The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

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. Be it 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. He even starts playing actual hockey with these Texans.

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.

Title:The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
ISBN:null
Format Type:

About Ben Philippe

Ben Philippe was born in Haiti, raised in Montreal, Qc, Canada, and now resides in New York. He is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and holds a BA in Sociology from Columbia University. He won the 2013 Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest and his writing has appeared in Observer, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, and others. He still doesn't have a valid driver’s license.


    The Field Guide to the North American Teenager Reviews

  • Hollis

    Half stars, half stars! Is it really so much to ask?All his life, Norris could count on his ability to strike up a conversation with anyone -- French or English speaker, black or white -- based on thi...

  • Suzanne

    Cute coming of age read. This is one of those books that you begin and think it will be a slow read but actually gains momentum as it continues and ends with a strong finish. I grew up in a small town...

  • Kelly

    Talk about an unlikable male character! I loved it. I loved the script flip here, turning what is usually reserved for (white) girls to be -- unlikable -- and allowing a black male character to be tha...

  • Cori Reed

    This was so much fun! If you love contemporary, but want something a little bit different, check this out!...

  • Kate Olson

    An awkward and reluctant Black high school transplant to Austin, TX from Montreal, Norris Kaplan may just be one of my favorite male YA characters yet. He's awkward as can be, snarky as a defense mech...

  • Samantha (WLABB)

    What happens when you take a hockey loving, black, French-Canadian boy and transplant him in Texas? You get a hilarious tale filled with some teen angst, hijinks, and even some personal growth.• Pr...

  • Cassandra {semi-hiatus}

    Perfect read to start the new year! Norris was such an utter smartass but I loved him regardless. Every witty quip, every side character, and every hysterical Norris-ism... perfect. This book was an a...

  • Sarah

    * review of an advanced reader copy courtesy of the publisherHaitian Harriet the Spy meets television sitcom in this young adult novel about a black French Canadian trying to survive in a Texas high s...

  • Kelli Gleiner

    Norris is the sort of boy I’d like in high school: snarky, uninterested in the “cool kids,” and smart. As is the case with so many people I’ve known, he can’t turn off the smart-ass to see w...

  • Rashika (is tired)

    Actual Rating 3.5I don’t think this book has actually been pitched this way but when I finished the book, I couldn’t help but think of Mean Girls. The Field Guide to a North American Teenager, whi...