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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

(Sal and Gabi #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,387 ratings  ·  393 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 ...more
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…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:
Shannon I would put it under scifi since all of the fantastic elements are rooted in some kind of science or theory.…moreI would put it under scifi since all of the fantastic elements are rooted in some kind of science or theory. (less)

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Average rating 4.21  · 
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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. He's also a kid who has just lost his Mami, moved to a new school and is having a hard time fitting in.

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

During a run-in with him, Sal performs his trickiest of tricks yet. He makes a raw chicken appear in the Yasmany's locker!

Such antics end up having the opposite effect he was looking for though and now the other kids are accusing him of
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.
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.
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 tell
not quite as expected

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.
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
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.
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
Simply fantastic. Humor and high jinx abound.
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 ...more
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
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.
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.
Long Live Wonderland
This was so good! Like brilliantly good! I would have given Sal and Gabi Break the Universe five stars, but there was almost no plot throughout the entirety of the book. That didn't really bother me too much because the characters were just so alive and vibrant. I can't wait for more Sal and Gabi!
Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)
*4,3 stars*
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
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!
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
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
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We talk about windows and mirrors in kidlit and as a person with white privilege, I don't often get to feel the joy of having been always surrounded by windows and finally getting a mirror.

This is the first kid book I've read with a diabetic that felt like a real diabetic and I got to feel that joy. I really, really like how diabetes was a bit of the plot and how Sal was so real with it.

But, also, YAY for diversity in books! (Diabetes is not the only element that is diverse and, for most, likely
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, middle-grade
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 ...more
Destinee Sutton
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This breaks the Riordan mold, while remaining true to what makes the books popular. I really liked it despite all the ways it confused me.

Mold-breaking stuff:

1. Mythology/folklore doesn't play a big role in the plot. There are many references to Cuban culture, but the plot is mostly driven by science fiction themes like calamity physics and the multiverse.

2. There are no supernatural god or demigod characters. Just humans and robots.

3. There are no villains! Honestly, I love a story with no
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: Claire
THIS BOOK IS ADORABLE. My local bookstore is running a 2019 reading challenge, and one of the items on the checklist is to read a middle-grades book. Claire had recently raved about Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, and when Claire gets that enthusiastic about a book, I listen.

Sal has just moved from Connecticut to a new arts-focused school in Miami where most of the students are Cuban like him, but nobody else's talent is doing magic, and nobody else has diabetes. He immediately has a run-in
Yamile Méndez
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book!!! What can I say? The voice, the Spanglish, the characters, everything! It made me laugh so many times, and several times I'd look up from the page and have this glow in my heart. I'm so happy this book exists! Little me would have LOVED it!
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
First book I’ve ever read where I was like “I don’t care about the magic, just tell me what they did at school today!”
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 ...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