Hello, Universe

Hello, Universe

eBook - 2017
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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.
Publisher: [New York] : 2017. Greenwillow Books,
ISBN: 9780062414175
Branch Call Number: REM
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Bolinda Digital BorrowBox

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c
cbursiek
Nov 01, 2019

Level Y

s
schmirtl
Oct 30, 2019

BL 4.7

JCLTiffanyR Jul 28, 2019

Fans of quirky characters and the idea of fate will enjoy this read. The book is charming with a positive message about self-esteem and the meaning of friends.

e
EljayJohnson
Jul 06, 2019

Perfectly simple and spot-on in every way: the accidental/natural diversity of the characters; the pure and straightforward plot that was more about these children than what happens next; the great humor; the wisdom about aloneness, friendship, and connectedness; the accurate depiction of everyday middle-school-ness; the deftly deployed magical realism. Plus -- there was a guinea pig. Loved it; didn't want it to end.

s
swnajarian
Jun 07, 2019

Valencia, the character with hearing loss was wonderfully developed. I think that kids with hearing loss will relate to the ways that Valencia feels isolated and lonely. I also think that kids with hearing loss can find hope for friendship and understanding in the ways we see Valencia develop throughout the story. Below is one of Valencia's tellings that was particularly poignant and that I found completely relatable to my childhood hearing loss struggles:

'I wish I was prepared for when Roberta and I stopped being friends.

You know how sometimes you're friends with someone and they start hanging out with other people and eventually you're not friends anymore, but you can't remember when it all happened? Well, that's not the way it was with Roberta. I know the exact date: October twelfth, fourth grade. Roberta and the other girls were playing chase and I was doing my best to play, too. But after the game was over, she walked up to me and said, "We don't want you to play with us anymore."

"Why?" I asked, even though I already knew the answer.
"The how-tos are too hard," she said. "And you're too slow."

The how-tos were what we called the three ways to talk so I could understand: face me, don't cover your mouth, and speak clearly.

When she said I was too slow, I knew what she meant, too.
When we raced, I could never tell exactly when Megan Lewis called out, "Ready, set, go!" I could see she was getting ready to call it out, but I was never totally sure she had said all three words. When we played musical chairs, I couldn't tell when the music stopped. With hide-and-seek, I never knew when ready-or-not-here-I-come happened. I always figured it out, but I was usually two or three steps behind everyone else. It slowed down the game. I knew that. I guess I just didn't know that everyone else knew it, too. I thought I'd fooled them. But Roberta set me straight.' pp 143-144

VaughanPLKim Mar 20, 2019

A humorous and heartwarming story about a group of outsiders who become friends and learn to stand up to the neighbourhood bully.

h
Happy_Endings
Mar 01, 2019

As others have commented, this is a well-written book with an intriguing plot and likeable characters. It would be a good books for teachers to use in discussing point of view. A different character narrates each chapter as the story unfolds. I loved how this gave greater insight into characters that might otherwise be relatively flat, for example the bully and his target.

frodo_baggins Feb 27, 2019

I loved this sweet story of friendship with an important message about bullying.

DCLkids Dec 17, 2018

A Great Books for Great Kids pick for grades 4-6.

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 12, 2018

Exciting novel about new friendship between three children with few connections between them. Winner of the 2018 John Newbery Medal.

Extremely shy 7th-grader-to-be Virgil Salinas would like to meet hearing-disabled 7th-grader-to-be Valencia Somerset, whom he has seen every day in school. They are each isolated in their own way but don’t know how to break out. Both are being harassed by Chet, a bully in their grade. In hope of getting a new perspective, Virgil and Valencia separately decide to visit another middle school student, Kaori Tanaka, who is trying to be a fortune teller, in hopes of getting a new perspective.

However, when Virgil is walking through the woods to get to Kaori’s house, Chet throws Virgil’s backpack down a dry well. Since the backpack contains Virgil’s pet guinea pig, he climbs into the well and gets trapped, comforted only slightly by his memories of his grandmother’s heroic stories of Filipino folklore. The excellent characters, even the bully, are what make the story work.

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ericasomething
Jul 02, 2018

ericasomething thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

pink_alligator_1141 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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