The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

Pablo Cartaya, read by the author. Listening Library, , unabridged, 5 CDs, 5 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-1-5247-7517-9
Cartaya shines as both author and reader of the audio edition of his middle grade tale about the romantic pursuits and family life of 13-year-old Arturo Zamora. It’s summer in Miami and the young protagonist spends his days hanging with his abuela and cousins at his mother’s Cuban restaurant, playing basketball, and writing poetry to impress his love interest Carmen, a family friend and fellow poetry enthusiast. Cartaya nails the voices of various characters in Arturo’s extended family, all of whom are trying to save the family restaurant from a slippery, narcissistic property developer. Particularly entertaining is the over-the-top, passionate aunt who is prone to hysterical and unintentionally comical outbursts. Throughout, Cartaya’s performance gives voice to the sights and sounds of Miami, slipping comfortably back and forth between English and Spanish. Listeners will be glad that the end of the audio book, like the print version, features several key family recipes and instructive but funny details about how to bring those dishes to life. Ages 10–up. A Viking hardcover. (May)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Audio
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-101-99723-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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