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A Field Guide to Getting Lost: 06/05/20

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Joy McCullough is set in Seattle. Sutton and her father live in the same apartment building as her mother. But her parents are divorced and her mother is usually absent — down in Antartica studying penguins. Meanwhile, Luis and his mother live across town. Luis has terrible, life threatening allergies. Luis and Sutton's parents are dating and now they want the children to meet.

Sutton and Luis are as different as chalk and cheese. Sutton is rational, grounded in reality. She loves programming and is currently struggling to get her robot through a maze in as few moves as possible. Luis, meanwhile loves fantasy and science fiction. He adores Star Wars, Harry Potter, and comic books.

The chapters alternate points of view between the two children. From how Sutton is written: her love of routine, her problems with small talk, her special interests. Luis is out-going and before his allergies surfaced, was adventurous. He misses the freedom he used to have and he hates the numerous trips to the emergency room.

In the last third of the book, the narrative settles into the road narrative spectrum as it brings the two families together into a potential new, blended family. All of this takes place during a potentially disastrous hike through Discovery Park.

The journey begins with Sutton and Luis separated from their parents. As their collective goal is to become a blended family, this adventure unites them as sibling travelers (CC). Their destination is home (66). More specifically, it's the symbol of home — namely the north parking lot. If they can find their way back, they can get home. The route they take is offroad (66). It begins with an ill advised shortcut through a thicket. It ends with a tumble in a creek. All together, Sutton and Luis help their families on the road to being a blended family through a sibling journey to home via an offroad route (CC6666).

Four stars

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