cover image To Night Owl from Dogfish

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer. Dial, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-55323

Peeking at her father’s emails, 12-year-old Californian Bett learns two pieces of upsetting information: her father has fallen in love with a man she’s never met, and the two of them are scheming to send Bett and the man’s 12-year-old daughter, Avery, away to summer camp together. Furious, Bett finds Avery’s email address to break the horrible news. The girls vow not to speak to each other during the summer, but despite their differences (Bett is spontaneous and adventurous; Avery is bookish and fearful), they form a strong bond. When their fathers part ways during a disastrous trip to China, the girls, who had been looking forward to being sisters, are determined to find a way to reunite them. Written entirely in emails and letters, this laugh-out-loud novel showcases the collaborative skills of bestselling authors Sloan (Short) and Wolitzer (Bellzhar). In addition to the two distraught protagonists, the authors create several other unforgettable characters, including Avery’s estranged biological mother and Bett’s feisty grandmother. Featuring a dramatic climax and a host of surprising twists, the novel affirms that families conventional and unconventional are families just the same. Ages 10–up. [em](Feb.) [/em]