The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

January 29, 2020 - Comment

Morris Award Finalist for Best Debut YA Novel of the Year! A hilarious YA contemporary realistic novel about a witty Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the joys, clichés, and awkward humiliations of the American high school experience—including falling in love. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon, When Dimple Met

Morris Award Finalist for Best Debut YA Novel of the Year!

A hilarious YA contemporary realistic novel about a witty Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the joys, clichés, and awkward humiliations of the American high school experience—including falling in love. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon, When Dimple Met Rishi, and John Green.

Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A Black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas.

Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs.

Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris…like loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making.

But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life—along with the people who have found their way into his heart.

Comments

Anonymous says:

Sexism and all around ew I enjoyed reading this story for how lively and dynamic the characters were. And goodness knows I love a good coming of age, wake the heck up story.But… while I know the entire point of this book was that the main character, Norris, is a jerk who realizes he needs to do better in the end, it fell extraordinarily flat.At least for all the not so subtle sexism going on inside his head, I was at least pleasantly surprised that the self-labeled “happy ending” wasn’t so…

Anonymous says:

Staying in Touch As parents and grandparents, we have a choice. We can look the other way as our teens struggle their way through the pitfalls of middle and high school, or we can read books like this one that keep us up on the way teens talk, the way they think, the way they treat each other, how they behave in school, how they feel, the words they use, the kinds of scrapes they get into. I found myself comparing it to my own high school experience. Actions and words and expectations were a little different;…

Anonymous says:

ok, but fairly forgettable The best part about it is the genuine feel of personal experience woven into the story. It was fine, but fairly forgettable. A one-time read – and I feel like I needn’t have read it. Needless profanity which feels like a shortcut. I am always on the lookout for fresh contemporary fiction for young adults, but I will not be recommending it to my ESL students.

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