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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

By: Carlos Hernandez

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)?

How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker?

When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.

Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess…except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken—including his dead mother—and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.

ISBN: 9781368022828

JLG Release: Jul 2019

Other Formats Available from JLG

Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Science fiction , Universe , Grief , Cuban Americans , Schools , Family life , Bullying , Friendship , Miami, Florida , Type I diabetes , Magic tricks

$16.30  Member Price

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Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

Grades 5-7

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Awards & Honors

Kirkus Best Books - 2019
Publishers Weekly Best Books - 2019
CPL Best Books - 2019
BooklistTop 10 SF/Fantasy & Horror for Youth – 2019
2020 Pura Belpré Author Award Winner
2020 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book Finalist

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Booklist*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

Book Details



First Release

July 2019



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

9" x 6"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 4.9; Points: 14;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.3; Points: 18;


Level 700L


Print Book


Hardcover edition


Rick Riordan Presents

Potentially Sensitive Areas



Science fiction, Universe, Grief, Cuban Americans, Schools, Family life, Bullying, Friendship, Miami, Florida, Type I diabetes, Magic tricks,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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