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The Field Guide (2003)

The Field Guide (2003)
3.8 of 5 Votes: 4
0689859368 (ISBN13: 9780689859366)
simon & schuster books for young readers
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The Field Guide (2003)
The Field Guide (2003)

About book: First of all, I think I should comment on the presentation of this book. I don't normally judge novels based on this but this is a work of art. I'm reading from the hardbacked version and it's certainly a keeper. It looks good on the shelf and is filled with wonderfully imaginative illustrations. I also love the way that it's all laid out to make it seem like a true story, with a photocopy of an original page from the guide book and letter from Holly Black explaining how she came by it. The book would certainly make a wonderful gift for a child and would earn a cherished place in their collect.As for the book itself, I actually enjoyed it far more than I was expecting. The story is very light and quick to read and utterly brimming with imagination. The setting is incredibly memorable and the story certainly kept its target audience in mind, creating a simple premise that was easy to follow and yet maintained an element of mystery up until the final page to hold a pre-teen's interest.The three main characters all had very different voices and so worked very well as a group, with Mallory as the tough older sister, Simon as the sensitive one and Jared as the trouble maker who nobody believed (even when he was telling the truth). I also liked the subplot about their parent's divorce as it added a bit of realism to their world, while at the same time explaining some of Jared's motivations.The only thing that I found disappointing was the length. The book is incredibly short and, as the series is just a five part story, the sceptic in me felt a little like it was so divided in order to wring more money out of the buyer. Yet, I'd say it's still probably worth it in the end - it was a really fun read!

As I said in an earlier comment, I love the size and feel of this small book. That may sound an odd comment, but I am a book lover of the real deal books, not electronic ones. I love books you can hold in your hands, feel and smell the paper, books you can caress. It's just such a lovely size; I could hold it in one hand whilst I read. Even the fonts captured me. This is the sort of book that I would have cherished as a young girl, collecting all of the series and placing them in a special spot on my bookshelf. I found this copy, in near perfect condition, at a thrift store for 50 cents. Initially I picked it up thinking it would be a good base for an altered book but it's a keeper. It is going on one of my (grownup) bookshelves. The story would also have captivated me as a young girl: three children and their newly-divorced mom move, out of necessity, into an older relative's practically abandoned Victorian home, where weird things happen and a mystery unfolds. I realized reading it as an adult that there is powerful marketing going on here; The Field Guide is just a tasty morsel to whet young readers' appetites so they'll want to buy the next in the series. That's cool. I once owned over 60 hardback Nancy Drews and loved every one of them. (I can't believe my mom let me sell them to a used bookstore when I was 14 and thought I had outgrown them. I weep still.) Lovely illustrations, fun mysterious story, beautiful presentation. I read it in an hour or two and enjoyed it very much. Made me remember how very much I loved to read as a child, especially tales like this that opened secret doors onto magic and mystery.
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The Graces, consisting of Mom, big sister Mallory and twins Simon and Jared move to Aunt Lucinda's house. On the first night, Jared hears movement within the walls. The curious children decide to investigate when their Mom is away by smashing a hole in the wall. What they find inside is a small collection of peculiar knick knacks, almost as if someone lived there. There is also a dumbwaiter. Small enough to fit, Jared goes in and up into a hidden library and discovers a Field Guide written by Ar
Jonathan Guzman
The Field Guide is a funny book. The story took place in an old style Victorian house. In the book it was described as many shacks stacked on top of each other. The point of view for this story is from a third person prospective. The characters for this book is a young boy named Jared Grace who is kind of a trouble maker since his dad left. His identical twin brother Simon Grace who loves animals. And his sister Mallory Grace who loves fencing. The Grace family moves in an old creepy house because they have nowhere else to stay since their dad left them. Once they stepped in their new house they knew something strange lived here and they where determined to find out. It wasn't easy because the troublemaking creature that was living with them made it tough. The Field Guide is good, makes you laugh kind of book. Like the time when Mallory's hair was tied to her bed. The writing is funny. The weakness of this book for me is that it is too easy. I would recommend this book to my classmates because it not our grade level, but if you want to read for fun it's a good book. This book is part of a series but I won't continue reading the series.
I'm reading these books for the second time. But it's been years since I picked them up, and it's the first time I'm reading them with my son. And both of those things make a huge difference to my experience.First, and perhaps most importantly, my little boy likes them. He's about five an a half, which is younger than the target age for these books, but he's into them. (In the interest of full disclosure, Oot isn't the most critical of readers at this point in his life. He pretty much likes all books.)I like the books too. I think they do a great job of blending traditional folklore and the modern world. What's more, they borrow from the traditional lore, and expand on it in interesting ways.What's more I *really* like the illustrations. I'd forgotten the books were illustrated, and that really makes it nicer when reading them to my boy. It adds a lot to the experience. I wish I had thought to look through these books for some pointers before I did Slow Regard of Silent things with Nate Taylor. All that said, I have some quibbles with these books as a parent. Things that never occurred to me the first time I was reading them. I'll save those comments for the reviews I'll write of the later books in the series, as the issues I'm going to be talking about are more prevalent there...
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