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A Friend at Midnight

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  396 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Lily has settled into life in Connecticut after her parent's divorce but it's been harder on her eight-year-old brother Michael. After their mother remarries, her brother chooses to go live with his father in Washington, D.C., until the day he calls home from the Baltimore-Washington Airport where his father has abandoned him.

Lily is home babysitting her baby stepbrother w
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by WaterBrook (first published October 10th 2006)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

Blended families, a deadbeat dad, religion, sibling rivalry, abandonment. These are all issues that Caroline B. Cooney tackles, quite deftly, in A FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT.

When eight-year-old Michael decides to go live with his father, it's a strain on the entire family. His mother pretends as if it's not happening. His stepfather, Kells, attempts to placate his wife. His oldest sister, Reb, doesn't have a lot of time to deal with it, as she's preparing to leave for
Yaz *The Reading Girl*

I am giving this book 1 star because I feel bad for the author and I am giving it just for the effort she made at trying to write this book. Because really this book deserves no stars at all.

I thought this book was going to be something wonderful and awesome and was going to teach me a lesson but in fact it didn't. I didn't find this book preachy at all I just found it that it didn't teach me nothing. When I started reading it I was starting to like it and then I got to the point that I was li
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yafiction
15-year-old Lily gets a phone call one night from her brother Michael. Their father dropped Michael off at the airport, after indicating that he is not the son he wanted; Michael is left alone with no luggage, no money, and no ticket. As their mother and stepfather are out of town, Lily makes the ultimate decision - to board a plane with their infant half-brother and meet Michael at the airport.

Michael makes Lily promise that she won't tell anyone...and Lily finds herself losing faith in God.

May 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
I'm not sure what Caroline B. Cooney's intentions were with A Friend at Midnight. The story seemed to be all over the place. I kept expecting something to happen, but nothing really did.

I think the story could have been better and have a clearer focus. The story felt very passive. I also thought that the characters didn't have depth. I don't think the characters actually grew over the course of the story.
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
I got this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers group. The beginning is very compelling (an 8 year old boy is abandoned by his father in an airport), but it really doesn't keep rolling from there. The remainder of the book explores forgiveness and religious doubt. Fans of Caroline Cooney's work will want to read this book, but it is far from her best.
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caroline Cooney really knows how to make her characters live. I know these people. The book made me think about some things I thought I already knew. Am I a friend at midnight? Or am I just knocking at the door waiting for the Lord to rescue me?
May 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the story seemed promising at first, it did not develop into something meaningful for me.
Oct 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit, 2006
Preachy and boring.
Dani O
Apr 02, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really like ths book. Very slow and boring. I am dissapointed with Caroline B. Cooney. :(
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I honestly wouldn't recommend this book this book because it was confusing and it didn't really interest me.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i picked up this book because it had stars on the spine and i didn't have any expectations for it. that helped me to enjoy it, in the end. this was very fast paced, which helped because i wasn't bored to death (or putting the book down). this book didn't give me any profound wisdom about love or family or god or forgiveness, but it was still an enjoyable read. the best part of the book, imo, was when (view spoiler) ...more
Julie (ExoticRogue)
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, my-shelf
Enjoyable. Honorable. I will cherish this book.
Summary Tease
Have you ever been so blinded by love you don’t realize the bad things about someone? That’s how 8 year old Michael feels about his father. He adores his father he would do anything to live with his father, he finally gets to. What does his father do? Less than a month later… he drives Michael to the airport and says get out of the car... “You aren’t the son I want” Michael gets out and goes into the airport as his father drives away leaving him with no money and no plane ticket… No
Caitlyn Su
A friend at Midnight is written by Caroline B. Cooney. It is about a fifteen-year-old girl Lily who got a phone call from her brother Michael. Who’s eight-years-old and abandoned by their father at the airport with absolutely nothing. Therefore, Lily had to board a plane with their infant half-brother and meet Michael at the airport. Through out this book it also explores forgiveness and religious doubt. The book is written in a third person perspective which narrates you through the story. Most ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished the book "A Friend at Midnight" by Caroline B. Cooney. I really like this book because it was a realistic story on how some people can be cold-hearted and growing up can be tough. The story is in third person that is told mainly about a girl named Lily, and her bother Michael. Lily is a middle child, she has an older sister named Rebecca, or Reb, her younger brother Michael, and her baby stepbrother Nathaniel, or Nate for short. Lily's parents had got a divorce, so Lily's mom married ...more
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Fifteen-year-old Lily has to find a way to get her eight-year-old brother Michael back home without the assistance of her mother and stepfather who are off admitting her older sister into college. Her father had, without any advance notice to Michael or his mother, dropped Michael off at the Baltimore airport, told him that he was not the son he expected, and left him there alone, without a ticket or any money. (About two weeks before this occurrance, Michael decided he wanted to live with his f ...more
Emily Kehler
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of the book I read was A Friend at Midnight by Caroline B. Cooney. It is fiction. This book is about a girl named Lily trying to get used to life after her parent’s divorce. Her little brother Michael has decided that he wants to go live with his dad, but soon Lily gets a call from Michael at the airport saying that his dad has dropped him off and left him there saying he wasn’t the son he had in mind. Lily has to find a way to get herself and her little step-brother to the airport to ...more
Jill Williamson
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lily is watching her baby brother when she gets a call from her other brother, Michael. Their father just dropped eight-year-old Michael off at the airport in Baltimore without money or a plane ticket. Michael begs Lily to help him get home and to keep what Dad did a secret. Lily risks everything to rescue her brother. She can’t believe that her dad would abandon his son in such a way. And after everything that Dad said and did to Michael, how can Michael still love him?

