Sunday, February 25, 2018

Hello, Universe! by Erin Estrada Kelly - ESSENTIAL

Kelly, Erin Entrada Hello, Universe, 311 pages. Greenwillow (Harper Collins), 2017. $17. Language: G (0 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG - Bullying/Peril.

11-year old Virgil is shy. He wishes he'd even said "Hi" to Valencia who is deaf, in his resource class, but now the school year is over and he missed his chance. Maybe Kaori (who tells fortunes) can help him figure out what to do. But when Chet, the bully, meets Virgil and his guinea pig Gulliver in the woods making him late to Kaori's, and Valencia's bad dreams lead her to make an appoint with Kaori, too, the Universe gets involved.  

This seems to be the year of diversity at the ALA Awards. This Newbery winner is the perfect example of the kind of books we need. Told in alternating chapters - to get everyone's perspectives - this well written, suspenseful story about friendship, bravery and standing up for yourself is a great read. The bully was terrible, perhaps a bit too stereotypical for my taste. This book will get a lot of reads in my library.

EL, MS - ESSENTIAL Lisa Librarian

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