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4-6th Grade Virtual Book Discussion: Sal & Gabi Break the Universe

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carols Hernandez is a juvenile fiction book best for 5-7 graders.  Sal Vidon is the new kid at school and a budding magician, but it wasn’t magic that landed him in the principles office for the third time in three days, it was for allegedly putting a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker… a raw chicken that has since mysteriously disappeared.  In steps Gabi Real, student council president and editor of the school paper. With her keen eye, book smarts and unwavering task oriented personality, Gabi soon realizes that Sal Vidon is hiding something big.  After getting off on the wrong foot, Gabi and Sal become fast friends and it’s a good thing too because Sal is going to need all the help he can get if he doesn’t want to irreversibly break the universe for good. 

Discussion Questions:

1. What is this book about? What are the main themes?   2. Sal is the new kid at a creative arts school. Why is it hard to be the new kid and how might being the new kid at Sal’s school be different than being the new kid at a public school?  3. Sal has type one diabetes. What do you know about diabetes? Is you or your family affected by diabetes? How does this disease make life harder for Sal?  4. This book embraces Spanish culture and is written with many Spanish vocabulary and phrases. For my Spanish and non-Spanish speakers, how did this effect/change the story for you? 5. Chapter 27 – “The key is to make your best move in the moment…” What do you think this means? How does Sal make his best move in the moment?  6. Bonita-Dad: The Final Frontier is an AI. How would you like to have a robot for a parent? What would the pros and cons be?  7. What is an everyman play and how does Sal and Gabi embrace the theme?  8. Chapter 36 – “Sometimes, when it’s too hard, when it hurts too much, only silliness can save us.” How have you used silliness to defuse a situation in the past?   9. Yasmany and Gabi both go through some hard moments in this book. How does Sal handle these situations?   10. Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe is the sequel to this book. Do you have any predictions?  

STEM Activity:

Pringles Ring STEM Challenge

Engineering Challenge: Pringles Ring  Supplies: 1 full can of Pringles chips  The Challenge: Building a ring using only whole Pringles potato chips. No glue, paper, etc.   Things to think about: -How will the base of your ring be able to support the top?  -Will you layer your chips in a certain pattern? If so, what pattern?  -What other strategies will you try if your first design doesn’t work as planned?  The Science:  “As the sides of the ring get taller, gravity pushes down on the chips causing them to slide down. In order for the chips to not slide, there must be enough frictional force on the sides of the chips so that gravity can’t push it down.” 

Source:   https://carlyandadam.com

How’d it go: We had quite a few kids for this one, which was awesome! AND quite a bit of discussion… that kept going back to food and was somewhat off track, but we are craving social interaction, so I take it as a win! The Pringles ring however, was HARD. In half an hour only one person was able to fully complete it. So make sure you bill yourself some time if you are going to do it.

That’s all for now!

-M-

#virtualprogramming #juvenilefiction #STEM #librarylife #jlit #bookclub #Programming #STEMclub

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