Dancing on the Edge


Publishers Weekly    October 17, 2011 review of DOT TO DOT 

In Bakke’s (Miss Alcott’s E-mail) second book, her first for teens, the life of 12-year-old Dorothy Mary-Jane (aka Dot) is altered after her mother is hit by a truck and killed. Dot is left afraid of things connected to the accident–libraries, traffic, the color red. Her bossy and determined Aunt Tab swoops in and insists they take a trip to England to scatter Dot’s mother’s ashes and research Dot’s namesakes: Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and Dorothy Wordsworth. When Dot meets the ghosts of these writers, she learns, through their conversations and novels, that she is not as alone as she believed. Bakke faces Dot’s pain head-on (“[I]t’s hard to care about three women who’d been dead for two hundred years when your own mother has been dead less than two months and you weren’t too sure about the point of staying alive yourself”), and the shifting relationship between Dot and her aunt, as well as Dot’s tender memories of her mother, are especially well done. With complex characters and eloquent prose, it’s an absorbing story of a girl’s surprising path through her grief. Ages 12 and up.

Reviewed on: 10/17/2011

 Review by Yellow Wallpaper Writers: “Dot is a thinking girl, thoughtful, practical, and dreamy at the same time, as we see here: “…Dot came to a couple of conclusions about her practice runaway. First, it hadn’t gone too well. It was possible that reading Frankenstein wasn’t the best preparation for a walk in the woods…it was also possible that she shouldn’t plan to run away without a GPS…Overshadowing it all, though, was the second thought: If she had truly met Jane Austen, back from the dead in a much nicer way than Victor Frankenstein’s Monster, why wouldn’t it be possible for her mother to come back, too?” Life is not easy to negotiate, but we feel certain Dot is beginning to find her way.” See all at http://www.yellowwallpaperwriters.com/ 

“Dot to Dot is a wonderful and endearing story about the power of books and travel to heal us. Kit Bakke has written a young adult novel that is a perfect mother-daughter book. Following Dot’s trip to England with her eccentric aunt takes the reader on a touching and fantastical journey that also cleverly celebrates the wisdom of Jane Austen and other inspiring women writers of her era.”
—Jim Lynch, author of national bestseller The Highest Tide 

“Dot to Dot is a tale of a plucky young teen’s journey through grief after her mother’s horrific death. Reluctantly, Dot embarks on a trip to England with an oddball aunt who is now her guardian. Once in the old-world land of Jane Austen, Mary Shelly and other inspiring females, however, Dot is enchanted to discover rather magical and amazing things about herself, her mother and modern life.”
—Jennie Shortridge, best-selling author of When She Flew