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To Night Owl from Dogfish: 03/30/19
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer is an epistolatory middle grade novel about the trials and errors of blending families.
It begins with Bett Devlin emailing Avery Bloom at her school with a tale of their fathers being engaged after meeting at a conference. The girls we learn will be spending their summer at hippy STEM camp while the two dads go on a whirlwind tour of China.
Things instantly go awry for both parties. The dads keep crashing into things, getting lost, losing things. The girls keep getting into trouble. Avery is about as well suited for summer camp as Wednesday Adams.
Bett further complicates things by inviting Avery's mother to family day since the dads are out of the country. The introduction of Avery's super famous, successful mother into the plot is where the novel lost me. She reads like Charlotte from Lucifer in her power and in her parenting cluelessness.
Anyway, as the engagement falls apart there's this whole subplot with Bett's grandmother and Avery's mother bonding over their time on the stage. Betty ends up rekindling her acting career. This entire B plot could easily be removed to make a stronger, shorter, and more focused novel of two families finally becoming one after some pitfalls.