From Night Owl to Dogfish

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
933 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

Paint by Sticker Kids: Dinosaurs: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Create pictures of 10 awesome dinosaurs... with stickers! ...
Tad
Tad
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
From Benji Davies, the award-winning creator of The Storm Whale...
Go Get 'Em, Tiger! (A Hello!Lucky Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect picture book to celebrate every milestone from the...
A World of Opposites
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From ALONE and TOGETHER to ABOVE and BELOW, Gray Malin’s...
The Voting Booth
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Stonewall Award-winning author Brandy Colbert comes an all-in-one-day love...
Now & When
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Jenny Han and Christine Riccio comes a...
Dating Makes Perfect
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because...
Now That I've Found You
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Now That I've Found You is a YA novel about...
Entwined
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometimes love gets a bit twisted. ...
A Girl in Three Parts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
I can split myself in two . . . something...
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of...
Scarlet Odyssey
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in...
Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Quick-thinking Leviathan pilot Zara Cole must stop a planet-eating monster...
If...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Take a fantastical journey through an inspiring world where anything...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The power of the dragon totems is no longer a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When New York City faces the threat of an ancient...

Latest Member Reviews

Tad
Tad
 
4.5
"TAD is a colorful and engaging journey into the water, as we follow Tad, a tadpole. Tad lives with her..."
Go Get 'Em, Tiger! (A Hello!Lucky Book)
 
5.0
"GO GET 'EM, TIGER! is a brightly colored and delightful picture book of encouragement. The book features a tiger ("you")..."
If...
 
3.5
"IF... is an imaginative picture book that features artwork imagining impossible scenarios in artwork, with simple text to correspond. For..."
The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who Lost His Breath: A Fairy Tale to Help You Feel Better (Feel-Good Fairy Tales)
 
4.0
"THE THREE LITTLE YOGIS AND THE WOLF WHO LOST HIS BREATH is a great picture book that teaches children meditation..."
Rival Magic
 
3.0
"Antonia, wizarding apprentice to Master Betrys, may not be the best at actual magic, but she tries her absolute best..."
Be Our Guest!
 
4.0
"BE OUR GUEST! is a colorful book of photographs. The book takes us to a hotel, where a monkey named..."
Hat Tricks
 
3.0
"HAT TRICKS is a story of magic. Hattie the rabbit pops out of her magic hat to perform some magic...."
Stanley's Toolbox
 
4.5
"STANLEY'S TOOLBOX is a delightful board book that shows many tools in action as Stanley helps to repair Little Woo's..."
Spring Is Here!
 
5.0
"SPRING IS HERE! is a delightful board book that features several animals in the springtime setting. The book is extra..."
Lali's Feather
 
5.0
"LALI'S FEATHER is a delightful and colorful picture book that explores birds and imagination. Lali is playing when she finds..."
A Friend for Mole
 
3.5
"A FRIEND FOR MOLE is a cute picture book that speaks to unlikely friendships and shared experiences. Mole is happy..."
 
5.0
"This book is a winner the moment a reader lays eyes on that cover--and the title. My niece--who is picky..."
 
5.0
"This book is absolutely adorable. Dragons can suddenly show up wherever the characters are and they have to..."
The Girl and the Ghost
 
4.0
"5 Reasons to Read THE GIRL AND THE GHOST 1.) Beautiful prose- This was my first time..."
Brother's Keeper
 
5.0
"BROTHER'S KEEPER is a highly engrossing and heartfelt read about a 12-year-old girl and her dangerous journey from North to..."
Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention
 
5.0
"IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION is a delightful, rhyming book about staying true to yourself and getting creative. Izzy..."
The Welcome Wagon
 
3.0
"THE WELCOME WAGON features four friends who decide to welcome a new family to Cubby Hill. As they travel to..."
Once Upon a Crime: Batman Tales
 
3.5
"BATMAN TALES: ONCE UPON A CRIME reimagines fairytales as Batman stories. There are four main stories in this graphic novel...."
Finder, Coal Mine Dog
 
4.5
"Thomas' father perished in a mining accident, so when his mother became ill and died, he ended up with his..."
Bo the Brave
 
5.0
"BO THE BRAVE is a delightful story about courage and not judging others too quickly. Bo lives with her brothers,..."