'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe'
Published on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 12:42pm
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz, won the 2013 Pura Belpre Award, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Printz Honor Award.
Ari is an angry loner who has no friends. His father carries the horrors of the Viet Nam war inside him, and his brother is in prison. No one in his family speaks of his father's sorrows, and no one dares speak of his older brother; he may as well be dead.
When Ari meets Dante, he allows himself to open up and accept his friendship. Dante is an artist and a poet, and unlike anyone Ari has ever met. As their friendship grows and strengthens, Ari's relationship with his parents, especially his father, changes for the better.
Benjamin Alire Saenz has crafted a beautiful story of finding your true self and opening yourself up to love of all kinds. The language was so poetic that I read several passages multiple times. These characters and their love for one another will stay with me for a long time.