Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 3 - 7n/an/an/an/a

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.

Paperback, 304 pages
Published on March 13, 2018 by Greenwillow Books
ISBN-10: 006241416X
ISBN-13: 9780062414168
14 Book Reviews
  • ghostyy
    ghostyyabout 2 months55 stars
    Virgil returns home from school at the beginning of summer vacation. He has just completed the sixth grade. He is not happy because things are not going well for him at school, and he does not believe that the situation will improve in the future Ever since she was a baby Valencia Somerset has been deaf. She doesn’t have any friends because of this, but she likes it that way. For her feeding and hanging out with animals is easier than talking to other people.But soon, she might have to reconsider her thoughts ab to out being alone in the grocery store. Kaori believes in signs and fate, When Virgil doesn’t show up at her house she surprised. He is normally on time. She and her seven-year-old sister Gen along with the girl Valencia, are on the case. But when they find Chet Bullenfs, the biggest bully of all time, they know he has something to do with Virgil’s disappearance Valencia connects with Kaori and then with Virgil’s family until she eventually solves the mystery of the missing boy. In the process, Valencia ends her self imposed isolation and makes new friends. During his time at the bottom of the well, Virgil thinks about his fearful behavior and resolves to make some changes if he’s ever rescued. vigil puts his pet guinea pig into his backpack on Saturday morning and goes to the woods to search for the perfect ritual stones. At the same time Chet has entered the woods intending to capture a snake. When the two meet Chet throws Virgil’s backpack down an abandoned his guinea pig
    • ghostyy
      ghostyyabout 2 months55 stars
      Virgil returns home from school at the beginning of summer vacation. He has just completed the sixth grade. He is not happy because things are not going well for him at school, and he does not believe that the situation will improve in the future Ever since she was a baby Valencia Somerset has been deaf. She doesn’t have any friends because of this, but she likes it that way. For her feeding and hanging out with animals is easier than talking to other people.But soon, she might have to reconsider her thoughts ab toout being alone in the grocery store. Kaori believes in signs and fate, When Virgil doesn’t show up at her house she surprised. He is normally on time. She and her seven-year-old sister Gen along with the girl Valencia, are on the case. But when they find Chet Bullenfs, the biggest bully of all time, they know he has something to do with Virgil’s disappearance Valencia connects with Kaori and then with Virgil’s family until she eventually solves the mystery of the missing boy. In the process, Valencia ends her self imposed isolation and makes new friends. During his time at the bottom of the well, Virgil thinks about his fearful behavior and resolves to make some changes if he’s ever rescued.
      • purplepearls
        purplepearls4 months44 stars
        Virgil Salinas is shy and is always in his shell. Valencia Somerset is bold and independent. Kaori Tanaka predicts the future and reads the stars. Chet "the Bull" Bullens is the biggest bully in the neighborhood. They don't know each other. They don't all even go to the same school. Summer Break has just started--and when a prank causes things to go too far, their lives collide in surprising ways. This is a pretty good book. :)
        • booksfor3ver
          booksfor3verabout 1 year44 stars
          ok so I was required to read it for school but then coronavirus happened and we couldn't read it. But, i read 20 chapters, so I can tell you about it. It's really interesting, but I think all the action happens in the middle of the book. Hope you like it, bookworms4ever
          • Mhshsabout 1 year
            This is sooo boring
            • phantasticgus
              phantasticgusabout 1 year44 starsFeatured
              Virgil: Eleven-year-old Virgil Salinas isn’t the person everyone wants him to be. He’s shy, stutters a lot, and is nicknamed “Turtle” by his parents. He can’t do the multiplication tables, which is why he has to go to the resource room at school. And to make matters worse, the meanest bully in sixth grade, Chet Bullens, has himself set on tormenting Virgil for the rest of his life. He does have one good friend, though. Kaori Tanaka, a girl who believes in zodiac signs and the saying, “nothing is a coincidence”, has always comforted Virgil and helped him out with his problems. But when Chet does a terrible thing to him, she might be too late to save her friend. Valencia: Ever since she was a baby, Valencia Somerset has been deaf. She doesn’t have any friends because of this, but she likes it that way. For her, feeding and hanging out with animals is easier than talking to other people. Alone is always better, right? But soon, she might have to reconsider her thoughts about being alone. When she sees a sign inside the grocery store, with “Kaori Tanaka” written on it, Valencia is curious, and goes to Kaori’s house. There, she finds Kaori anxious and pacing around, because she had arranged for her friend, Virgil, to come to her house, but he was missing. Valencia is thrown into the mystery...and she must help out however she can. Kaori: Kaori Tanaka believes in signs and fate, but not in coincidence. When Virgil doesn’t show up at her house, she’s surprised. He is normally on time, so what—or who—happened to delay him? She and her seven-year-old sister Gen, along with the girl Valencia, are on the case. But when they find Chet Bullens, the biggest bully of all time, they know he has something to do with Virgil’s disappearance...and they have to find out what he did. When their paths cross, Kaori knows it’s more than a coincidence. Can she, Valencia, and Gen solve the mystery? Read this book to find out!
              • belle252
                belle252about 1 year55 stars
                This is such a good book about a boy who is lost. He doesn't really know how to be brave and he doesn't believe in himself, and worst of all a bully is after his life literally. He has a pet Guiana pig named Gulliver and he seems like his only friend. One day the bully throws Virgil's(the boy)backpack into a well and Gulliver was inside the bag. Now it's up to Virgil to save his only friend. But Virgil gets stuck inside the well and now it seems like the end for him. He has no hope and even his phone is broken, read this book to find out if he gets out of the well.
                • hedgeguin2
                  hedgeguin2over 1 year44 stars
                  This book is pretty good so far. I like how they tell you the story of a time in their life in four different perspectives, each very different. I can’t wait o finish reading this! :)
                  • diamond897
                    diamond897over 1 year55 stars
                    This was very good book a boy gets stuck in a well with his hamster. A bully of his pushed him into the well. Then some of his friends go and look for him. Days later they find him and he is sent home.
                    • sukijeta-157615959642
                      sukijeta-157615959642almost 2 years44 stars
                      Hello, Universe is an amazing book with a great plot and moral (compliments of Erin Entrada Kelly). It shows us how we should be courageous and that we need to stand up for ourselves, and with friends we are unstoppable.