To Night Owl From Dogfish

GOLDBERG sloan, Holly & . 304p. Dial. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525553236.
RedReviewStarGr 4–6—Sloan and Wolitzer offer a middle-grade novel about friendship and sisterhood. Written in an epistolary format, it is a thoroughly current story told through e-mail exchanges between two 12-year-old girls. Avery Bloom receives an e-mail entitled "You don't know me" from one Bett Devlin, informing her their fathers are in love, and that they have devised a plan for the tweens to meet at a summer camp. Initially reticent, the girls plot to sabotage their fathers' plans until they realize they may have more in common than they had realized. They find in each other a confidant with whom they can share the stresses of adolescence and they form a friendship sustained by humor and vulnerability. This is a convincing and heartwarming look into the experiences of female friendship and is enhanced by the charming and riveting love story between the girls' fathers. While remaining lighthearted, the narrative successfully weaves in important topics like puberty, religion, surrogacy, race, and sexual orientation, reminiscent of Judy Blume's signature style.
VERDICT An imaginative and compelling middle-grade novel depicting modern friendships and modern families.

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