Publication Date: April 7, 2020
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Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7
Winner of the Newbery Medal! Acclaimed author Erin Entrada Kelly’s award-winning and bestselling novel for middle grade readers is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). The Washington Post called it, “A charming, intriguingly plotted novel.” A New York Times bestseller!
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different, so he can concentrate on basketball.
They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.
Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Rebecca Stead and Rita Williams-Garcia. In a starred review, Booklist said, “Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast of misfits.” Includes bonus content.
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