Sal & Gabi Break the Universe
Sal & Gabi Break the Universe

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Annotation: 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.
Catalog Number: #178634
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 382 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-368-02282-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4082-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-368-02282-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4082-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018021081
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
In this charming middle grade romp, 13-year-old Sal Vidón, a type 1 diabetic and amateur magician with the inexplicable ability to open holes in the space-time continuum, adjusts to his new life at Miami-s Culeco Academy of the Arts. It-s not easy: the teachers are eccentric, his fellow students think he-s a brujo (a bad witch), and every so often Sal brings versions of his deceased mother--Mami Muerta--over from other dimensions, much to his father and stepmother-s consternation. Making friends with ambitious journalist Gabi Real and her unconventional family helps ease the transition. When Gabi-s hospitalized baby brother takes a turn for the worse, Sal-s power might just be the solution they need-unless it destroys the universe. This vibrant tale from Cuban-American Hernandez (The Assimilated Cuban-s Guide to Quantum Santeria for adults) is peppered with Spanish dialogue and slang, filled with mouthwatering plates of Cuban cuisine, and highly inclusive, featuring a sprawling, memorable cast, including Gabi-s collection of gender-spanning dads. A nonstop sense of wonder accompanies a genuinely heartwarming and humorous tone, and Sal and Gabi are clearly a fictional team destined for greatness. Ages 8-12. Agent: DongWon Song, Morhaim Literary. (Mar.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
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)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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 ong with a special secret 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.
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Lexile: 700L

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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