Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe

Rick Riordan Presents. May 2020. 432p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781368022835.
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.

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