From Night Owl to Dogfish

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
549 0
From Night Owl to Dogfish
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
February 12, 2019
ISBN
978-0525553236
Buy This Book
      
Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads.

When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends--and possibly, one day, even sisters.

But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can't imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Letters from Camp
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Avery and Bett are very different girls. Avery lives with her architect father in New York City, loves to write, hates gym and swimming, and has some anxiety issues. Bett is a California girl who lives with her builder father and loves animals but is not a fan of rules. The two connect when Bett finds out that their fathers are dating and have been less than truthful with them, and ferrets out Avery's school e mail with come sleuthing. The two start an e mail conversation and try to thwart their fathers' plan to send them to the same summer camp in Michigan, to know avail. Once at the camp, they continue to e mail each other, having gotten technology waivers. Their fathers are on a motorcycle trip in China, which stresses out both girls. They try to make the best of the situation, and start to like each other, especially once Bett contacts Avery's long distant biologically mother, a friend of her father's and an internationally known playwright. Kristina shows up at the summer camp and takes the girls out one night, which ends in the girls getting kicked out of camp and Bett's grandmother, Gaga, being contacted. They all go to Kristina's acting camp, and Gaga even ends up getting a role in the play.

Then the unthinkable occurs. After a disastrous trip in China, the fathers break up. The girls were invested in the future of this relationship, but so were Kristina and Gaga. The girls return to their lives, continue to communicate, and are devastated when the fathers are interested in other people. They plan a rendezvous at the premier of Gaga's play in New York, but their plans don't go according to their desires. Soon, they are planning to trick their fathers into sending them to the same summer camp. Since Gaga is paying for Bett's tuition, they manage to both attend a traditional summer camp in Maine. Here, their communication is in the former of paper and pen letters, and includes a wider variety of recipients. The girls grow apart a bit, but a tragedy brings them, as well as their families, together in an unexpected way.
Good Points
In the tradition of Cleary's Dear Mr. Henshaw, Clements' Extra Credit and the Danziger/Martin collaboration, P.S. Longer Letter Later, Sloan and Wolitzer do a great job of portraying two very different girls through their epistolatory efforts, updating some of the correspondence to e mail. We get good descriptions of the other characters through the girls' eyes, so Gaga, Kristina and the fathers are well developed even though they have auxiliary roles in the plot.

Since this book covers two years' of summer camp plus the intervening time, there's a lot of change and growth for the characters. We see Bett calm down a it and not be quite as angry with life, and see Avery be a bit more adventurous and less anxious. My favorite character is Gaga, who completely reinvents herself by becoming a Broadway actress in her retirement years! It's interesting to have an outsider's view of the fathers' different relationships as well, and to see how they impact the girls.

Books about camp are always popular (I think not as many young people get to go to camp these days!), and family and friend dramas are the mainstay of middle grade literature. Readers who want to explore these topics, and to be introduced to some "old fashioned" methods of correspondence will be intrigued by Avery and Bett's communication in To Night Owl from Dogfish.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One week after their eleventh birthday, the Fowl twins--scientist Myles,...
Kai and the Monkey King (Brownstone's Mythical Collection, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Kai grows tired of her bookish mum not being...
Astro Kittens: Cosmic Machines (Astro Kittens)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
Astro Kittens: Into the Unknown (Astro Kittens)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Sadie meets Girl in Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller...
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana...
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...

Latest Member Reviews

Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
"A highly accessible biographical overview of (arguably) the most renowned and history-altering of all the United States presidents. The book..."
The (other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce
 
5.0
"3 Reasons You Need THE OTHER F WORD on your shelves: 1.) The list of contributors: The range of..."
Susan B. Anthony: The Making of America #4
 
4.0
"Why we still need biographies of first wave feminists: "A married woman taking her husband's name reflected that under legal..."
Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets
 
4.0
"June 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York City, so it's great to..."
Hello Girls: Friendship on Fire
 
5.0
"Some friendships are unbreakable. In “Hello Girls,” the latest novel by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry you will find a..."
The Rule of Many
 
4.0
"The Rule of Many is an action-packed sequel to “The Rule of One” written by Ashley and Leslie Saunders, twin..."
 
4.0
"THE YOUNG ACTOR’S HANDBOOK by Jeremy Kruse is essentially a 101 course on acting. With a bare bones approach, Kruse..."
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
4.5
"This is a enthralling telling of the brave Soviet airwomen who flew missions during World War II. They fought in..."
Seven at Sea
 
4.0
"SEVEN AT SEA is told in alternating point of views between Erik and Emily Orton. After watching sailboats drifting on..."
Dear Ally, How Do You Write A Book?
 
5.0
"DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK is perfect for anyone interested in writing. It doesn't matter if you're..."
What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
 
4.0
"WHAT IS POETRY: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO READING AND WRITING POEMS by Michael Rosen is a nonfiction, how-to book intended..."
Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis
 
5.0
"During WWII, there were dozens and dozens of departments and units doing things that 95% of the population still has..."
Captured: An American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam
 
5.0
"Jeremiah Denton was a naval aviator who was shot down and captured by the North Koreans in 1965, and was..."
Colorblind
 
4.5
"While Colorblind won’t be shattering barriers, it opens the conversation in racism from a standpoint not yet explored. Colorblind,..."
Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories
 
5.0
"The Parkland massacre took the lives of 17 students the day it happened and the very recent passings of two..."
Standing Up Against Hate: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII
 
5.0
"Because of the enormous need for men to be at the front battle lines, or in one of the theaters..."
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
 
4.5
"While the author says in an end note that he excluded a lot of information, the average reader will be..."
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
4.5
"A Thousand Sisters tells the story of Soviet Airwomen in great detail, drawing on the experiences of many women pilots,..."
Mend A Story of Divorce
 
3.0
"What worked: Explores one teen's experience of dealing with the divorce of her parents. For those going through a similar..."
Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
 
3.0
"This is a graphic novel adaptation of a real teen's experience of being bullied online. What worked: This is..."