Hello Universe by Erin Estrada Kelly
Reviewed by: Miss Allison, Children's Librarian
Rating: 4 stars
Hello Universe, written by Erin Entrada Kelly, is the Newbery winner for 2017 so I thought I should give it a try. I’m so glad that I did. Often when I read children's novels I feel they are a bit juvenile and don’t speak to all ages but Hello Universe did just that.
Friendships mean everything in this life and this novel touched upon the importance of finding friends and the crazy and sometimes unpredictable ways we create friendships. The characters in this story are unique, flawed and original. Diversity was definitely a focus of this funny, adventure. Virgil Salinas, shy and quiet boy who is searching for a good friend as well as courage to face his fears. Valencia Somerset a nature loving hearing impaired girl who has a strong will and is quite clever. Kaori Tanaka tells fortunes, reads the stars and runs her own psychic business. Chet ”the bull” Bullens is the bully of the neighborhood. They are not friends but become connected because they are looking for answers from fortune telling Kaori. It becomes clear that all of the characters will meet in an unexpected, and somewhat dangerous situation after they discover that Virgil has gone missing. No spoiler alert here! I’ll let you find out what happens to bring these kids together.
I will say that I enjoyed this book and it would be a good choice for anyone who has been through the challenge of finding the perfect friend. Parents would also enjoy reading it with their child.
Good for ages 8 to 12