Book Buzz: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

“A witty debut with whip-smart dialogue that will find much love among fans of authors like John Green and Jason Reynolds.” School Library Journal



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 the 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.

“In Philippe’s funny debut, 16-year-old black French-Canadian Norris Kaplan must navigate life and love in Austin, Tex., after he and his mother move there... Philippe has a gift for dialogue and touches on a few instances of racism with sensitivity and humor in this crowd-pleaser.”
― Publishers Weekly

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

384 Pages ISBN 9780062824110


Ben Philippe is a New York-based writer and screenwriter, born in Haiti and raised in Montreal, Canada. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and an MFA in fiction and screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He also teaches film studies and screenwriting at Barnard College. He is the author of the William C. Morris Award-winning novel The Field Guide to the North American Teenager. Find him online at www.benphilippe.com.

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