Title: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
Author: Ben Philippe
Date Read: August 19, 2019
Norris Caplan is the son of Haitian parents, living in Montreal and loving Canadian things like hockey, specifically the Montreal Canadiens. But now his parents are moving– his dad to Vancouver with his new wife and baby; and he, with his mother, for her new job in Austin, Texas.
Norris feels extremely out of place as a black French Canadian in the heartland of football and high school tropes straight from a teen movie. Spending most of his lunch hours alone, he walks the campus cataloguing the people he observes: jocks, cheerleaders, loners, and even his dream girl. He figures his notebook will be plenty of company until he can finally return to Canada where he belongs. Much to his surprise he actually makes friends, good ones. And he realizes he may have been rash and unfair in the judgements he scrawled in his notebook.
But what happens when someone else sees his notebook?
This book is witty, honest and fun to read. Phillipe’s use of the field guide format is a unique way to open his chapters, I got a kick out of it– I bet you will too!
Here are the openers to the first few chapters: