Updated: Jul 2, 2020
Kelly, Erin Entrada. (2017). Hello, Universe. NY: Greenwillow Press.
Fiction (ages 8-12)
This beautiful story takes place over one day, involves four amazingly different children, and covers topics such as bullying, diversity, acceptance, friendship, and bravery.
The four children, two of whom were "sort of" friends before this day, all have strengths and weaknesses that make them unique; they have stories that not everyone knows; and they learn that because of their differences, they can each do amazing things.
When a prank by Chet on Virgil goes awry (Virgil is now trapped at the bottom of a well), Valencia and Kaori (along with her little sister Gen), team up on a quest to find Virgil. Along the way, friendships bloom and a bully learns a lesson.
“Readers across the board will flock to this book that has something for nearly everyone—humor, bullying, self-acceptance, cross-generational relationships, and a smartly fateful ending.”—School Library Journal
I enjoyed this book for so many reasons. I continue to be amazed at the types and level of books that are being written for children, including middle school students. I appreciate authors writing stories that address many topics that might not always be addressed at home or in the classroom or give the readers a place to have larger conversations. I feel that this book gives many options for conversations about diversity, self-acceptance, and inclusion. Thank you, Erin Entrada Kelly.
Hello, Universe is the 2018 Newbery Medal winner.
Review by: Cassandra E. Osterloh, NHCC Librarian
Available in the NHCC Library YA PZ7.1 .K45 Hel 2017