high school boys become unlikely friends and work to figure out who they are as they go through typical adolescent struggles in high school.
Saenz is a master storyteller who creates characters who will grip your heart. On top of engaging characters and a story that keeps you reading way past bedtime, Aristotle and Dante also contains positive examples of Mexican-American families, and positive relationships between the boys and their parents. It is especially rare to have parents play a positive and substantial role in teenage stories.
Teens will be drawn to the realistic characters and situations, and parents will be reminded of the importance of communication and making sure children know they are loved. This book is a winner all around, and I recommend it to everyone!