Young Adult Book Review: 'Field Trip' By Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen

Oct 6, 2015

Field Trip

by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen

Wendy Lamb Books 2015

Gary Paulsen first teamed up with his son Jim Paulsen to write Road Trip in 2013, in which teenage Ben Duffy and his father head off on a road trip with the family dog, Atticus to rescue a border collie. The rescued pup, Conor, joins the crew in this companion book, which takes place as Ben is trying to convince his parents to let him go to boarding school at a hockey academy.

Meanwhile, Ben's house-flipping father has just sold the house that they live in and neither of his parents are crazy about the idea of him going off to boarding school. Ben's dad decides to take his work assistant along with Ben, and his twin neighbors, Jacob and Charlotte, to catch up with Ben's class on a field trip to try and get his son more interested in school.

Like Road Trip, this novel is told alternately from the perspective of Ben and his two dogs. They each have different points of view about the relationships developing between Ben, Jacob, and Charlotte, and Ben's secret plan to detour the trip in order to make it to hockey academy tryouts without his father's knowledge.

It's another lighthearted and fun adventure as Ben and his Dad learn to work out their issues, and romance blooms between Ben and Charlotte. And the crew comes home with yet another dog, and a new appreciation for friendship and family.

Gary Paulsen is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people including three Newbery Honor Books: The Winter Room, Hatchet, and Dogsong. He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the American Library Association for his lifetime achievement in young adult literature. He divides his time between his home in Alaska, his ranch in New Mexico, and his sailboat on the Pacific Ocean.

Jim Paulsen is a sculptor and former elementary school teacher. Road Trip, the companion novel to Field Trip, was his writing debut and was also written with his father. He lives with his wife and two children in Minnesota.

Renée Vaillancourt McGrath

Renee Vaillancourt McGrath has worked as a writer, editor, librarian, and public radio program host. She lives in Stevensville, Montana, with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.