Benjamin Alire Saenz

  • 4 stars across 12 books
BENJAMIN ALIRE S ENZ was born in his grandmother's house in Picacho, New Mexico--on the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico where Juliana in Hollywood is set. He was the fourth of seven children and was brought up in a traditional Mexican-American Catholic family. His family spoke mostly Spanish at home, and it was only through his education in the public schools that he learned to speak and write in English. He entered the seminary in 1972, a decision that was as much political as it was religious: he was heavily influenced by such Catholic thinkers as Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, C sar Chavez and the Berrigan brothers. After concluding his theological studies at the University of Louvain, he was ordained a Catholic priest. Three and a half years later, he left the priesthood. At the age of 30, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. He later received a fellowship at the University of Iowa, and in 1988, he received a Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship in poetry from Stanford University. In 1993 he returned to the border to teach in the Bilingual MFA program at the University of Texas at El Paso. His most recent book of poetry, Elegies in Blue, was published by Cinco Puntos Press in 2002. This is his first book for young adults.
14th August 2014

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

This Printz Honor Book is a "tender, honest exploration of identity" ( Publishers Weekly ) that distills lyrical tru... MoreAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

(1 review) Review
1st April 2008

A Gift from Papa Diego / Un Regalo De Papa Diego: English and Spanish

Sensitively told and true to the experience of many Mexican Americans, this bilingual picture book bridges the borders t... MoreA Gift from Papa Diego / Un Regalo De Papa Diego: English and Spanish

(0 reviews) Review
7th March 2017

Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Sama... MoreInexplicable Logic of My Life

(0 reviews) Review
16th September 2010

A Perfect Season for Dreaming / Un tiempo perfecto para soñar

"[Children] will respond to Saenz's elemental warmth and rhythmic storytelling." Publishers Weekly , starred review... MoreA Perfect Season for Dreaming / Un tiempo perfecto para soñar

(0 reviews) Review
26th May 2011

Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood

It is 1969, America is at war, "Hollywood" is a dirt-poor Chicano barrio in small-town America, and Sammy and Juliana fa... MoreSammy and Juliana in Hollywood

(0 reviews) Review
14th June 2012

The Dog Who Loved Tortillas: La perrita que le encantaban las tortillas

Diego and his sister Gabriela argue over their new dog Sofie. But it's only when Sofie gets really sick that they find... MoreThe Dog Who Loved Tortillas: La perrita que le encantaban las tortillas

(0 reviews) Review
19th April 2012

Last Night I Sang to the Monster

Last Night I Sang to the Monster was chosen as one of the Top Ten YA Books of Fiction in 2010. Zach is eighteen... MoreLast Night I Sang to the Monster

(0 reviews) Review
7th September 2017

He Forgot to Say Goodbye

A heartfelt novel from the award-winning author of  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. On the sur... MoreHe Forgot to Say Goodbye

(0 reviews) Review
Image to show page is loading Show More Books