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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherSimon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date2014-04-01 (added to CC 11 Jan 2015)
Amazon Sales Rank2,764
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 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.

Member Reviews
(26 Jan 2015)
Aristoltle is fifteen, friendless, can't swim, Mexican-American, and feels perpetually angry. He adores his mother and at times finds he can really talk to her. But, his father, a former Marine and Viet Nam veteran, seems unreachable. It's summer and he wants to do something. Then, one day at the pool, he meets Dante who offers to teach him to swim.

Like Aristotle, Dante is also Mexican, but he seems able to talk to anybody, is smart and funny, and has a dad he can talk to. Then again, his mother, the therapist, is a little more difficult to talk with, but Dante seems to take it in stride. And Dante wants a friend too.

This novel of family, friendship, loneliness, bigotry, discrimination, death, pain and sexual identity is one of the most beautifully written works in YA (LGBT) literature I have ever read. I have not been moved by such a work in many years. I highly recommend this novel.
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