Hello, Universe
by Erin Entrada Kelly and Isabel Roxas

Overview -

Winner of the Newbery Medal

"A charming, intriguingly plotted novel."-- Washington Post

Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships.  Read more...

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More About Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly; Isabel Roxas

Winner of the Newbery Medal

"A charming, intriguingly plotted novel."--Washington Post

Newbery Medalist 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). "Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast of misfits."--Booklist

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 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 missing Virgil. 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 and award-winning 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.

"Readers across the board will flock to this book that has something for nearly everyone--humor, bullying, self-acceptance, cross-generational relationships, and a smartly fateful ending."--School Library Journal

  • 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

Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Friendship
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Special Needs

BookPage Reviews

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.

This article was originally published in the March 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews