Friday, March 6, 2015

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe:
A Joint Book Club Meeting with BAHGLT

If you've ever been in a book club, you know that some times you really get into talking about the book, its themes, the writing, what worked and what didn't work, and sometimes you end up just gossiping. Today we hit the first high with an excellent discussion of Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamín Alire Saenz. All year we have been hoping to have a joint book discussion with members of BAHGLT (Paideia's "Bi and Hetero, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender" student club) -- BAHGLT's sponsor, Eddy Hernandez, and I had listened to the book over the summer, loved it and were pleased that both groups wanted to read it. A big group (10 students!) met in Eddy's room after school to eat Fellini's pizza (thanks to our successful pizza sale fund-raiser last week) and talk about the book.

Benjamin Alire Saenz

 Author Quick Facts

• Chair of the MFA program in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso
• author of 5 books of poetry and many works of fiction, including short stories, adult novels, children's books and 4 novels for teenagers

• born in 1954 in New Mexico

• went to college in Colorado, studied theology in Belgium
• was a Catholic priest before returning to graduate school and becoming an author and teacher

• is the first Latino author to win the PEN/Faulkner Award

Aristotle & Dante won 3 of the American Library Association's 2013 Youth Media Awards --
 --> the Stonewall Book Award for depicting the GLBT experience
--> the Pura Belpré Award for depicting and celebrating the Latino cultural experience, and
--> the Michael L. Printz Honor Book award for best writing in teen literature

Find out more

Author Talk -  how he came to write the book (at

Words on a Wire -- Podcast interview with the author (audio only)

NPR interview with the author (from the program Tell Me More)

Interview with the author in School Library Journal 

Interview with the author (HappyNappy Bookseller blog)