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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

(Sal and Gabi #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,471 ratings  ·  632 reviews
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 fi
ebook, 382 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Rick Riordan Presents
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Soup It will be a series. The second book, Sal And Gabi Fix The Universe, is scheduled for release in March of 20202. You should be able to track changes t…moreIt will be a series. The second book, Sal And Gabi Fix The Universe, is scheduled for release in March of 20202. You should be able to track changes to the planned release date here:

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,471 ratings  ·  632 reviews

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Rick Riordan
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Sal and Gabi’s Excellent Universe-Destroying Adventure

You know how I can tell when a book is great?

When I can’t even describe it to you without ruining the marvelous surprises. I mean . . . I could try to explain why Gabi’s father is called Lightning Dad, or why Sal’s teacher Dr. Doctorpants dresses like a gumball machine, or even why Sal’s physicist father and his not-quite-human assistant Bonita are building a remembranation machine in the living room. But you’d never believe me. You’d accuse
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Sal Vidon is a magician, something he is pretty proud of.

Unfortunately, he's also a magician who just lost his Mami, had to move to a new school and is having a hard time fitting in.

Being the new kid in school can be tough and unfortunately, Sal quickly finds himself on the wrong side of a notorious bully, Yasmany.

During a confrontation, Sal performs his trickiest of tricks yet. He makes a raw chicken appear in Yasmany's locker!

Such antics end up having the opposite effect he was looking for,
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. So funny, clever, and moving with a hugely lovable cast of diverse characters.
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Sal and Gabi, I just wish they, I dunno... actually broke the universe?

Sal is a 'magician', he can rip a hole in the universe and pluck something out from another universe, like a dead chicken to put in his bully's locker. Gabi is a girl at school who seems to know everything about everyone, and when Sal comes into her life, she becomes intrigued that she has found someone who mystifies her. We explore these characters and their lives with some very, very interesting and surp
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
A cute middle grade read full of quirky characters and moments. At times it dragged on, but the audiobook narrator told this story wonderfully and really brought it to life.
This book is a perfect example of why I will be screaming about the Rick Riordan Presents imprint until the end of time.

I love it when adults remember to behave themselves. They forget all the time, you know. Hard to blame them, though. They haven't been kids in so long.

Hernandez has created a book that is fun, accessible, and exciting like so many other middle grade stories, but the addition of it being ownvoices for the Cuban-American representation, as well as showing (from what I can tel
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read a few of the other Rick Riordan Presents books but I never finished them. They felt like diet Rick Riordan and like they didn't stand on their own all that well. This book I think dodged that problem effortlessly. It has science instead of magic and for the most part it felt like it was doing its own thing. Sal and Gabi are such a delight to read. I think that they are the most respectful and well mannered thirteen year olds I have ever read.

While I was reading it I kept wishing that I
Sam (AMNReader)
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reco for 10+
Hilarious, but with a lot of real issues.
Heavens: ETA, the kids are dealing with both paranormal and real-life type issues. Characters are so lovable.
Books on Stereo
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sal and Gabi are delightfully charming, but are, unfortunately, trapped in a lackluster plot.
not quite as expected

Cory Marie
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m so ecstatic for the multitudes of kids who will get to experience stories like this. Rick Riordan Presents books are so incredibly important and fun. Sal and Gabi is not about any sort of mythology but it is chalk full of culture, and is surprisingly very deep and heartfelt.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018

I just can not even with this book. It's one of my very favorite books I've read all year. Pretty much everyone I know will be getting this as a gift as soon as it comes out, kids and adults.

It was so incredibly delightful. I kept trying to savor it, to enjoy it and have it simmering in the back of my mind all day, but last night I hit the 3/4 mark and just stayed up late finishing it. I woke up my partner, laughing so hard that the bed shook. I also cried. I can NOT BELIEVE how ma
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! This book was odd. Every time I felt like I had a handle on it, some new twist or new quirk got thrown in. I did like Sal & Gabi. They were clever and silly. However, I just didn’t really understand the purpose of the book or the story. I guess it taught a lesson. I guess it was humorous. I guess it was a fantasy and had creative elements. It just had too much of the fantasy elements where I thought-ok why is that in there? Like why have the portable ma ...more
ELEVEN HUNDRED STARS. I truly, truly loved this book. I want to read it again right now. There was honestly not a single thing I did not adore. It was funny and smart and had SO MUCH HEART.

I super enjoyed THE ASSIMILATED CUBAN'S GUIDE TO QUANTUM SANTERIA a few years ago -- and rec'd it on a Geek Girl Con RA panel! -- but I'd never have guessed that Carlos Hernandez could make the leap to middle grade so beautifully.

I just. I don't even know where to start with a review because I'm all just fla
Ilsen Leon
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 stars!!

