Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review: Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways.

Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his loud and boisterous family.

Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and 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 act normal 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. 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.

 Hardcover, 320 pages
 Published March 14th 2017 
by Greenwillow Books
**** 1/2

"It's not being brave if you aren't scared."

Winner of the 2018 John Newbery Medal Hello, Universe was a fun read, it's also a book easily polished off in a day  - for an adult, maybe longer for a younger reader.  The story itself takes place over one afternoon.

The characters are quirky, each with social issues, some confident others not so much, one pretending to be.  Each has dreams and obstacles in the way. All of them very likable though Chet not so much.

I loved the writing, the witty one-liners, conversations that make no sense but that I totally got.  It was so easy to be walking along in the woods with this group of kids. Smile at their way of thinking and antics.

Hello, Universe is a story of friendship, bullying, standing up and searching.  It is part of my '2019 reading off my shelf' challenge.  As well as reading the Newbery Medal Winners.

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