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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
Cover of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
Sal and Gabi Series, Book 1
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Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve...
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve...
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  • Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)? How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker? When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken—including his dead mother—and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.
 

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  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from February 1, 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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from January 15, 2019
    Salvador Vidón is the new kid at Miami's magnet school Culeco Academy of the Arts, but being at a special school doesn't protect Sal from trouble.Bullies are everywhere, but seventh-grader Sal knows just how to handle a difficult kid like Yasmany Robles. Obviously, you deal with a bully by opening a portal into another universe, taking a raw chicken from it, and planting it in the bully's locker. But you cannot just go opening portals into other universes without some consequences. For one, Sal gets sent to the principal on only his third day at Culeco and in the process meets Gabi Reál, who isn't buying Sal's innocent-magician act. The more pressing issue is that when Sal opens portals, sometimes his deceased mother comes through from alternate universes where she still exists--Mami Muerta, in Sal's words. But if you could bring your dead mother back, wouldn't you? The story moves quickly, with lots of multiverse traffic, school hijinks, and strong, smart, diverse characters. Most are Cuban-American in various shades of brown, like Sal, Gabi, and Yasmany, and Hernandez effortlessly folds in multiple intersectionalities, including Sal's diabetes and Gabi's unusual, delightfully matter-of-fact family structure. Secondary characters receive as much care and love as the primary cast, and readers will find themselves laughing out loud and rooting for Sal, Gabi, and even Yasmany until the very end.This book, drenched in Cuban Spanish and personality, is a breath of fresh air. (Science fiction. 10-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • DOGO Books 13iamgroot - This is a wonderful novel by Carlos Hernandez. The main character, Sal, has been sent to the principal's office once a day for the first three days of school. Now, it may sound like Sal is a troublemaker but, in his defense, the first couple of times weren't exactly his fault. However, the third time, it was because he put a dead chicken into a fellow student's locker. Yasmany, who had picked a fight with Sal, was the unlucky victim. Sal has everyone except Gabi, the very dedicated student council president, convinced that he is a very talented magician and that the chicken was all an illusion. To give Sal credit, he IS a very good magician but he also has a very special talent that no one, except his family, knows about. His talent can sometimes be helpful, but it can also cause lots of problems for Sal and his family. Sal makes some very weird (in a good way) friends that he can trust. He helps them out and they help him in "Sal and Gabi Break the Universe". This was a super awesome book and I would totally recommend it. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out!
  • Booklist

    Starred review from February 1, 2019
    Grades 4-7 *Starred Review* Ever since Salvador Vid�?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 Re�l, 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
Sal and Gabi Series, Book 1
Carlos Hernandez
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Carlos Hernandez
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