This is such a heartwarming middle grade. I would say it’s more of a contemporary with a sci-fi twist. The characters are so fleshed out. And the Latinx Cuban rep!!! *chef’s kiss* I expected more adventure but I still love this school style setting that just had sci-fi antics and plenty of character development. I’m excited to read the next one!!
Meag McKeron
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juv-fiction, fantasy
I liked Sal and his voice in this story (learning a little bit about diabetes through him was interesting, and I found the sections where he is unpacking the grief of losing his mother to be the strongest in the book). But otherwise, this fell flat for me. For one, it really dragged. Things happen, but they’re not all that exciting. Most of the book is Sal saying smart aleck things or Gabi being a less tolerable version of Hermione from HP. But the thing that drove me the most crazy was that all ...more
Adriana Martinez Figueroa
If you’re searching for a book that’s about the connections we make, character growth, meaning of family and friendship, all while giving you a novel and thorough world full of creative sci-fi, Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez is the one for you.

We follow Sal Vidón, a precocious young teen who, on his third day at the Culeco Academy of Arts, finds himself at the principal’s office after a bullying incident. Said incident inv
Simply fantastic. Humor and high jinx abound.
Rashika (is tired)
Rick Riordan Presents is probably the only imprint I can say I want to read EVERY SINGLE BOOK FROM. I saw the synopsis mentioned a raw chicken inside a locker and was immediately sold. I WANTED IT and I READ IT and YEAH. I am not really sure if Sal and Gabi Break the Universe has mythology vibes??? But what I can say is that it is truly a work of art.

There is a good chance I’ve said that about another book or two before but I don’t know how else to describe how truly well written this book is. C
May 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
The best way I can describe this book is Cuban Wrinkle in Time, except not nearly as religious. It's pretty cute but very weird and honestly hard to follow. I'm trying to imagine what a middle schooler would think reading this. They would probably be a little entertained, but also bored.

Here's the thing about this book: the universe-breaking part of the plot is never explained. Sal is narrating and he never talks about when he first discovered he could do this, and his scientist papi doesn't see
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will fight anyone who doesn't think this book is worthy of being praised from the rooftops, passed between friends like a rare secret, spoken of with great love in front of parents starved for new reading material to gift their children.

Because this book is good.

Because this book is subtle and sincere and smart but more than anything else, it does that thing that good media does: it cracks open the universe for its readers. Let me give you examples. This is a book about a kid who can tear open
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes yes yes yes yes! This book made me laugh out loud and also brought me to the verge of tears. It's snarky and smart and honest, and I loved every minute of it. I adored the Cuban influence, and I loved that we got to see a diabetic protagonist (Sal's the only one I've encountered in children's lit outside of Stacy from the Babysitter's Club years and years ago, but type 1 diabetes affects a lot of kids!), and I loved the emphasis on Gabi and Sal's families, and I ADORED the fact that Sal tota ...more
Laura Gardner
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this (especially the audiobook) a million stars, then I would. Sooooo funny and also full of love!
C.S.E. Cooney
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite, hilarious, subtle, theatrical, familial, mind-bending, multiversal, feral, full of fart jokes and poetry.
Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)
*4,3 stars*
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myth-ish, read-2020
As it maybe known, I love checking out all the books in the Rick Riordan Presents lineup because I never know what I'm going to get. This one is no exception. I was hooked early on and enjoyed seeing Gabi and Sal's relationship develop after that first meeting.
Kat  Hooper
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beth Cato
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, middle, science, nebula
I read a gratis copy as part of my Norton finalist pack.

What a fun, smart read! Hernandez has created a riotous blend of Cuban-American culture with a fresh take on multiverses in this first book in a series. Sal is a diabetic middle grader mourning the loss of his mother years before, and an astute showman and magician. His tricks gain an extra oomph from his ability to nab objects from parallel realities. His first week at his new arts school, he meets the force of nature that is Gabi: student
Interest Level: 3-6

Imagine that you could go back in time to change anything you wanted. Now imagine that go into a different universe to change, swap, or bring people and things to your universe. Sounds crazy, right? Well, Sal is a special kind of kid who can "break" the universe to do all of those things. Sal is the new kid in town and in his first week of school he has been sent to the principal's office too many times to count. And to make things worse, he gets into a beef with the school bu
This book just never let up in action! Sal is such a lovely boy: I wish I had known him in middle school, which is the setting for this story. Heck I wish I had known him in college! Sal is a diabetic boy (I'm hoping this might get the Schneider Award) and new to this magnet school and to Miami. So of course the bullies just gravitate to him. Unfortunately for them, Sal is more than ready for them. Or rather, him, Yasmany. Sal is also a magician. The question is going to be, is Culeco Academy re ...more
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SFF writer, English prof. and game designer/enthusiast.


Other books in the series

Sal and Gabi (2 books)
  • Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #2)

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