Books by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Released: Feb. 21, 2012

"Meticulous pacing and finely nuanced characters underpin the author's gift for affecting prose that illuminates the struggles within relationships. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
A boring summer stretches ahead of Ari, who at 15 feels hemmed in by a life filled with rules and family secrets. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"It is also a celebration of life and a song of hope in celebration of family and friendship, one that will resonate loud and long with teens. (Fiction. YA)"
Zach is full of words: An artist lives inside him. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"A universal message with a Latino flavor. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A new dog, Sofie, joins the family introduced in A Gift from Papá Diego (1998), to the absolute joy of the children, Little Diego and Gabriela. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Young readers will enjoy its structure, numbers and playful dreams, while more sophisticated readers—and even adults—will find reasons to return to it again and again. (Picture book. 5-8)"
One cloudless summer, 78-year-old Octavio Rivera's afternoon naps lead to a series of fantastical dreams. Read full book review >
HE FORGOT TO SAY GOODBYE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 17, 2008

"Still, this is one of the few young-adult novels offering a realistic portrayal of life along the southern border. (Fiction. YA)"
Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove, teenage residents of El Paso, Texas, voice their anguish at growing up without their biological fathers. Read full book review >
NAMES ON A MAP by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2008

"Sáenz deftly captures a mood, but his obsession with introspection bloats the family story."
A sweeping epic about the choices a Mexican-American El Paso family makes during the Vietnam War. Read full book review >
IN PERFECT LIGHT by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

"A vivid story about a community of scarred, deeply human souls within a callous, indifferent America."
Poignant tale of a Mexican American community in El Paso facing the legacy of child prostitution. Read full book review >
A GIFT FROM PAPA DIEGO/UN REGALO DE PAPA DIEGO by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1998

"Reminiscent of Mexican folk art, they fit the story especially well, conveying its warmth and poignancy; geometric clay borders and small figurines on text pages complete the package. (Picture book. 6-12)"
A nicely done bilingual tale about a little boy who misses his grandfather. Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF FORGETTING by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 4, 1997

"More schematic than insightful: a tale of abuse and the recovery of self that has little original to say about the psyches either of obsessed captor or of captive."
Award-winning Hispanic poet and novelist S†enz (Carry Me Like Water, 1995, etc.) visits Turow and Grisham territory as he tells the melodramatic story of an abduction victim threatened by crooked lawyers and police. Read full book review >
CARRY ME LIKE WATER by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1995

"A tear-filled confessional Ö la Oprah, with a Hispanic twist. (Author tour)"
First-novelist and award-winning poet S†enz (Calendar of Dust, 1991, etc.) attempts a big book about race and family, love and death, but fails to rise above melodrama. Read full book review >