The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

Narrated by: Pablo Cartaya
Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can 13-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 cute 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.

©2017 Pablo Cartaya (P)2017 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Sensational." (Matt de la Peña, New York Times best-selling and Newbery Medal-winning author of The Last Stop on Market Street)
"Pablo Cartaya brings humor, poignancy, and a fresh voice to his reading of his audiobook. His prose is rich with imagery and honesty, and his cast of characters is bursting with warmth, personality, and passion.... Through lively prose and a lyrical narration, Cartaya weaves a story of courage, food, family, and community.... The sense of culture and place is rich, and the dialogue is refreshingly realistic. An ideal summer listen." ( AudioFile)
What members say
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun teen story with a focus on family first

The descriptive nature of this book was wonderful, I could almost taste and see things the author described. The story was good though nothing totally new and at times I felt it dragged a bit in order to focus on family and smaller events. Definitely worth the listen regardless!

1 person found this helpful

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Perfect for Bilingual students and Bicultural ed.

This book made me want to read poetry, cook, and eat some good homecooked arroz con pollo!! Drama, Love Story, Comedy Relief... this book has a little bit of everything!! I am sure my 6th grade students will love it!!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good story!

I really liked this book! It was sweet and funny and had tons of flavor. Great middle grade book and would recommend it for middle school kids.

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Noice

I loved the story. The inclusion of the Cuban poet who advocated for Cuban independence was interesting. Character development and dialogue was touching, especially between Carmen and Arturo. An amazing story.

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I loved this book it was one of the best book!!!!!

I loved it, It was amazing the narraration was great and I hope you enjoy it as much as me

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Great book about family

Loved this book. The Cuban people have a rich culture filled with family (much like the Mexican people) — I loved hearing about it and experiencing this one little piece of a young person’s life. I’m happy to know that even though Hispanic kids may not learn Spanish, at least they have books like this that gives them a piece of their culture.