Sal & Gabi Break the Universe

Sal & Gabi Break the Universe

Book - 2019 | First edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Who put the raw chicken in Yasmany's locker? When Sal Vidón meets Gabi Reál 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 no one 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. A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in this mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter. -- From dust jacket.
Publisher: Los Angeles : Disney Hyperion, 2019
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781368022828
Call Number: j HERNANDEZ 2019
Characteristics: 382 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Sal and Gabi break the universe


From Library Staff

Sal is a magician who rips tears in the space-time continuum, while Gabi is a sharp-eyed student body president... and one of the only people who can see those tears. Can they work together to save the universe?

When Sal, who sometimes accidentally rips holes in time and space by transporting objects from other universes, meets Gabi (who has a robot parent), they begin a friendship that may break the universe-or save it.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 14, 2020

I found Sal & Gabi Break the Universe slightly confusing because in one of the early chapters there was too much information squashed in about the character Sal. There are a large amount of words in Spanish that might be confusing to readers who don't know that language; some are explained and other words are not. I really liked this book because it makes me think about the universe/multi-universe in a new way.
-Ellaleah, age 12

Sep 08, 2020

Great for middle school/upper elementary (and their parents). Hysterical and also shows great examples of friendships and family relationships and how to navigate them. We love all of the Rick Riordan presents books that we have read so far. We read this book for OBOB and immediately read the sequel, which was also great! There are a few jokes that may be inappropriate for younger kids, but I welcome these scenarios to explain to my kids.

funny, sweet, and a little wild this book, full of amazing characters, will have you waiting impatiently for the sequel!

Aug 12, 2020

I loved how Sal and Gabi together trying to fix the universe together. It is a nice turn from all those myths from old civilizations, the other Rick Riordan books and RR presants books were about the continue of heros from myologies from the past, and I loved how sal and Gabi breaks the universe is in modren times. I personally loved this book alot and if you want a break from myology books then this is the book you want to read.

OPL_KIDS Jul 21, 2020

While learning to cope with his mother's death, Sal Vidón discovers he can pull objects—and even people—from other dimensions into his. After using his ability to pull a prank on a bully, he gains the attention of the ambitious student president, Gabi Reál, who’s determined to uncover his secret. This book is a must-read for lovers of the outrageous, wacky and weird—or if you just need a good laugh! There are serious themes—death, grief, chronic illness—which briefly emerge to tug at your heartstrings, but the overall tone is upbeat and hopeful. Readers will connect with the colorful characters and the sense of humor.

Reviewed by Miss Kristen

May 04, 2020

Could you rip a hole in space time to bring forth a chicken out of a school locker? Sal can, and he is a talented magician. With his friend Gabi, they create chaos, make other friends and together they have the ability to get out of trouble. A fun adventure combining magic with friends who are there to help when you need them most.

Feb 12, 2020

I liked it. It's interesting and funny.

Tigard_LisaE Sep 25, 2019

Oh man, every creative child (so, every child) should get to go to a school like Sal's. Culeco Academy for the Arts is a dream of a middle school, where the drama teacher is a fan of every student and the textiles teacher sports a different costume every day. Sal immediately adores his new school after his family moves to Miami, but he keeps getting in trouble, at first because the school doesn't yet understand the needs of a diabetic kid, but then because he pulled a chicken carcass from an alternate universe into a bully's locker. Yes, somehow Sal has access to other worlds, an ability he discovered after his mother passed away and he kept accidentally/on-purpose pulling other versions of her into his own dimension. (Which is a problem for his father and step father.) When Sal's intrusions into other universes begin to cause complications, he teams-up with brilliant classmate Gabi in order to save the world, and hopefully her sickly infant brother. Most characters are Cuban American, with Spanish sprinkled throughout the dialog. Sal's T1 diabetes is something he is always thinking about and managing. Gabi has a large group of dads of various genders, including one robot. Sal is hilarious, kind, and tender. Once you suspend disbelief and accept a setting that is close enough to our world to be familiar, with a few scientific twists, this book will sweep you off your feet.

Tigard_HollyCP Aug 16, 2019

Calamitron: Tiny remnant left over when people or things move between alternate dimensions

AI8: 8th level of Artificial Intelligence (AI at this level has major intelligence with its own distinct personality, opinions, feelings and even emojis)

Entropy sweeper: Like a metal detector for calamitrons with AI8

Extradimensional poultry: Actually, exactly what you think it might be based on the definitions above

In case you haven’t heard of Rick Riordan Presents, the author of the Percy Jackson books has formed an imprint for authors from marginalized populations who write fantasy/science fiction about characters from their cultures. Carlos Hernandez is Cuban American, and so are Sal and Gabi.

This book is laugh-out-loud funny (I found myself snickering aloud several times throughout) but at times so sad it moved me to tears. Though the plot is completely beyond reality (or realities, as the case may be), the story touches on very real topics such as friendship, family (including chosen family), mix of cultures, bullying, child abuse, grief and death. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. LOVED it. Good for upper elementary and middle school readers.

JCLJoshN Jul 09, 2019

It's refreshing to have a story about a kid with the power to open holes in the fabric of the universe without the story being an epic battle between good and evil for the fate of the world. No, this is a sweet, funny story about smart, witty, awkward middle schoolers trying to navigate friendships, the loss of family members, and expressing individuality--and also making sure the world isn't destroyed by holes in the multiverse. This book is bursting with charm, swagger, and humor, and I adore it.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Aug 12, 2020

EvaTao2008 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 14


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCL

To Top