Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
The epic fail of Arturo Zamora
2017
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Where is it?' section below.
Where is it?
Summary
A 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela's restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo's apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn't notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.

Funny and poignant, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora is the vibrant story of a family, a striking portrait of a town, and one boy's quest to save both, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
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. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Arturo is looking forward to a Miami summer filled with friends, ice cream, and working at his family's popular restaurant, La Cocina de la Isla, but his plans get derailed from the start. Carmen, his mother's goddaughter, comes to visit, and Arturo doesn't understand why his stomach can't settle down around her. His job at the restaurant is harder than he thought, and worst of all, his family's plan to expand into an adjacent empty lot seems hopeless when flashy real-estate developer Wilfrido Pipo comes to town with plans of his own. Arturo hopes the community his abuela and abuelo loved for so long will support them, and with the help of his family, friends, and the work of Cuban poet and revolutionary hero José Martí, Arturo finds the strength to fight for what he believes in. Cartaya's lively debut, filled with kind, dynamic characters and interspersed with letters, poems, and Twitter messages, offers a timely tale of a community steeped in tradition and multiculturalism, working together against encroaching gentrification, and Arturo's inviting first-person narrative is the perfect entry point for middle-grade readers. Unitalicized Spanish phrases appear throughout, always with enough context clues that non-Spanish speakers will have no trouble following along. At turns funny, beautiful, and heartbreaking, this engrossing story will get kids cheering for triumphant, relatable Arturo and his powerful connections to family, tradition, and community.--Paz, Selenia Copyright 2017 Booklist
Map It
Fiction/Biography Profile
Large Cover Image
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1