Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly ~ 📚@erinkellytweets @greenwillowbook ~ “A Middle Grade Must Read”

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.

You can’t have good things without bad things otherwise they’re just things.

I adore a good book about an unlikely friendship, strong characters, and a defeated bully! This book has it all!

This was a summer book club pick by my fifth graders. Some of the kids and I are meeting to discuss it next week.

I loved how this author managed to weave together a story that taught the reader so much about a culture, a loving family, a troubled boy, the girl he secretly crushes on, a bully, and a very large problem… a disaster that keep you at the edge of your seat!

This was a fast paced read and a fabulous book to use in a book club! A few years ago I also read Kelly’s book, “The Land of the Forgotten Girls”. Just a fabulous author!

Erin Entrada Kelly was raised in Lake Charles, La., but now lives in suburban Philadelphia. Her mother was the first in her family to emigrate from the Philippines. Erin’s books have won several awards, including the APALA Award for Children’s Literature, the Golden Kite Honor Award, and the Gold Award for Fiction from the Parents Choice Foundation.

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