Hello, Universe

Hello, UniverseBy Erin Entrada Kelly

Virgil Salinas is a shy boy who finds himself the target of bullying by Chet “the Bull” Bullens.  Virgil desperately wants to stand up for himself, but he just doesn’t have the confidence to do it.  Even his parents call him “Turtle” because he is so quiet.  The nickname makes him feel bad about himself, but he can’t even muster the courage to ask his parents to stop using it.

Virgil starts going to see a psychic to help him solve his problems.  Her name is Kaori Tanaka, and although she is a kid too, she believes she can tap into the powers of the universe to help guide other people.

Valencia Somerset is another of Kaori’s “clients”.  Valencia is deaf, but is able to rely on hearing aids and lip reading to help her communicate.  She is also the girl that Virgil most wants to talk to, but of course, he’s too shy to do it.

Alone in the woods one day, Virgil encounters Chet, and ends up in a dangerous, even life-threatening situation.  When he doesn’t meet Kaori at the appointed time, she begins to look for him.  By coincidence, Valencia joins the search.  But Kaori doesn’t believe in coincidences.  Did fate intervene to bring these kids together?

Hello, Universe is a novel about friendship, bullying, confidence and the power of the universe to bring the right people together at the right time. If you are looking for a feel-good, uplifting novel, try this one.