|Sal & Gabi break the universe (Sal & Gabi)|
Author: Hernandez, Carlos Alberto Pablo
In order to heal after his mother's death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things--and people--from other universes.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 501783
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 76595
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/19)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/19)
Booklist (+) (02/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2019 *Starred Review* Ever since Salvador Vidó?n lost his mami at the age of 8, he has used sleight-of-hand magic as both a way to forget about the loss and as a way to make others happy. When Sal bumps into Yasmany Robles at school, he uses his quick thinking and his magic skills—along with a special secret—to make a chicken appear in Yasmany’s locker; subsequently, he soon finds himself in a meeting with the principal and Gabrielle Reál, student council president, who begins to suspect Sal has a secret. And she’s right: only Sal’s physicist dad and his stepmom know that Sal can create tears in the universe and pull objects into this world from other realms; those objects include Sal’s mom, whom he has brought through more than once. When Sal discovers that Gabi can see the tears he creates, Sal is relieved that he can finally share his secret, and before long, he discovers that Gabi, Yasmany, and the world around him are much more complex than he imagined. Artfully balancing comical antics with a meaningful exploration of grief, Hernandez fills his fast-paced novel with an intriguing blend of sf, folklore, and Cuban culture and populates it with delightfully well-rounded, clever, and exceptionally kind characters, all in a lively, distinctive voice. With a compelling cliff-hanger ending, this engrossing adventure is sure to leave readers excitedly anticipating the next installment. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2019 Gr 4–8—Sal Vidón is attending a new school, with new bullies and new teachers who don't understand the needs of a student with Type 1 diabetes. He also causes rips in time and space by transporting objects from other universes. Sometimes he transports harmless prank items, but sometimes he goes home to find his long-dead mother cooking yucca in the kitchen. When Sal meets Gabi Reál, student body president and all-around firebrand, they begin a friendship that may break the universe—or save it. Delightfully weird, this is unlike any other book in the middle grade canon. Hernandez has managed to include conflict and excitement into his first novel for young people, without falling into the trap of unrealistic villainy. Every character is doing their best, even when that best doesn't turn out well. Readers need to be comfortable with a suspension of disbelief and accept unexplained backstories. Many elements of the story, like Sal's superpowers and Gabi's family dynamics (including a robot parent,) are left mostly unexplained. Fans who enjoyed Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and Rick Riordan's works will love Sal and Gabi, as will readers looking for upbeat fiction with Spanish-speaking characters. VERDICT Hernandez offers a rip-roaring and emotionally resonant sci-fi adventure. A must-have for middle school or upper elementary libraries, especially where there are science fiction and fantasy fans.—Jeri Murphy, C.F. Simmons Middle School, Aurora, IL - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.