2018: Hello, Universe (it’s a small, small world)

VERDICT: Treasure

Sally’s Rating: 3.5/5

Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe is an adventure tale about a group of children who band together despite not knowing each other to find a boy who fell down a well trying to rescue his pet guinea pig.

What I liked:

  • A diverse cast of characters who aren’t always prominently featured in children’s books. Each characterization was very distinct, despite all characters being children, and the point of view changes between each chapter were seamless.
  • Valencia Somerset’s point of view – an interesting mesh of religiosity, her experiences being deaf, and her curiosity and naievete about the world.
  • The plot was quick-paced with a good build up to the central conflict.
  • Animals (including a guinea pig, squirrel, dog and snake) are all featured in the main adventure and will make animal lovers feel warm and fuzzy.

What I didn’t like:

  • This is definitely a children’s book. As an adult reader, I didn’t find much substance in its themes, and the narrative style is written more for a fifth and sixth grade audience. For children this is definitely a plus, but I didn’t get a whole lot out of the book.
  • Kaori. I’m not the biggest fan of faux fortune teller fictional characters that believe fully in their powers. I found her enthusiasm slightly grating.

Overall, Hello, Universe provides some mindless, adventurous fun featuring a diverse cast of characters.

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