Hello, Universe (ebook)
by Erin Entrada Kelly
AR Level 4.7, 6 points
Hello, Universe is a book that has been on Mock-Newbery lists, so in an effort to read all of the books before the ALA awards, I had to read it. Virgil is a shy, weak, Filipino boy who lives with his parents, 2 outgoing brothers, and his Lola (grandma). He is friends with a Japanese girl named Kaori who believes she has psychic powers and can tell fortunes, so he seeks her help to become friends with Valencia, a deaf girl, while avoiding a bully named Chet. Valencia also seeks Kaori’s help, and together they have to solve a big problem partially caused by Chet. This story is mainly told from Virgil’s point of view, but it is also told from Valencia’s, Kaori’s, and Chet’s. As we see the story progress and friendships unfold, we are shown several situations, and we have to decide if they are a series of coincidences, or fueled by fate.
What I liked about this book was the coincidences that kept popping up. I like when stories are well thought-out. I thought the stories Lola told and the situations with the friends all coincided well. There are probably a lot of little things that I might pick up on if I read the story again.
What I didn’t like about this book was that Chet was not as well-developed of a character (for being one of the main characters). I also lost interest, and had to power through to finish it. I didn’t feel it would be a Newbery winner, but I can certainly see the merit in the writing.
Book 6 of summer 2017!