Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (Sal & Gabi #2)

by Carlos Hernandez (Author)

Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (Sal & Gabi #2)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: Sal & Gabi

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents the sequel to the critically acclaimed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence. Among many other challenges, Sal and Gabi have to try to make everything right with our world when there is a rogue Gabi from another universe running loose.

Sal Vidon doesn't want to live a Mami-free life. Pulling different versions of his mother from other universes is how he copes with missing his own, who died years ago. But Sal's father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut down all the wormholes Sal creates, because Papi thinks they are eroding the very fabric of our world. All of Papi's efforts are in vain, however, because a Gabi from another universe has gone rogue and is popping up all over the place, seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed. While Sal and Gabi work together to keep both Papi and Rogue Gabi under control, they also have to solve the mystery of Yasmany, who has gone missing from school. Could it have something to do with the wormhole in the back of his locker?

Readers who enjoyed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe will relish being back in the world of Culeco Academy and the Coral Castle along with such unforgettable characters as American Stepmom, the Gabi-Dads, Principal Torres, and the sassy entropy sweeper. With multiple Sals and Gabis in charge, it's no wonder this sequel offers even more hilarious weirdness and love than the first book.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

In this heartwarming follow-up to 2019's Sal & Gabi Break the Universe, the titular duo is faced with a new set of challenges when a Gabi from a parallel dimension appears, claiming that Sal's father's efforts to close wormholes will actually destroy the universe. Faced with this desperate doppelgänger of his best friend and mounting evidence that his father's on the wrong track, Sal must find a way to save everyone he loves. Meanwhile, the machine designed to fix the membrane between worlds has gained sentience and has questions--"many, many questions"--for example, about the purpose of life. While Hernandez incorporates a genuine threat to his characters in this rousing adventure, the true focus is on friendship, family, and honesty: Sal remains a bastion of genuine decency, trying to atone for well-meaning mistakes, while Gabi's earnest enthusiasm comes with its own drawbacks, as exemplified by her determined duplicate, the so-called Fix!Gabi. With further emphasis on the protagonists' extended clans, this story also speaks to the importance of both biological and found family, and the impact of love and acceptance. Simultaneously, a subplot involving emergent AIs addresses the nature of personhood and self-awareness. Ages 8-12. Agent: DongWon Song, Morhaim Literary. (May)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8—Sal and Gabi are back with a delightful mix of middle school drama and sci-fi high jinks. In this sequel to Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, the duo, along with their friends and blended families, are attempting to repair the rips in time and space that they created in book one. When a Gabi from another dimension arrives and tells Sal that his father is about to destroy his universe as he knows it, he automatically believes her; but is this new Gabi as trustworthy as his own? These supernatural problems are combined with the stress of preparations for parents' night, a Broadway-level production at school, and Yasmany's escalating home problems. One of Hernandez's greatest strengths is his ability to blend tween problems with fantastical science fiction elements, without making either plotline seem unimportant. A blink-if-you-miss-it reference to Sal having an aromantic identity is something that those in the LGBTQIA community will appreciate, but might fly past a less-informed reader. New readers should be directed to the first book in the series, since the basics of Sal's powers and the life situations of his friends are not covered in this sequel. VERDICT Recommended for libraries serving middle grades, especially where the first book and other titles in the Rick Riordan imprint are popular.—Jeri Murphy, C.F. Simmons M.S., Aurora, IL

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Carlos Hernandez
Carlos Hernandez has published more than thirty works for fiction, poetry, and drama, most notably a book of short stories for adults entitled The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria. He is an English professor at City University of New York, and he loves to both play games and design them. He lives with his wife, Claire, in Queens, New York. Follow him on Twitter: @WriteTeachPlay.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 20, 2020
Sal & Gabi

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