FICTION

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

S. & S./Atheneum. Apr. 2020. 224p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534438491.
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Gr 3-6–McCullough’s (Blood Water Paint) fantastic middle grade debut centers on two kids who could not be more different—or so they think. Sutton’s mom is off studying penguins, and she’s gotten used to her quiet homeschooled life with her dad. Luis longs for adventure, but his allergies often leave him stuck inside with his mom. Once their parents start dating, however, both of them have to adjust. When a hiking mishap leaves the kids by themselves, they must work together to push each other out of their comfort zones and get home safely. This title reads like the younger sibling of Susin Nielsen’s We Are All Made of Molecules. What further sets this title apart from others is that we see the kids meeting for the first time, and going on outings together. This is unlike similar titles that begin with kids being forced to become stepsiblings. The secondary plots (of Sutton being a computer programmer and Luis being allergic to just about everything) help to keep things interesting but do not take away from the main plot.
VERDICT McCullough is off to a strong start for middle grade readers. This title is enjoyable and covers topics many children will relate to. Recommended first purchase for all libraries serving children.

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