Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, read by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Simon & Schuster Audio, unabridged, seven CDs, 7.5 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-6641-1
In Sáenz’s novel, 15-year-olds Aristotle and Dante struggle with the complexities and insecurities of growing up as they try to understand and navigate family secrets, their sexual identities, their identities as Mexican-Americans, and their increasingly complicated friendship. Lin-Manuel Miranda hands in a nuanced performance, capturing Ari’s inner confusion and self-loathing, his unexpressed rage at his parents, and his mixed feelings about best friend Dante. Miranda is just as effective in capturing Dante, lending him an upbeat, likable, nerdy voice. For the book’s other characters, the narrator takes an understated approach, allowing listeners to understand who is speaking to whom without creating full-fledged character voices. Because of Miranda’s standout performance, listeners will truly understand these two boys as they travel the difficult journey toward becoming men. Ages 12-up. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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