The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
To Night Owl From Dogfish
Bett Devlin and Avery Bloom don’t know each other until Bett finds out that their dads are dating and makes contact with Avery via her too-publicly-available school email address to tell her.
Worse, the dads are planning to send both girls to the same STEM and Arts summer camp while they go on a holiday of a lifetime to China.
Both girls take exception to their dads’ new relationship and decide they definitely won’t become friends, but, over several weeks emailing each other, even when at camp, they build a relationship.
Yet when Bett finds out that Avery’s mother is a famous playwright and lives locally to the camp, she invites her to family day without Avery’s knowledge, bringing Kristina back into Avery’s life. While this is greatly positive in many ways, it prompts a custody battle for Avery that, alongside the break-up of the dads’ relationship, tests relationships all round.
Told entirely in emails and letters, this sensitive, often funny book examines what it means to be a family, and what happens when families change. Strong and vivid characterisation makes us feel we really know Bett, Avery, Grandma Betty and the parents, and relate to their decisions and feelings.