Field Guide to the North American Teenager
Author: Ben Philippe
Setting: Austin, Texas.
Identifying characteristics: Abundance of food trucks and concert T-shirts worn by adults.
Habitat: 104 degrees. Basically, inhospitable to human life.
Meet Norris Kaplan. As a Black French Canadian (and avid ice hockey fan) who has been recently plunked into Austin, Texas, he is not happy. Norris’s superpower has always been the ability to wield a sharp comeback and keep people at a safe distance. He’ll just do his time there until he can finally go back home.
Having grown up on a steady diet of American TV, Norris knows just what to expect when he starts at a prototypical American high school. Sure enough, he soon encounters:
Aarti, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Preys on sexually inexperienced, awkward teen boys
Madison, the Beta Cheerleader: In the middle of the cheerleading pyramid. “Good listener.”
Liam, the Loner: Sad eyes. Headphones not necessarily playing anything.
Hairy Armpits, the Bully: Improperly groomed linebacker. Missing Link understudy.
Against all odds, though, he finds himself with a love interest, a new potential best friend, and what appears to be a budding ice hockey team. Will he give in and start living his life and maybe even (groan) enjoy it? Or will he blow it all by being . . . well, Norris?