Sunday, September 27, 2015

Class Act, Module 5: Other Award Winners featuring Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz

As y'all know, I'm a Library Science student at University of North Texas. This semester I have the pleasure of taking an AWESOME class called Literature for Youth! One of the things we have to do is read some books from a list my Prof has provided us and then make up a blog and post reviews over what we've read. CLEARLY this is right up my alley! So, instead of making a completely different blog, every Saturday I'm going to start posting this new feature! 

Other Award Winners 

Audiobook, 6 parts
Released: February 21, 2012
Published by: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Source: Library

      Book Summary: This book tells of the coming of age story of a boy named Ari and his best friend Dante. There are so many different trials and tribulations they go through and as they face them together, they grow more and more. 

Reference: Saenz, B.(2012). Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. New York: Simon & Schuster BFYR.


     I wanted to read this book when I was just a mere blogger and not even working towards my Library Science degree. I've heard so many great things about this book and when I saw it on the list, I knew I had to read it for the Module. What I found when I read this was so much more than just a lesson. 
     As an adult, this book taught me so much about the Hispanic culture. I've finally read a book where it didn't seem like the background to the story, but the main focus on it. I liked that there was so much there that I was even taught some things. Such as the language. I don't know much Spanish, but hearing them in the story made me look up those words and remember the phrases they were used in. I also loved the narrator of this audiobook. He had a Hispanic accent, changed his voices for all his characters, and just pulled me in with all his words. It made me feel more at home in the culture and the story. I can definitely see why it won the Pura Belpre award. 
     I also loved that it introduced the world to another part of diversity. In this there are many different LGBTQIA relationships in it and it makes the reader feel more comfortable about both forms of diversity that's featured in this story. In turn, it taught me more about both subjects and because of that I fell in love with it so much more. 
     But even still with all the things I loved about it, there were still some things I didn't like about it. I didn't like that at the beginning there felt like there wasn't really a plot to it. It seeemed that things were just happening and there was nothing to come after it. But the more I listened, the more I understood it. It was about something way more than what I expected. 
     Seeing a story with so much diversity, being well written, and full of emotion, has made me very interested in other awards that focus on people of color and other areas of diversity. I will be looking more into those later on to feature in my future library. 

Professionals are saying...


     A boring summer stretches ahead of Ari, who at 15 feels hemmed in by a life filled with rules and family secrets.
     He doesn't know why his older brother is in prison, since his parents and adult sisters refuse to talk about it. His father also keeps his experience in Vietnam locked up inside. On a whim, Ari heads to the town swimming pool, where a boy he's never met offers to teach him to swim. Ari, a loner who's good in a fight, is caught off guard by the self-assured, artistic Dante. The two develop an easy friendship­, ribbing each other about who is more Mexican, discussing life's big questions, and wondering when they'll be old enough to take on the world. An accident near the end of summer complicates their friendship while bringing their families closer. Sáenz's interplay of poetic and ordinary speech beautifully captures this transitional time: " 'That's a very Dante question,' I said. 'That's a very Ari answer,' he said.… For a few minutes I wished that Dante and I lived in the universe of boys instead of the universe of almost-men." Plot elements come together at the midpoint as Ari, adding up the parts of his life, begins to define himself.
     Meticulous pacing and finely nuanced characters underpin the author's gift for affecting prose that illuminates the struggles within relationships. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Retrieved From: Kirkus(2012, April 18).ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE [Artistotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by B. Sanez]. Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved from:

Library Uses: 

     I would use this book as a Book talk. I would use it to get each child to find something that they could relate to in the characters even if they felt they were completely different from them. That way they could see how we're all human, just with different views. This could be used with any type of diverse book, so I would challenge them to read more books featuring another type of diversity and find another character they think differently from but could still relate to one thing about them. 

Book Image from:


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