One Book, One City for Kids Kicks Off in Grand Rapids


Kids throughout Grand Rapids will be busy reading this winter. The Grand Rapids Public Library announced its selection for its One Book, One City for Kids reading initiative.

This year kids in Grand Rapids will be reading “The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora” by Pablo Cartaya. The program takes place from January through March.

One Book, One City for Kids is an annual reading program that encourages all fifth graders in the city to read and discuss the same book. GRPL said the program “also strives to encourage a lifelong love of reading among students, to inspire readers to bring story ideas and themes to life through discussion, and to build collaborative ties between public libraries, school libraries, and area schools.”

As a part of this program, all fifth graders in the Grand Rapids Public Schools will receive a copy of the book and discuss it as part of their curriculum.

About the Book

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can 13-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 a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute girl 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. As he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Marti.

About the Author

Pablo Cartaya is an award-winning author, speaker, actor and educator. His other books include Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish and Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes. Pablo has acted on stage and television, including co-starring on NBC’s “Will and Grace.”

Children can meet Cartaya on Monday, March 11 at 6 p.m. at the Main Library. Refreshments and a book signing will follow his talk. A complete list of library events related to the book can be found at GRPL

*Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Library

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