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Night Owl: 02/12/22

Night Owl

Night Owl by Sarah Mlynowski, Emily Jenkins, and Lauren Myracle is the eighth book in the Upside Down Magic series. It's the Big Night (Winter Solstice) and that means the annual sleepover scavenger hunt at Dunwiddle school. For Nory, this is a bittersweet event; it's the last time Elliott will be participating before he switches schools.

The barebones plot is very similar to the previous book, Hide and Seek (2020). The big difference is the setting. Dunwiddle is home territory and not as imposing or snooty as Sage. Together the books make an interesting dialog as Elliott gets ready to transition to being a student at Sage.

As with the other books in the series, the obvious possible endings aren't where this plot ends up. The resolution, though, is in keeping with the greater upside down magic theme — of working with one's differences to one's advantage and the importance of making accommodations where ever possible.

My one head-scratcher though is how Sebastian's upside down flicker abilities are treated. Throughout the series Sebastian's ability to see sound waves has been growing. Along with that ability has come increased discomfort to the point that in this book he has to wear dark sunglasses and the sound cone around his head consistently while around other people. Throughout this novel he's described as being in incredible pain from the overstimulation. The glasses make sense but why not have him ear noise canceling headphones or ear protectors? These accommodations already exist and would probably be less cumbersome than a cone!

Five stars

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