cover image Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe (Sal & Gabi #2)

Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe (Sal & Gabi #2)

Carlos Hernandez. Disney/Riordan, $16.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-368-02283-5

In this heartwarming follow-up to 2019’s Sal & Gabi Break the Universe, the titular duo is faced with a new set of challenges when a Gabi from a parallel dimension appears, claiming that Sal’s father’s efforts to close wormholes will actually destroy the universe. Faced with this desperate doppelgänger of his best friend and mounting evidence that his father’s on the wrong track, Sal must find a way to save everyone he loves. Meanwhile, the machine designed to fix the membrane between worlds has gained sentience and has questions—“many, many questions”—for example, about the purpose of life. While Hernandez incorporates a genuine threat to his characters in this rousing adventure, the true focus is on friendship, family, and honesty: Sal remains a bastion of genuine decency, trying to atone for well-meaning mistakes, while Gabi’s earnest enthusiasm comes with its own drawbacks, as exemplified by her determined duplicate, the so-called Fix!Gabi. With further emphasis on the protagonists’ extended clans, this story also speaks to the importance of both biological and found family, and the impact of love and acceptance. Simultaneously, a subplot involving emergent AIs addresses the nature of personhood and self-awareness. Ages 8–12. Agent: DongWon Song, Morhaim Literary. (May)