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#VelshiBannedBookClub: Benjamin Alire Sáenz and the secrets of the universe

07:40

‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,’ by Benjamin Alire Sáenz has been critically acclaimed -- named among Time Magazine's 100 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time alongside classics like ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ It's even the basis of a new movie that recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. But also, the book is heavily banned. Ultimately, it is a moving story of identity, but it is impossible to talk about "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe," without commenting on the masterful way it's written. It is lyrical, with a cadence that only makes sense once you learn that the author is a poet. In this work, Alire Sáenz doesn't pander or use heavy-handed metaphors -- he trusts the reader will be able to do some of the legwork themselves. “Young people of the world are my children, and I think we should all think that way,” says Alire Sáenz. “I wanted to write a book to support them. To let them know they’re loved.”