Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Questions

1. So (spoiler alert!) did they discover the secrets of the universe?

Questions about structure

2. The chapters are very short. What effect did this have on your reading experience? Was it a good way to tell the story?

3. Much of the story was told through dialogue. Did this work for you? How did it impact your understanding of the characters?

Questions about content

4. Do you prefer Aristotle or Dante? Do you think they are believable teenagers?

5. All the main characters are Mexican-American. Dante worries that he’s not Mexican enough. How do you think the Mexican background of the story influences the book?

6. What impact does Ari’s accident have on him and the people he loves?

7. What do you think of the role of the parents in this book? It’s unusual for parents to have such a large role in a YA novel. How would you characterize the boys’ relationships with their parents?

8. This book is set in the early 80s. Do you think it’s believable that the parents were so accepting and encouraging of the boys’ romantic relationship?

9. Relationships with fathers is an important theme in this novel. How would you characterize Dante’s relationship with his father? And Ari’s with his?

10. Is this a romantic story? Do you think the title works?

11. What do you think the sparrow symbolises in the story?

12. Some things remain unspoken in Ari’s household. What impact does this have on Ari? At the end of the story, Dante gains a brother, but Ari may never get to know his brother. What impact do you think this has on Ari? On Dante?

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