Hello, Universe

Hello, Universe

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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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

Publisher: New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062414151
Branch Call Number: J FIC Kelly
Characteristics: 313 pages ; 22 cm

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2018 Newbery Medal Winner


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kirstd31 Apr 02, 2018

I am not a fan of this book. The story line was very slow. It was also confusing at time with 4 different characters telling the story.

pstc Mar 27, 2018

A well told story about four middle school students who become unexpected friends. The story is told from the perspective of four friends and deftly conveys how taking the time to know someone can lead to a blossoming friendship. The author, Erin Estrada Kelly, unwinds the story in its four parts to reveal four unique characters whose strengths shine when the universe conspires to create a situation where they need each other.

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darladoodles
Mar 23, 2018

Apparently I did not love this book as much as the Newbery Committee. The diverse characters were a plus: a small Philippino boy, a deaf girl, a wannabe fortune-teller and a bully. I did appreciate the way the plot brought these characters together in the woods and also gave each of them some resolution to their particular problem. Although the universe is credited with the random events that bring them together, I prefer to give that credit to our Creator. The plot line with a boy stuck in the well also added suspense. What I did not love was a preteen girl casting herself as a fortune-teller, drawing other kids in as her customers and inventing ceremonies. Religious rites should be given their due respect and are not to be used for profit.

mko123 Mar 07, 2018

Is life just random? Or does everything happen for a reason? That is what 11-year-old Kaori, the neighborhood psychic, believes. So when her classmate and client Virgil does not show up for his 3:00 session, she knows something is amiss. Kaori recruits new new client, 11-year-old Valencia (who wears a hearing aid but is very nature-smart) to help her look for Virgil and his pet guinea pig. The paths of four oddball middle-school kids cross in the woods. Was this meant to be?

I enjoyed the wide-eyed openness to the synchronicities in life of this book. Four young people learn to find inner strength and friendship in the delightful twists of fate.

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benmcclanahan
Feb 21, 2018

I enjoyed this book but I'm a little surprised it won the Newbery. I thought there were too many coincidences for everything to come together the way it did. The whole "there are no coincidences" thing is a bit hokey, too. But I do think children would enjoy the story, so maybe it is deserving. Lola and her stories were my favorite part, by far. The ending was kind of anticlimactic, too.

JCLChrisK Jan 24, 2018

A lovely tale of friendship and connection and the obstacles that stand in their way. Excellent, appealing characters.

b
bluehydrangea
Jul 11, 2017

I really enjoyed this story of friendship due to its strong characters, & the tales told by Lola, Virgil's Grandmother, which take on a life of their own!

a
alyx7279
May 14, 2017

The character development is truly magical. I loved the universe motif. I thought this book started off relatively slow, but the plot picks up halfway through. The ending is certainly worth sticking around for. A delightful cast of characters, including main characters of color, one mc with a disability, and overall just a delightful cast of three dimensional characters. Highly recommend.

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marthabelle
Apr 17, 2017

A lovely, lovely middle grade novel about a bunch of misfit kids who serendipitously come together when one of them gets stuck in a well (insert Lassie joke here) and the others come to his rescue. This features a nicely diverse cast of characters and I really loved the ending. This wasn't, like, aggressively up in your face blaring its amazing-ness, and yet when I finished, I literally let out an audible happy sigh. So well done.

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gjrainey
Feb 12, 2018

gjrainey thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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booknrrd
Feb 09, 2018

booknrrd thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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