Acclaimed and award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view--two boys and two girls--the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero), and it's perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Thanhha Lai, and Rita Williams-Garcia.Read more...
Acclaimed and award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view--two boys and two girls--the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero), and it's perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Thanhha Lai, and Rita Williams-Garcia.
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren't friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Sometimes four can do what one cannot. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms. The acclaimed author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.
- ISBN-13: 9780062414151
- ISBN-10: 0062414151
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books
- Publish Date: March 2017
- Page Count: 320
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-12-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Kelly (The Land of Forgotten Girls) offers up a charming novel about a serendipitous friendship that forms among a trio of sixth graders after a bullys heartless act brings them together. Virgil Salinas, an immensely shy 11-year-old, lives in the shadow of his boisterous family, struggles in school, and wants little more than to hang out with his guinea pig, Gulliver, and friend, Kaori Tanaka, a self-proclaimed psychic. Virgils classmate Valencia, who is ostracized at school because of her near deafness, longs for a friend for the summer and hopes that Kaoris psychic powers might help her vanquish her recurring nightmares. Instead, Kaori enlists Valencias help to rescue Virgil after he fails to show up for a scheduled meeting. Kelly rotates among the viewpoints of Kaori, Virgil, Valencia, and neighborhood bully Chet, who contribute their own distinct stories, voices, and challenges. Infused with humor and hope, this book deftly conveys messages of resilience and self-acceptance through simple acts of everyday courage. Readers will be left inspired to tackle lifes fears head-on. Ages 812. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)
Teaming up to save a friend
Chet is a big, mean bully who likes to spend his time harassing Virgil. Virgil is shy—painfully shy—but desperately wants to catch the attention of Valencia. Valencia is deaf, overprotective and plagued by a recurring nightmare, which she hopes to interpret with help from Kaori. Kaori is psychic and, along with her little sister Gen, knows that something is terribly, terribly wrong. In Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, these four tweens—some friends, some enemies, some strangers—come together under unexpected circumstances.
On his way to visit Kaori for a psychic reading, Virgil has an unpleasant run-in with Chet, which results in his backpack, complete with guinea pig Gulliver, being thrown to the bottom of an abandoned well. After climbing down to reach Gulliver, Virgil realizes that he is trapped, and no one knows where he is. Through a series of coincidences, some new friendships and just a bit of luck, things in the universe come together to bring hope to the boy trapped in the well.
Folklore, fairy tales, astrology, mysticism and dreams all mingle together to create a wonderful, fantastical and unique world. It’s impossible to identify the perfect reader for this story, because there is so much for every reader contained within.