This book was excellent.
Karen Ball
Lily's family is like many these days. Her parents are divorced and her mother has remarried, and Lily has a toddler half brother along with her 8-year-old brother Michael and older sister Rebecca. Lily does what most kids do -- try to deal with the family, go to school and church and hope to figure it out eventually. Lily questions everything around her, especially after Michael goes off to live with their father in Maryland ... and not long after calls her to tell her he's been dumped at the B ...more
Nov 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that this book is a good example of how what parents do does affect their children. Lily, the main charactor, has a little brother named Michael who moves out of his mother's house to go and live with his dad. On the way to his dad's house, his dad leaves him at the airport with no ticket and no money, not even his backpack full of belongings. The only this he says to his eight-year-old son is: "You're not the son I had in mind." Michael is heartbroken. Even after his sister rescues him ...more
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really good. It's also very sad because of how the dad acts towards his kids, especially Micheal. The dad is only nice towards his eldest daughter, Rebecca, and his soon to be son-in-law. I am not very fond on Rebecca, she brings a lot of drama whenever she comes home from college. she complains about many things and blames Lily, her sister, to what happened to Michael because no one know the true story of what made Michael act older for his age and becoming silent. Only Lily knows ...more
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adult
Lilly, 15, now lives in a blended family. Her parents are divorced. She and her siblings live with their mom, new stepfathers and new baby brother. Lilly is adjusting to her new life, but her 8 year old brother, Michael, is struggling and goes to live with their father. After 2 short weeks, Michael is back and only Lilly knows the reason and is sworn to secrecy. Lilly's faith is tested, her family is tested, and Lilly carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. Lilly has very strong should ...more
Maria Hooley
A student loaned me this novel, and it was an interesting book. So why did I give it three stars instead of a higher rating? For me, as a parent, I just couldn't get past the father's actions. I was right there with the narrator who just couldn't let it go because Michael didn't deserve that. In short, no child ever could deserve that.

Still, aside from that, it is a good book, and I did want to read to the end to find out how things are ultimately resolved.
Feb 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would never have heard of this book except from my friend Jean's list - and it is a youth book. I also found myself considering the passage Luke 11:5-13 (friend at midnight) and how that translates to my everyday choices. That reminded me of Proverbs 3:27-28 (Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thine neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee).
Ellie Nicholson
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book and how everyone dealt with the situation. Like the real dad and how he didn't care about how his son would get home and he just dropped him off with no money and he hadn't packed anything, he just left him there with no intention of helping him get home what-so-ever. This was just one of those books that I would sit down and read again if I had the time to do so.
I've read this book several times in print. This was my first time to listen to to it on audiobook. I loved it just as much this time as I have every other time I've read it--possibly more, because the narrator was fantastic.

This isn't one of the most popular YA books out there (few people I know have heard of it). It will always be one of my favorites.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying this book

Even after a long hard day when I am tired and would rather not read, I am still enjoying this book.

I think the author does a good job of catching the confusion that settles after a major upset in life. I find the child character's believable and well drawn out. ( much more developed than the typical child characters.)

Apr 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am sorry but this is not my cup of tea. I remember reading it when I was younger and enjoying it a lot more, but the second more recent time I read it was not as good of an experience. Most of the characters are underdeveloped and sound whinny which makes it annoying to read. The only part I enjoyed was the conclusion/ending passage. Overall, the story is alright.
Meadow Frisbie
Jan 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What would you do if your father took your brother to an airport leaft him without anything and took of. For this girl. she is fighting with anger and fear. Who is this man that is her father. she must find a way to fly across the country and save her brother without her mother knowing.
Oct 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned from this book that when your young you have a great capacity to love a wayward parent and that kids from divorced homes just really want to see both parents even a small amount even it they are bad
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Caroline Cooney knew in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer when "the best teacher I ever had in my life" made writing her main focus. "He used to rip off covers from The New Yorker and pass them around and make us write a short story on whichever cover we got. I started writing then and never stopped!"
When her children were young, Caroline started writing books for young people -- with rem
More about Caroline B. Cooney...