I so enjoyed Erin Estrada Kelly’s book You Go First, that I had to read Hello, Universe (also by Kelly). This one is a Newbery Medalist.
The book started a bit slow for me, and then something started to happen. The ideas of fate and coincidence were introduced and I was hooked. Virgil is a lonely and very shy character. His only friends are a quirky psychic named Kaori Tanaka (and her sidekick younger sister). When he confides in Kaori about a crush he has on special education classmate Valencia, events start to tumble together in amazing ways.
Virgil is bullied at school by a mean-spirited (but also lonely) boy named Chet. Chet throws Virgil’s backpack (with his pet guinea pig inside it) down a well. Virgil climbs down to get it and becomes trapped. He must face his fears while a wonderful coincidence/fate leads his rescuers to him.
I enjoyed the story and loved the closing of the book; “Hello” is a powerful ending. This book is about making connections, being willing to take chances, and of course, about fate occurring at just the right moment.