Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Review: Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

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. 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. 

HELLO, UNIVERSE is a beautiful story about courage, friendship, and destiny. On the surface, it tackles important issues such as dealing with bullies, navigating family dynamics, and the importance of acceptance and love. But it also deals with the courage we learn from fairytales, the intuition we feel when we sense something is wrong, and most importantly, everyone's need for friends.

Erin Entrada Kelly has woven together the elements of danger, fear, and courage, with the threads of hope - the kind of hope that comes from message from a universe that may not be as random as we think. "There are no coincidences!" says Kaori, a girl who has started her own business as a psychic - for kids only. Certainly, it's not a coincidence this book won the 2018 Newbery Medal!

Once you read HELLO, UNIVERSE, you'll wonder about those strange coincidences in your own life and wonder if they are random... or maybe a letter from the Universe. I highly recommend this book!

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