Chet is a big, mean bully who likes to spend his time harassing Virgil. Virgil is shy—painfully shy—but desperately wants to catch the attention of Valencia. Valencia is deaf, overprotective and plagued by a recurring nightmare, which she hopes to interpret with help from Kaori. Kaori is psychic and, along with her little sister Gen, knows that something is terribly, terribly wrong. In Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, these four tweens—some friends, some enemies, some strangers—come together under unexpected circumstances.
On his way to visit Kaori for a psychic reading, Virgil has an unpleasant run-in with Chet, which results in his backpack, complete with guinea pig Gulliver, being thrown to the bottom of an abandoned well. After climbing down to reach Gulliver, Virgil realizes that he is trapped, and no one knows where he is. Through a series of coincidences, some new friendships and just a bit of luck, things in the universe come together to bring hope to the boy trapped in the well.
Folklore, fairy tales, astrology, mysticism and dreams all mingle together to create a wonderful, fantastical and unique world. It’s impossible to identify the perfect reader for this story, because there is so much for every reader contained within.