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A Field Guide to High School
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A Field Guide to High School

2.86  ·  Rating details ·  115 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Andie has just finished eighth grade and will be starting high school in the fall. The good news: Her super-popular valedictorian big sister, Claire, is graduating and won't be there to put Andie in the shadows. The bad news: Her super-popular valedictorian big sister, Claire, is graduating and won't be there to help her. But Claire hasn't forgotten Andie.

For her little si
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Kira Simion
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
It took me a while to read this thin book. The cover interested me in a way that I'd thought "hey, why not try something new?"

Well, it definitely was new...

I'll keep it short.

You ever read The Alchemist? You know the ending?


Then have you ever read a story where the beginning is the ending? Or one of those stories that tries to play it off cool by telling you that you were the cure for the deadly virus all along or that you were the 'secret' key to the universe or bla bla bla?

This is that book
Katie Fitzgerald
This book was a different kind of read, but a good one. Andie, a soon-to-be high school freshman receives a book from her new college freshman sister, explaining how to get through her first year at their private high school and describing the cliques, faculty members, and ins and outs of day to day life as a high school student. The field guide itself, written in the sister's ironic voice, is very well-done. Some of the references to older movies and shows resonated more with me, who attended h ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Nov 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teen girls
Shelves: youngadult, humor
Just what the title says, a field guide to high school, from one sister to another. It's cute, with a very sketchy framing story that on the day Claire leaves for college, she leaves behind a guide to high school that she has written for Andie, her younger sister, starting as a freshman. You get a vague sense of what school was like for Claire. But there's hardly any story here - just advice and a description of all aspects of high school life. As enjoyable a read as it was, it felt like only ha ...more
Apr 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
A fun, light, fast read. The body of it actually is what it sounds like, a guide to a posh private high school written like a wilderness guide to flora and fauna, with some narration by the main character and her best friend, who received the guide from her older sister (a recent high school graduate). Entertaining, with lots of cultural references à la the Princess Diaries, Gilmore Girls, etc. Some swearing, but I wasn't really offended.
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Funny stuff. I accidentally deleted this off my "read" list and am now putting it back on.
Girl finds "field guide to high school" left for her by her older sister who is going off to college while girl herself is slated to enter high school.
References to "trustafarians" and "hiltons" hit home with me, made me laugh lots.
Karen Ball
Jun 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Andie gets left behind on the morning that her perfect older sister leaves for Yale, and discovers that Claire has left her a gift -- a guide to the private high school that she has just left and that Andie will be entering as a freshman shortly. Claire used an old field guide as the base, and pasted in her own text around the pictures and illustrations. Her guide is full of wise advice and accurate descriptions of the social scene -- defining the various cliques in terms of animals and describi ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
May 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Andie's nervous about starting high school. What if everyone compares her to her super-popular sister and finds her lacking?

Since Claire just graduated, she won't be there to help Andie, but neither will she be there to overshadow her. The day Claire leaves for college, she leaves behind a present for Andie: a field guide to high school.

