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To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg…
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To Night Owl From Dogfish (original 2019; edition 2019)

by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Author)

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2171994,068 (4.02)1
Unhappy about being sent to the same summer camp after their fathers start dating, Bett and Avery, eleven, eventually begin scheming to get the couple back together after a break-up. Told entirely through text messages.
Member:Lori.Young
Title:To Night Owl From Dogfish
Authors:Holly Goldberg Sloan (Author)
Info:Dial Books (2019), 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan (2019)

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» See also 1 mention

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
With a "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" vibe plus "Parent Trap"-ish plot plus hilarious middle-schoolers made this an absolute delight. ( )
  RachellErnst | Jan 5, 2021 |
Avery and Bette are not happy when they find their dad's are dating and plotting for the girls to meet and become friends. The book, all told in emails and letters, traces their relationship over the course of a couple years. The girls are so different in temperament, but they each bring something to the friendship and become stronger together. Their bond extends their family - from bringing in Bette's grandma and Avery's biological mom.
The girls first meet at summer camp. Even when the relationship with their dad's fall apart, they are determined to stay in each other's lives despite living across the country from each other. There is an emphasis on honesty in their relationships with each other, even if they try to keep the adults in their lives in the dark and manipulate them a bit.
A charming story with two independent girls who grow a lot over the course of the story and become the glue around which this extended family-by-choice is formed. ( )
  ewyatt | Dec 25, 2020 |
I found out that lately, I have a pattern with my reading. I don't if it is a coincidence or something else. All the books I read lastly have something in common. This time the parents of the two main characters are gay (on my last read, Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith Mae's parent are gay).
To Night Owl from Dogfish is a book that I read in one sitting, something that doesn't happen so often, but the epistolary way the plot the authors wrote help to fly through the book.
I picked this book mostly. I heard a lot of good things while listening to the Podcast, What Should I Read Next, Anne Bogle described it in a way that you have to read. Even I bought at the beginning of the summer, enjoy it right now because, in Israel, the weather feels still like summer.
The two girls Better and Avery are as different as can be, but they form a beautiful friendship throughout this book. The two girls have unique voices and often make blunt observations that are funny or profound or both. Parts of the book made me laugh out loud, and other parts brought tears to my eyes. The book's third act felt a little rushed and contrived, plus it gets into preachy "it's okay to have a gay dad" territory that the rest of the book avoided by simply having everyone within the book's world accept it as normal. I wasn't sure why that subject got brought up at the end of the book, as it doesn't affect a thing with the plot, and any readers who needed convincing would have given up by that point anyway ( )
  AvigailRGRIL | Nov 4, 2020 |
This book made me so happy. All the characters were people I wanted to know and felt like I already did know. The plot was just twisty enough to make me read it out loud in the car to my husband, a committed non-reader who enjoyed it as much as I did. Definite feel-good book. ( )
  out-and-about | Sep 12, 2020 |
My coworker pitched this to me as “adorable” and she was right! I would like to add “charming,” “sweet,” and “more complicated than expected.” It’s also the first proper epistolary novel I’ve read in a while, and it was quite well done and believable. The girls sound and act like girls—voices, interests, random detours into completely unrelated topics, “it seemed like a good idea” decisions, the whole bit—and I really enjoyed watching them grow over the course of the story.

And the story was really engaging! It starts out as a sort of reverse of The Parent Trap, but then it becomes a whole lot more. There’s stuff about family and who is family, and about dealing with disappointment, and how life isn’t a single neat story. I quickly found myself cheering with and for the girls, and therefore also cheering for their dads, and I really liked that it portrayed Bett and Avery both as smart, culturally savvy, and as believable daughters of single gay dads. There’s talk of the Marriage Equality Act and not using screens before bed and they’ll just randomly google things because why not, right?

(Also, a surprising amount of diversity! Bett is a girl of colour. Avery is Jewish and has anxiety. Grandma isn’t sitting at home knitting. The dads aren’t the only gay people. I’m pretty sure there were disabled kids at camp, though this is now two books ago so I don’t entirely remember. All of it’s just mentioned in passing, though, apart from the anxiety. Avery has Concerns™.)

And this is pretty adult-reader-friendly too! The adults get subplots and character development, which isn’t common in middle grade, I don’t think. They have realistic-feeling perspectives and reactions throughout. There are parts that made at least this adult snort in a “oh dear, I see where this is going, oh children” sort of way. There’s also a bunch of critique, or possibly just subtextual discussion, of helicopter parenting and extracurricular pressure and wanting things to be 100% perfect and safe for kids at all times, which I found refreshing.

In other words, this is definitely a middle grade that’ll work for kids and adults, and definitely one I’m going to be recommending at work. It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s got depth, it’s not going to bore parents or teachers, and I can absolutely see it as an in-class discussion read or something along those lines. It’s very current in a lot of ways and yes! Kids with! Gay parents! Should have! Rep!

8/10

To bear in mind: This book + sugary food = death by sweetness. Several minor characters with homophobic opinions, but like, that’s reality, and both girls discount those perspectives immediately. Near-death experiences involving lakes. ( )
  NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Holly Goldberg Sloanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wolitzer, Megmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Unhappy about being sent to the same summer camp after their fathers start dating, Bett and Avery, eleven, eventually begin scheming to get the couple back together after a break-up. Told entirely through text messages.

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