Review of Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe

Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe
by Carlos Hernandez
Intermediate, Middle School    Riordan/Disney-Hyperion    421 pp.    g
5/20    978-1-368-02283-5    $16.99

Sal and Gabi are back in the sequel to Pura Belpré Award–winning Sal & Gabi Break the Universe, only this time they have to fix the universe — and during tech week for their school’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Gabi is playing Alice), no less. Sal’s father, a calamity physicist, thinks the way to do it is by mending the rips in the membrane between universes, but Sal’s not so sure. Then a rogue Gabi from another universe pops up, warning of even more dire consequences. Can she be trusted? And must the (truly terrible) show go on? Featuring a diverse cast of characters both human and AI (and introducing Vorágine, a talking toilet whose name means “whirlpool” in Spanish), Hernandez balances action with playfulness, humor, and heart. As to the children’s quest, “No es fácil,” to quote Sal (and “every Cuban ever”), but when it’s all over, it’s easy for readers to follow the advice of Sal’s homeroom teacher Srx. Cosquillas and “be generous with the applause.”

From the July/August 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Anamaría Anderson
Anamaría Anderson is a writer, translator, and museum educator at the National Gallery of Art.

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