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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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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.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 19, 2011 – Fifteen-year-old Aristotle (Ari) has always felt lonely and distant from people until he meets Dante, a boy from another school who teaches him how to swim. As trust grows between the boys and they become friends (a first for Ari), Ari s world opens up while they discuss life, art, literature, and their Mexican-American roots. Additionally, the influence of Dante s warm, open family (they even have a no secrets rule) is shaping Ari s relationship with his parents, particularly in regard to a family secret; Ari has an older brother in prison, who no one ever mentions. In a poetic coming-of-age story written in concise first-person narrative, S enz (Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood) crystallizes significant turning points in the boys relationship, especially as Ari comes to understand that Dante s feelings for him extend beyond friendship. The story swells to a dramatic climax as Ari s loyalties are tested, and he confronts his most deeply buried fears and desires. It s a tender, honest exploration of identity and sexuality, and a passionate reminder that love whether romantic or familial should be open, free, and without shame. Ages 12 up.

Customer Reviews


By god, this is probably one of the most beautiful, poignant, and touching pieces of fiction I have ever read. The author does such a good job of capturing the essence of a lost, adolescent male who is searching for life. I loved the book so much, and though the ending took me by surprise, re-reading it makes me appreciate the prose even more. Such a moving tale of friendship and love and growing up. I think every lost boy should read this, regardless of sexual orientation. I hope it helps them along with everyone else discover the secrets of the universe.

A story of true love...really.

I just downloaded this book about 6 hours ago, and I have read the entire thing cover to cover. Never have I read a book that made me feel the way I felt when reading every word on every page. It was beautiful, powerful, emotional, and most of all thought provoking in every aspect possible. This isn't your average coming of age novel; it's masterpiece of pain, loss, and heartache all healed through the power of self discovery and love. It was a tear jerker for all the right reasons. This is a must read!

This book changed my life

I've been at war with myself for a very long time, and it has made me angry and hard. A part of me knew it and a part of me was completely oblivious to it. I downloaded this book yesterday and finished it only minutes ago. My eyes are wet with tears, but my heart feels much lighter. I have finally recognized the conflict within myself and feel like I am capable of dealing with it. For the first time in years, I am confident that I can be happy again. I may not be there yet, but I know I'll make it.

All I can say is this: read this book. It's impeccably written and the characters and emotions are so real that they leap off the page. I don't know if I'll ever feel love as strong as that in this book, but I finally feel like I have stepped out of my own way and am on the path to true happiness. I feel alive again.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
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  • $9.99
  • Level: Grades 7 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction
  • Published: Feb 21, 2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings