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I like the story, I enjoyed the four different main characters. However, as a school librarian, I hated the liberal use of the word retarded by the bully in the book. It's not just used once or twice. It's said a lot by the bully to another student who does have learning issues. While I know it's in character, the r-word as we call it has become as forbidden as the n-word in school and I don't want to be one to introduce into students lexicon even if just through a book.
There is a certain kind of book that can be tricky for me, a quiet, but emotionally powerful book. I see such books as teetering on tightropes — balancing just right the heartstrings-tugging, the poignancy, the tenderness, the provoking-of-tears. Too much and I feel manipulated, too little and I just don’t care. It is for this reason I was wary when beginning Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe, but I needed have been. It is to my mind an exemplar of this sort of book —- quiet, introspective, moving, witty, and emotional in all the right ways. I liked it so much, in fact, that I’ve added it to my goodread’s Newbery list. Yes indeed, I think it is that e novel takes place in a single day featuring four middle schoolers. In the center is Virgil Salinas, a highly introverted member of a large extrovert family who call him Turtle “Because he wouldn’t ‘come out of his shell,’ Every time they said it, a piece of him broke.” The exception is his Filipina grandmother Lola who calls him Virgilio, gets him completely, and tells him folk tales to bolster him through life’s challenges. Virgil has a crush on deaf and confident Valencia Somerset, but is too shy to let her know. And so he has become a client of the young physic Kaori Tanaka who, with her younger sister Gen, intends to help him. Last of all there is Chet Bullens who has bullied Virgil unceasingly.An encounter in the woods with Chet leaves Virgil in a life-threatening situation. Readers are firmly with him as he reacts to this, tries to figure out what to do, and considers some of Lola’s tales as a way to build strength in a dire moment. Here is where my admiration for Kelly’s writing really takes hold as she masterfully balances the emotionally of Virgil’s circumstances on that tightrope without a misstep. The threads of the other characters move in and out of Virgil’s difficulty. We get in Chet’s head and, while we learn more about what may have turned him so mean, we don’t forgive him for it. Kaori’s adult-like serene style is delightfully balanced with her little sister Gen’s humorously typical second-grader behavior. Interestingly, while these character storylines are all in third person, Valencia’s is in first person; from her tolerance of her father calling her an endearment she could do without to her forthright response to Chet, we easily see how crush-worthy she ere is suspense as we hold our breath wondering how Virgil will be saved, there is humor (especially from little Gen), and there is the slow evolution of different personalities, and of what will be, we can be certain, a warm friendship between Virgil, Valencia, and Kaori beyond the book’s ending. It may be this is a book for introverts? I can’t say, but it provided all that I want in a book for children — an intriguing plot, beautifully articulated characters, tight and elegant sentences, wit, and opportunity for thought. Hello, Universe is one quiet, emotional book that I recommend highly.
Four middle schoolers start their summer vacation and steadily their lives begin to come together. There is Virgil, a quiet boy who lives in a family of loud, boisterous people. Except for his grandmother who understands him and tells him stories from her village in the Philippines. Valencia is a girl who is deaf and wears hearing aids to help her lip read. She used to have close friends but enjoys spending her days outside in the local woods where she takes care of a stray dog. Kaori believes that she has psychic powers and is helping Virgil gain the courage to speak with a girl he wants to be friends with. Finally, there is Chet who bullies Virgil and Valencia. He starts problems one day in the woods and Virgil finds himself in real danger. But can Kaori and Valencia figure out what has happened before it’s too late?Kelly’s novel is rich and riveting. She writes about children who are lonely and interesting. The book speaks to children who don’t fit in, who are bullied, and who are unique in some way. It’s about staying true to yourself and not trying to be someone else. Important subjects weave throughout as well, including deafness and diversity. These enrich the novel even further, making it a book that grapples with important topics and yet stays entirely accessible and filled with plenty of e characters are what make this book sing. Each of them is more than what could have been a stereotype. From the mystical Kaori to shy Virgil to Valencia and her hearing aids, each child has a full personality and plenty to offer the reader. Each is grappling with loneliness and unable to move forward though they know they need to. There is a beautiful theme of folktales and myth throughout the novel with the grandmother’s stories forming a basis for the coincidences and fate that brings our young heroes together.An intelligent adventure of a book that is about friendships that seem impossible but happen anyway. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
"Hello, Universe" is a really fantastic tween/middle grade story about four tweens during one eventful day. We get each of their perspectives, and they are all unique and well-developed characters. We begin with Virgil, whose family is loud, boisterous and calls him Turtle (which he doesn't like), and he is an easy character to love- he's shy and quiet and wishes he could ask one of his classmates to be his friend, but can't quite work up the courage. Valencia is smart, brave, and deaf, but she won't let anyone drag her down- certainly not Chet who is a bully and picks on Virgil a lot. Even Chet seems to be a product of his father but will learn a lot. Kaori is a delightful addition, a 12-year-old psychic who only works with kids and will absolutely make you laugh out loud gether, they make this an unforgettable and delightful story of being a tween and all the issues that entails- with family, bullies, friendships, identities and everything. The character development here is really incredible, and I would highly recommend it to all tweens. The inclusion of some main characters who happen to be deaf and their struggles/triumphs is also a wonderful addition to an already fantastic book. If you have a middle grade reader or tween, you won't want to miss out on this one!Please note that I received an ARC through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
I would give five stars to this contemporary middle grade story for its pacing alone. Kelly manages to perfectly balance the stories and perspectives of her characters Virgil, Valencia, Kaori, and Chet, all while some of the characters are literally moving toward encounters with one another, and while one is rooted in place. It's the kind of book you want to draw on a map. The use of Virgil's lola's traditional Filipino tales makes a neat counterpoint to the realistic story, which invokes a kind of supernatural sensibility while staying within the bounds of realistic fiction. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy Gary Schmidt and Lisa Graff.
