Book of the Week: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

by Pablo Cartaya

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Get the girl. Save the restaurant. Protect the town. And make Abuela proud. Can 13-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all in one summer—or is he in for a huge fail?

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For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees—plus a few shifts as a junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. But this summer is different. That’s because Carmen, a poetry enthusiast who moved into Arturo’s apartment complex, has turned his stomach into a deep fryer. Arturo is so distracted he almost doesn’t notice the smarmy new land developer with plans to ruin the town. But as the summer wears on, he refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight. And as he schemes with Carmen, he discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of Cuban poet 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 the inspiring tale of one boy’s quest to save both.
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  • ISBN 13: 978-1-338-74638-9