Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #1)” as Want to Read:
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

(Sal and Gabi #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,062 ratings  ·  762 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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:

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,062 ratings  ·  762 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #1)
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. A fact he is pretty proud of.

Unfortunately, he happens to be 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
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
I read this book around august of 2019 last year and loved it.
And now I re-read the book in august 2020 and loved it better than the first time I read it! My rating from a 4 stars to a 5 stars. I can't wait to read the sequel now!(:
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
Trigger warnings: References to child abuse, grief related to loss of parent

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Style/writing: 4.5 stars
Themes: 5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 4.5 stars
Worldbuilding: 4 stars
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.
4.5 stars. This was terrific! Full of humour, great observations and characterization, Carlos Hernandez gives us Sal and Gabi, two students. Sal is new at his school, and has to get used to his teachers and classmates. He and his family moved to Miami after he lost his mother to illness, and his father's remarriage. There's no unpleasant drama here, as everyone in the family loves and cares about each other. Sal also has Type 1 diabetes, so has to constantly monitor what he injests.
After Sal is
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This is, hands down, my favourite book of 2020.
I had the best fun reading this book and everyone needs to read this.

- Follows Sal, a Cuban-American and diabetic boy, who magically places a dead chicken in his classmate's locker. While at the principal office, in comes Gabi, a Cuban-American girl who barges in and announces herself as the bully's lawyer. From there, the two kindle a friendship - and chaos ensues.
- I can't even really describe what this book is about - and I mean that in a good w
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!!
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
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
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
Enne (they/he)
5 stars

Books like Sal and Gabi are the reason why I constantly keep coming back to middle-grade stories. This novel really reminded me that this age group has so much to offer. I absolutely adored everything in this book from the characters and their relationships, to the world, to the plot, and the writing style. And truly, I just had so much fun with this book. It was an absolute joy.

I adored Sal right from page one. Carlos Hernandez does a really good job of nailing down Sal's voice right in
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.
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
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
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Rick Riordan Pres...: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe 1 1 Sep 22, 2020 11:07AM  
First Object (or Person) You'd Meditate 1 4 Dec 15, 2017 01:43PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)
  • Race to the Sun
  • The Fire Keeper (The Storm Runner, #2)
  • Dragon Pearl
  • Paola Santiago and the River of Tears (Paola Santiago #1)
  • Aru Shah and the Song of Death (Pandava Quartet, #2)
  • Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes (Pandava Quartet, #3)
  • The Storm Runner (The Storm Runner, #1)
  • We're Not from Here
  • The Shadow Crosser (The Storm Runner, #3)
  • A Good Kind of Trouble
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington
  • Genesis Begins Again
  • The Line Tender
  • Other Words for Home
  • The Next Great Paulie Fink
  • Song for a Whale
  • Clean Getaway
See similar books…
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)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
28 likes · 15 comments
“Qué se yo!” he answered. “Puede ser que un diablo glotón vino y se lo voló. Este mundo está lleno de demonios que se pasan el día entero haciendo trampas y trucos.” 2 likes
“butt,” 2 likes
More quotes…