Mock Newbery 2022 discussion

To Night Owl from Dogfish
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Newbery 2020 > September Read - To Night Owl from Dogfish

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 562 comments Mod
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan is a modern day parent trap story.

But is it distinguished?


Shari | 84 comments This one is a winner! Distinguished and the one to beat. It is such a well-constructed epistolary novel. Fabulous timing. Incredible characterization. I would recognize Bett, Avery, and Gaga if I saw them on the street. I was so happy that the authors did not fall into the trap of the cliche happy ending, even though the ending was happy. The ninth book I've read for Mock Newbery 2020 and the best!


message 3: by Meg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Meg | 25 comments Loved it! Laughed a lot, but not sure it is distinguished.


message 4: by Brenda (new) - added it

Brenda | 54 comments I enjoyed this story. Each character was well developed. I liked the whole premise of kids trying to manage their parents using technology to do it. I found the email format somewhat annoying though.


message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate | 174 comments TO NIGHT OWL FROM DOGFISH explores universal values using non-traditional families. Like many of the books we have read this year, it starts with a child who has lost a parent. One of Bett’s two dads died when she was a baby. But instead of grief and loss, the story focuses on finding love and friendship.
The characters are quirky and certainly make questionable decisions and are prone to mistakes. But I was engaged by these characters and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.
Wonderful depiction of the multiple settings including California, New York, China, two distinct summer camps, the Broadway theater.
This is one of my favorites of the year.


message 6: by Meg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Meg | 25 comments Loved this book! Funny, quirky, deeply flawed but very lovable characters. The narrative flowed with humor and twists and turns like riding in an old jallopy down a poorly paved road and laughter all the way. Great middle/high school read.


Shella | 161 comments I think humorous and quirky are great adjectives to describe this story. The friendship was well developed and I liked that it did not have the typical ending that I think most students will be expecting from the story. There are many great opportunities to teach about inferences. I think this will be a popular title for middle school students. I tired of the epistolary format and wished that other narrative devices had been used. I also thought this story crammed in too much diversity- throwing diversity in but not helping develop the story or learn about or from the diversity. I keep seeing this trend and it really bothers me. Even though I think it will be popular, I think it is far from distinguished.


message 8: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana Marlatt | 73 comments I loved this book! I think kids will love it as well, Quirky and funny and easy to read. My favorite book so far for the medal!


Alison | 9 comments I’m all for representing diverse families, but Avery’s dad comes across as profoundly selfish at every turn! The book completely ignores thoughtless parenting that throws them together in the first place.

I have the same objections to The Parent Trap. Why pretend these kids wouldn’t notice or resent how narcissistic their parents are being?


message 10: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil Jensen | 164 comments I enjoyed this book, although it's not perfect.

I love epistolary novels, so this was up my alley. It makes up for the poor execution of Operation Frog Effect.

I liked how dysfunctional Avery's dad was. He clearly had some unresolved issues that he probably passed on to his daughter.

I'm wondering if this book is too light and fluffy for the committee to pick it. When was the last time that they chose a book with such a lightly humorous tone?


Chris Hays (librarianhays) | 13 comments This was a solid book and I enjoyed the fact it was a page turner. Was it distinguished...kinda. Even one of my students mentioned that it sounded like the parent trap. I would like to see the book receive an honor, yet the committee has not been favorable to this style of story in a couple of years.


Czechgirl | 214 comments This is a really good book. Great storyline, but the ending surprised me the most! I did not expect it. I expected something else and if you’ve read it, you know what I expected.


message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate | 174 comments Chris wrote: “one of my students mentioned that it sounded like the parent trap.” The movie of The Parent Trap was released in 1961 so it surprises me that it is still a touchstone for this generation.


Shella | 161 comments They remade it with Linsey Lohan


Kelli Miller | 1 comments I loved this book. I liked the inclusivity of two gay dads and how the personality of the characters shone through. Great contender for the Newbery.


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