Hazel and Katniss and Harry and Starr Podcast: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe

The logo for Hazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr podcast: an orange box with the words written in white fontHazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr is a weekly Canadian podcast about young adult literature, their film and television adaptations, and everything in between. Now in its sixth season, the podcast—hosted by film critic Joe Lipsett and English professor Brenna Clarke-Gray—aims to highlight the cultural worth of young adult and middle-grade texts, with a focus on Canadian, Indigenous and minority creatives and stories.

Join us weekly for deep dives, as well as a round of YA BINGO.

Book 6, Chapter 18: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe

It’s finally time for Brenna and Joe to discover Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s award-winning 2012 novel and Aitch Alberto’s 2022 film adaptation.

We’re *huge* fans of the book, which has 2(!) sets of great parents and a beautiful, heartwarming queer friendship/romance. The film is solid, but it’s missing nearly all of the parents’ backstory and makes the queerness something more violent and scary.

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Basically what we’re saying is: READ THE BOOK!

Read on for more about this week’s episode from co-host Joe Lipsett:

Following 17 Again last week, Brenna and I are taking a quick break from our “17” theme to tackle a book that I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I’ve heard nothing but praise for Alire Sáenz’s book about two queer Mexican-American boys who fall in love over the course of two summers.

The book definitely didn’t disappoint! It’s an odd text because there are so many elements that shouldn’t work, but it wound up being an incredibly emotional ride. The film is solid, though it definitely works better if you haven’t read the book -JL

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