“In a world where we are so often dividing ourselves into us and them, this book feels like a kind of magic, celebrating all beliefs, ethnicities, and unknowns.” —The New York Times Book Review
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.
It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as “an unfortunate incident.”
Sia knows that her mom must be dead, but every new moon Sia drives into the desert and lights San Anthony and la Guadalupe candles to guide her mom home.
Then one night, under a million stars, Sia’s life and the world as we know it cracks wide open. Because a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia’s car…and it’s carrying her mom, who’s very much alive.
As Sia races to save her mom from armed-quite-possibly-alien soldiers, she uncovers secrets as profound as they are dangerous in this stunning and inventive exploration of first love, family, immigration, and our vast, limitless universe.
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican American poet, novelist, and painter. She received an MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 2017. She’s most inspired by fog and seeds and the lineages of all things. When not writing, Raquel tells stories to her plants and they tell her stories back. She lives in Tennessee with her beloved family and mountains. Raquel has published two books of poetry. She’s the author of Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything and How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe.
"Listeners will fly through a blend of folklore, science fiction, and pop culture that makes for a thrilling and fast-paced story addressing the impacts of racism and abuse. Narrator Inés del Castillo's husky voice enlivens Sia Martinez, an engaging Mexican–American teenager. Sia's mother was deported by ICE and died while crossing the Sonoran Desert to return to Arizona. Listeners will feel all of Sia and her father's grief. One night, while lighting candles for her mother in the desert, Sia discovers a stranger—gruff-voiced new kid Noah—and they become friends, and then more. The story revolves around themes of friendship, romance, trust—and a sudden twist that changes everything."