The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Sometimes you just want to read a book that makes you feel good. Read this heartwarming story about the power of family, community, young love, and poetry with a cup of hot chocolate and a churro. Find out who wins 13-year old Arturo’s epic battle against land developer Wilfredo Pipo, who wants to tear down his family’s Cuban restaurant to build the towering “Pipo Place” that will forever change the close-knit Miami neighborhood where the novel takes place.  

— Rhonda


"Sensational." --Matt de la Pena, New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author of The Last Stop on Market Street

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 Jose Marti.

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.

About the Author

Pablo Cartaya has always been a hopeless romantic. In middle school he secretly loved reading Shakespeare's sonnets (don't tell anyone), and he once spent his allowance on roses for a girl he liked. He also wrote her eight poems. Bad ones. He's been writing ever since. Pablo has worked in Cuban restaurants and the entertainment industry, and he graduated with an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. All of these experiences have helped him write stories that reflect his family, culture, and love of words. Pablo lives in Miami with his wife and two kids, surrounded by tias, tios, cousins, and people who he calls cousins (but aren't really his cousins). Learn more about Pablo at
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101997239
ISBN-10: 1101997230
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Pages: 256
Language: English