Parents' Guide to

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Vibrant, touching story of lovelorn teen finding his voice.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Too romantic

Too much interest in romance, barley even a decent plot.
age 10+

Humorous, Relatable, and Educational

This book is great for bilingual kids! It is a funny, lighthearted coming-of-age tale that also grapples with heavier topics like gentrification. Ultimately, the power of love, family, and community prevail and readers learn a powerful lesson about civic engagement.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Pablo Cartaya digs deep beneath the surface of debates over gentrification with this rich, warm debut novel about a 13-year-old helping his family find their way forward in an ever-changing world. The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora is about identity: where we come from and the choices we make about who we want to become. As Arturo learns more about his Cuban American family's past, he grows more confident of his own voice and becomes a key voice in his family and community's discussion of how the neighborhood may change and grow.

Cartaya creates a well-rounded cast of authentic characters, from Arturo's lively family to his entertaining friends. A mix of narrative styles and blend of languages make communication styles a central focus of attention. Cartaya does so much so well that his only false note -- the pushy real estate developer, a barely developed cartoon villain -- is a disappointing distraction from an otherwise engaging story.

Book Details

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