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The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora DGS REP Edition
Contributor(s): Cartaya, Pablo

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ISBN: 1101997257     ISBN-13: 9781101997253
Publisher: Puffin
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: April 2018

Annotation: Arturo's Miami summer is marked by the arrival of poetry enthusiast Carmen, who helps him use the power of protest to fight the plans of a land developer who wants to demolish his Abuela's restaurant.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Family life; Florida; Miami; Fiction.
Family-owned business enterprises; Fiction.
Neighborhoods; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Emotions & Feelings
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2018012701
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.00" W x 0.50" (0.60 lbs) 236 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 190668
Reading Level: 5.0   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 7.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q71141
Reading Level: 4.6   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 13.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Pablo Cartaya has always been a hopeless romantic. In middle school he secretly loved reading Shakespeare’s sonnets (don’t tell anyone), and he once spent his allowance on roses for a girl he liked. He also wrote her eight poems. Bad ones. He’s been writing ever since. Pablo has worked in Cuban restaurants and the entertainment industry, and he graduated with an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. All of these experiences have helped him write stories that reflect his family, culture, and love of words. Pablo lives in Miami with his wife and two kids, surrounded by tías, tíos, cousins, and people who he calls cousins (but aren’t really his cousins). Learn more about Pablo at pablocartaya.com.

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall)
Thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora is part of a large, Miami-based, Cuban American extended family. When a scheming real-estate developer proposes to build a mixed-use high-rise development that would close the family restaurant, the entire Zamora family mobilizes to win the neighborhood's support. Arturo narrates his story with liberal doses of Spanish, untranslated and non-italicized, adding a welcome and authentic texture to Cartaya's debut novel. Recipes appended. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #4)
Thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora is part of a large, Miami-based extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins led by matriarch Abuela. As a young woman, she emigrated from Cuba with her husband (now deceased) and founded La Cocina de la Isla, the family restaurant, which is not only a famous establishment in the Miami food scene but also a mainstay of the neighborhood. Now in failing health, Abuela has passed the management of the restaurant to Arturo's mother. Arturo is looking forward to his first job in the family business, but he's nonplussed when he finds out that it's washing dishes. He'd rather spend the summer hanging out with his best friends, Bren and Mop; flirting with his first crush, Carmen, and learning the poetry of José Martí to impress her; or reading the letters left for him by his late abuelo. But when scheming real-estate developer Wilfrido Pipo proposes to build a mixed-use high-rise development that would close La Cocina, the entire Zamora family mobilizes to win the neighborhood's support, and Arturo and Carmen are right in the thick of things. Arturo narrates his story with liberal doses of Spanish, untranslated and non-italicized, adding a welcome and authentic texture to Cartaya's debut novel about a young boy on the cusp of adolescence, dealing with friends and girls (and possibly a girlfriend!), his place in his family, and his family's place in his community. More, please. jonathan hunt Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

In a vibrant debut novel about family, friendship, and community, Cartaya introduces 13-year-old Arturo Zamora, whose mother runs the family's busy Miami restaurant, which overflows with cousins and customers. But it's the family's charismatic matriarch, Abuela, whose warmth makes every customer feel appreciated. Complications ensue with the arrival of Carmen, a family friend from Spain who stirs romantic feelings in Arturo, and after Arturo learns that the restaurant is being threatened by a developer's plans to build an upscale multi-use high-rise. In addition to Arturo's funny and candid narration, Cartaya's storytelling features Twitter exchanges, script-style dialogue, letters from Arturo's deceased Abuelo, and poetry by activist José Martí; the dialogue smoothly shifts between English and Spanish, and readers unfamiliar with the latter should have no trouble using context to discern words and phrases they don't know. A memorable supporting cast bolsters Arturo as he tries to preserve the restaurant and his family's apartment complex, navigates his first romance, and learns more about his Cuban roots from the precious letters Abuela gives him. Ages 10–up. Agent: Jess Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 March)

Gr 5–8—Arturo Zamora is determined to save his family's Cuban American restaurant, the decades-old hub of their Miami neighborhood, from an unscrupulous developer who seems to have bought city council approval for his land grab. Cartaya treats this subject with a mixture of humor and heartfelt nostalgia. The warmth and solidarity of Arturo's family and their deep relationships within their community are palpable. Arturo's confusion as he experiences his first pains of love for their summer houseguest leavens the sense of impending doom. Eventually, the neighborhood pulls itself together to preserve La Cocina de la Isla. Sprinkling his writing with Spanish, Cartaya incorporates mouthwatering descriptions of Cuban cuisine, the poetry of José Martí, and the general wackiness of young teens' friendships effortlessly into his narrative. VERDICT Touching and funny, this is an excellent middle grade novel about Cuban American life. For most collections.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.
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