Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Publication Date: 2012
Publishing House: Simon & Schuster
This book made me tear up a bit but they were happy tears. The best way I can describe this book is simply beautiful.
Aristotle and Dante is a book about change and growing up. An easy way to describe it is a coming of age story but the ideas presented are so much more. This is not a story about great deeps or some epic but instead acceptance, friendship, and loyalty.
The story begins with Ari thinking “One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke.” Aristotle doesn’t even acknowledge that his hope comes to fruition, I’m not sure if he realizes that it does. The beauty of this tale is that we as the reader see that hope come true. It is not the whole world that changes but just Ari’s world.
Dante comes into Aristotle’s life buy asking if he can teach Ari to swim. Not your typical start to a friendship but one that suits Dante and his bright self-assured personality. Sáenz words in this book are simple and complex new words are celebrated and laughed at by the boys but the ideas presented by the simple words are anything but.
One of my favorite things about this book is the relationship between Ari, Dante, and their parents. This book works to break down walls and preconceived notions of how things are supposed to be while also exploring family secrets and how those secrets affect the family over time. I loved every word of this book and read most of it in a day.
Read this book if you haven’t already. If you have read this book I’d love to know what you think.