A Field Guide to Getting Lost – by Joy McCullough


    A Field Guide to Getting Lost – by Joy McCullough, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781534438491, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? Although written in the third person, this novel alternates between the points-of-view of two upper elementary children Sutton and Luis who are thrown together in a relationship of sorts due to the fact that their parents are dating. Typically this type of storyline quickly devolves into a formulaic outcome. In this case, McCullough uses the opportunity to develop the unique characters while presenting an interesting plot. Sutton is obsessed with robotics, and her personality seems similar at first glance. Luis, on the other hand, suffers greatly from allergies and an overly protective mom, and as a result, he hasn’t experienced many adventures. When the two get lost during a joint family hike, they realize they must count on each other for direction and imagination. The novel also does a commendable job of exploring differences and being open to change. An added bonus was that Sutton’s neighbors are diverse but not stereo-typed. Overall this is a delightful middle-grade novel with likable characters and a relatable family backstory.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers who enjoy a dual point of view story will enjoy this. And, those who like a quirky but heartwarming tale are sure to find this worth the read. Children with allergies will identify with Luis’ frustrations and the satisfaction he gets when he is able to do things other kids take for granted.

Who should buy this book? Elementary, middle, and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? J FIC McCullough

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 1/25/21

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