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About the Book

Acclaimed and award-winning author 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), 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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Kelly’s inventive story...is told from several supremely well-crafted perspectives. ...The short chapters, compelling characters, and age-appropriate suspense will hook young readers immediately. ...An original and resonant exploration of interconnectedness and friendship.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Four middle-schoolers’ fates intertwine one summer in Kelly’s touching tale of friendship. . . . Chapters alternate between the four kids’ perspectives, infusing the story with their unique interests, backgrounds, beliefs, and doubts. ...Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast.” —Booklist (starred review)

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062414175
  • ISBN 10: 0062414178
  • Imprint: Greenwillow Books
  • On Sale: 03/14/2017
  • Pages: 320
  • List Price: 11.99 CAD
  • Ages: 8 to 12
  • BISAC1: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
  • BISAC2: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • BISAC3: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Special Needs

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

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