I highly recommend this book for all tween readers. Kelly's writing is easy to understand but expresses the complexity of her characters and their relationships to each other. I loved hearing from the different points of view and loved the insight this book provides into the ups and downs of childhood friendship. Wonderful read.
My son steered me towards this title after he read it and wrote the author a letter about how much it touched him After reading his letter, my husband and I both knew we needed to read it as well. And I'm glad we did. It is excellent. The characters are diverse, vibrant, charming, and real. The plot is adventurous and quick-paced. Overall the book is powerful, heartfelt, and endearing. Highly recommended by both my ten-year old son and myself.
Great little app. The expirience mode is really enjoyable, but my favorite mode so far is the landing lab mode. I've almost got the landing lab mastered now but the learning process was certainly entertaining. At one point I managed to turn the lander into a missle, completely destroyed it, and the mangled husk landed right on me, which was kind of freaky in VR, lol. Awesome app all around.
Update: they've added a bunch of new stuff. The rover Sim is neat! And the attention to detail! Wheels leave marks on the Martian surface! Just keeps getting better. This is easily one of the best apps around for VR atm. And it's getting better with each update! And for a dollar?! My 8y/o is addicted to it. If you like space, get it.
Excellent app and experience! Just got my daydream and I had bought this a few weeks ago anticipating picking one up. It did not disappoint! The intro video is very neat, but what was even more fun was the simulator! I spent over an hour trying to master the landing simulator! Most fun I've had in VR yet!
Breathtaking experience. Almost photo-realistic. As you descend to Mars surface, you are alternately outside the capsule, on top of the capsule and inside the capsule. You are sitting beside astronauts in spacesuits. Look behind and see another crew mate on your left. Another on your right. Then you're outside the capsule, looking in. And all the way down as you approach the surface. This is what advanced VR can do.
Great app for demonstrating Daydream to friends and family. The new simulation mode is fun. My one suggestion would be for a more interactive experience. I love the cinematic experience but sit me in a seat, let me control the different elements and I would gladly pay ;-)
This is a flat out phenomenal VR app that I got for $1.99 on sale. I got this over Christmas and my entire large Italian family all wanted to try this. Everyone loved it. For two dollars it was a steal but if it were prices regularly I don't now if I would have purchased this.
I am learning alot of web coming from Android. But it would be very handy for me figuring out how to approach the homework giving each week through the app (even if only read format) I spend alot of time using my phone for research before I submit an answer through pc. Otherwise the app is perfect and thank you so much for the lectures.
This app is okay. Just a few things need improvement. The videos are very figetty and sometimes gets stuck in a loop between a couple of seconds. The videos need fixing. Had to restart the app a few times to fix this. Another thing is why can't the homeworks be done onthe app? I think that would be a good idea.
Overall it good app, but there is video are sometime stuck n have quit. Application. I done labs code on pc and it show progress updated in web but the same progress not reflected on application. Please resolve this bug regarding sync of app and web version.
Don't waste your time, after waiting over a month and a half, having to wipe my phone just to get the app to allow me to log in and they blamed it on a security app built into my phone which it wasn't because it would've been blocked again, it wouldn't load my courses and the developers can't help so if it works for you, great, if not, just use a web browser or do your work at home. They shouldn't have made the app because they can't fix anything wrong with it from what I've seen. What a waste of my time! It was bad idea on DeVry's part.