Sal & Gabi Break the Universe

Sal & Gabi Break the Universe

Book - 2019
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In order to heal after his mother's death, Sal learned how to meditate. But no one expected him to be able to take it further and 'relax' things into existence. Turns out he can reach into time and space to retrieve things from other universes.
Publisher: Los Angeles : Disney Hyperion, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ℗♭2019
ISBN: 9781368022828
Branch Call Number: JF HERNANDEZ
Characteristics: 382 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

List - Laugh Out Loud
MCPL_Youth Jul 14, 2017

When he learns that he can tear open the universe to bring things to his world, Sal's life is turned upside-down. Available in multiple formats.

Pura Belpre Text Award winner

List - 2020 Mock Newbery Picks
MCPL_Kids Dec 23, 2019

Learning to meditate is more than Sal bargained for when he realizes that he can reach through time and into other universes.

From the critics

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ArapahoeMorgan Jun 07, 2021

A hilarious middle-grade/tween read! Sal and Gabi get off on the wrong foot, but become close friends as they navigate Sal's ability to reach through time and space to grab items from other universes. Sal and Gabi navigate some tough situations with humor, grace, and their growing friendship.

Sep 08, 2020

Great for middle school/upper elementary (and their parents). Hysterical and also shows great examples of friendships and family relationships and how to navigate them. We love all of the Rick Riordan presents books that we have read so far. We read this book for OBOB and immediately read the sequel, which was also great! There are a few jokes that may be inappropriate for younger kids, but I welcome these scenarios to explain to my kids.

funny, sweet, and a little wild this book, full of amazing characters, will have you waiting impatiently for the sequel!

Aug 12, 2020

I loved how Sal and Gabi together trying to fix the universe together. It is a nice turn from all those myths from old civilizations, the other Rick Riordan books and RR presants books were about the continue of heros from myologies from the past, and I loved how sal and Gabi breaks the universe is in modren times. I personally loved this book alot and if you want a break from myology books then this is the book you want to read.

OPL_KIDS Jul 21, 2020

While learning to cope with his mother's death, Sal Vidón discovers he can pull objects—and even people—from other dimensions into his. After using his ability to pull a prank on a bully, he gains the attention of the ambitious student president, Gabi Reál, who’s determined to uncover his secret. This book is a must-read for lovers of the outrageous, wacky and weird—or if you just need a good laugh! There are serious themes—death, grief, chronic illness—which briefly emerge to tug at your heartstrings, but the overall tone is upbeat and hopeful. Readers will connect with the colorful characters and the sense of humor.

Reviewed by Miss Kristen

May 04, 2020

Could you rip a hole in space time to bring forth a chicken out of a school locker? Sal can, and he is a talented magician. With his friend Gabi, they create chaos, make other friends and together they have the ability to get out of trouble. A fun adventure combining magic with friends who are there to help when you need them most.

Feb 12, 2020

I liked it. It's interesting and funny.

Tigard_LisaE Sep 25, 2019

Oh man, every creative child (so, every child) should get to go to a school like Sal's. Culeco Academy for the Arts is a dream of a middle school, where the drama teacher is a fan of every student and the textiles teacher sports a different costume every day. Sal immediately adores his new school after his family moves to Miami, but he keeps getting in trouble, at first because the school doesn't yet understand the needs of a diabetic kid, but then because he pulled a chicken carcass from an alternate universe into a bully's locker. Yes, somehow Sal has access to other worlds, an ability he discovered after his mother passed away and he kept accidentally/on-purpose pulling other versions of her into his own dimension. (Which is a problem for his father and step father.) When Sal's intrusions into other universes begin to cause complications, he teams-up with brilliant classmate Gabi in order to save the world, and hopefully her sickly infant brother. Most characters are Cuban American, with Spanish sprinkled throughout the dialog. Sal's T1 diabetes is something he is always thinking about and managing. Gabi has a large group of dads of various genders, including one robot. Sal is hilarious, kind, and tender. Once you suspend disbelief and accept a setting that is close enough to our world to be familiar, with a few scientific twists, this book will sweep you off your feet.

Tigard_HollyCP Aug 16, 2019

Calamitron: Tiny remnant left over when people or things move between alternate dimensions

AI8: 8th level of Artificial Intelligence (AI at this level has major intelligence with its own distinct personality, opinions, feelings and even emojis)

Entropy sweeper: Like a metal detector for calamitrons with AI8

Extradimensional poultry: Actually, exactly what you think it might be based on the definitions above

In case you haven’t heard of Rick Riordan Presents, the author of the Percy Jackson books has formed an imprint for authors from marginalized populations who write fantasy/science fiction about characters from their cultures. Carlos Hernandez is Cuban American, and so are Sal and Gabi.

This book is laugh-out-loud funny (I found myself snickering aloud several times throughout) but at times so sad it moved me to tears. Though the plot is completely beyond reality (or realities, as the case may be), the story touches on very real topics such as friendship, family (including chosen family), mix of cultures, bullying, child abuse, grief and death. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. LOVED it. Good for upper elementary and middle school readers.

JCLJoshN Jul 09, 2019

It's refreshing to have a story about a kid with the power to open holes in the fabric of the universe without the story being an epic battle between good and evil for the fate of the world. No, this is a sweet, funny story about smart, witty, awkward middle schoolers trying to navigate friendships, the loss of family members, and expressing individuality--and also making sure the world isn't destroyed by holes in the multiverse. This book is bursting with charm, swagger, and humor, and I adore it.

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Add Age Suitability
Jun 08, 2021

blue_dog_45881 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Aug 12, 2020

EvaTao2008 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 14


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