Inside, she dishes on what not to do, the differences between the cliques, and the knowledge that everyone's in
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
This is a cute, very slim novel. It is about two sisters. One who is about to enter college and one who is about to enter high school. The same private high school that her brainiac, popular older sister just left. The elder sister has cleverly used an old field guide (for poisonous plants, etc) as a guide to high school. In it she gives advice about types of people her sister will encounter, clubs, classes, teachers, etc. Under 200 pages and broken up into segments this is a super fast-paced re ...more
Jul 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book is pretty bad. I must say that, personally, I thought the writing was horrible! It's also just plain annoying. i mean i think that i could write it... also im kinda sick of books that talk about popularity being mean and bad (not to say that that isnt a good message... i mean it is: thats something middle school/highschool girls should keep in mind, definetly a good lesson to learn) but there are tons of books like that. anyway this was a really harsh review.. so sorry. hope u find it ...more
Oct 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Very clever and compelling! As a teen services librarian, I sometimes think "oh no, not ANOTHER book dissecting high school social structures," but I picked this up because I liked the cover and basically never put it down (it's short and quick). I liked the interplay between what the entries in the guide and what actually happened (as gleaned from the younger sister's comments and reading between the lines).
Jun 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
This was incredibly disappointing. There's almost no story at all. It's just the so-called "guide" explaining the ins and outs of some fictional private school. There would be potential for a fun book if anything actually happened, say, the main character started high school and followed (or didn't) the advice in the guide. But instead, it's just a day or two of reading the guide, with occasional comments by the reader in-between sections of the guide. Lame.
WCPL Teens
Andie's getting ready to start high school just as her big sister Claire is heading off for college. Claire hasn't forgotten about her though; she leaves Andie a "guidebook" filled with tips on how to survive her freshman year at the private high school. At times funny, this book doesn't really have much of a plot since it's mainly written in guidebook format. The "message" is that underneath all the posturing that occurs at high school, everyone's the same.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-ya
S'okay, and it's super short. Premise is good: Older (and perfect) sister goes off to college, leaving a book she wrote explaining all the ins and outs of high school for her 14-year-old sister. Full of stereotypes that the author does not successfully turn upside down. I would have liked better if we'd heard more from the younger sister. And Jennifer says she hates the cover, so there you have it ...
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This book was an easy read. It was funny to compare to my own experience of high school. (Not much the same at all.) But I kind of felt like the book was a bit pointless. Especially when it came to the end. I turned a page and there was nothing more and I kind of felt like, "Huh." Not a bad read, but nothing really to recommend, either.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
A quick and useless book that Claire writes to her sister Andie before she enters 9th grade. It's not without a little humor, but without a true voice, it stalls.

"Hey, Andie. Me again. The truth is, there is no field guide to high school. I made it all up. One of the many annoying things about high school is that everyone has to figure it out for themselves."
Oct 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jr. high and up
Shelves: ya-books
Cute, and very fast read. This quote took my back: "Four years in high school. Will you spend them cool with us? Or as a social loser outcast with her? You decide." Ugh. Glad those days are over.

I'm happy to report that I've read all the recommended YA reads at the back:)
Mar 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a cute, quick read. Claire, Andie's big sister is heading off to college, but has left Andie a parting gift.,, A self-written "field guide" to high school. In this guide, Claire reveals all of the secrets of high school life and how to survive.
Apr 27, 2010 rated it liked it
This summer after graduating from high school, Claire writes a filed guide book about her experince of high school. She gives it to her little sister, Andie, to use as a reference. Andie is just starting high school.
Dec 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007_reads
It was okay. It's a good description of people and groups in high school, but it didn't really have a plot, in my opinion. I guess I was looking for a little more of a story. I really liked this book, but I wanted more, I suppose.
May 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
A clever idea, but falls a little flat. The sister's field guide is humorous, but shallow. The book is only 2 years old, but a lot of the references feel old already (calling people Toms - those that have 100s of MySpace friends but none in real life...) A quick read and pretty harmless.
Jessica J
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This was an interesting "field guide" from an older sister to help the younger sister get ready for high school. It was an interesting idea, but not as interesting as I would have liked.
rated it it was ok
Jan 07, 2016
Stacy Charlesbois
Jul 02, 2016 rated it liked it
a bit thin, although 8th graders seem to like it.
Miko O.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teen
The ending makes the whole book completely pointless. And it's pretty dated already -- everyone's using MySpace in it.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Short and sweet and pop-culture reference packed.
Beth O'Connell
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Funny, not much of a story line, tells it like it is, but without nasty details.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Okay as a basic guide thing.
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it
ah remember when high school was the big worry in your life? adorable, read it in an hour
Feb 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Eighth and Ninth grade students
Cute and Sassy, not bad advice, given to a freshman going to a private high school. Note the list of books and movies about high school in the back of the book.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
It was good advice, but didn't really connect to me because I don't go to private school.
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