One Book, One City for Kids

Read With Us!

One Book, One City for Kids is a cool reading program that tries to get all the 5th graders in one city (Grand Rapids) to read the same book. The 2019 selection is The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya. 

Events in Your City

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora Author Signing

Monday, March 11, 2019 | 6:00 pm
Main Library | 111 Library St NE

Meet Pablo Cartaya, the author of The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora at the end of the One Book One City for Kids program and mingle with other readers. You will have the opportunity to get your copy signed by the author and enjoy cake and refreshments.


Learn a little bit about the author

Pablo Cartaya is an award-winning author, speaker, actor, and educator. He is the author of the acclaimed middle grade novel The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora and the forthcoming Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish and Each Tiny Spark. Pablo has acted on stage and television (notably co-starring on NBC’s “Will & Grace”) and frequently gives talks around the country on writing, reading, and multilingualism.

What happens in the book?

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 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, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.

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.

A 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book



One Book One City for Kids is funded by:

Community Partner