“That’s the problem. People don’t want to listen to their thoughts, so they fill the world with noise.”
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly is a book about friendship and belonging. It is told from 4 different perspectives…
Virgil Salinas – Shy, kindhearted boy. He feels out of place in his loud, boisterous family.
Valencia Somerset – Brave, smart, deaf, and secretly lonely. She loves everything about nature and the natural world.
Kaori Tanaka – Self-proclaimed psychic (she is 11 years old, and no religious references are made. She believes in “spirits”). Her little sister Gen follows her around everywhere.
Chet Bullens – A bully who just wants to make his dad proud and seem big and powerful.
The worlds of these four kids merge in unexpected ways over the course of one day, when Chet plays a horrible prank that ends up with Virgil and his guinea pig Gulliver trapped at the bottom of an old well. Kaori, Gen, and Valencia go on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil and maybe put Chert in his place along the way. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a friendship blooms, and all of these lives merge unexpectedly. This book is for ages 8-11, but people older may still enjoy it.
This is a pretty good book. I read it the summer before 7th grade, but I wish I had discovered it earlier. It is a good read that shows different perspectives and characters. This book does not just “fill the world with noise.” It has thoughts feelings, and emotions, and is overall a 4-star-book (but I’m a little biased because I read it when I was probably a little old for it).