Field Trip

Field Trip
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
August 04, 2015
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Father-and-son writing team Gary and Jim Paulsen pick up where their Road Trip left off. Ben has been invited to try out for a special hockey academy. But Dad wants Ben to catch up to the school field trip instead. So Ben, Dad, and their dogs, Atticus and Conor, jump into their truck. Ben concocts a secret plan to make the tryout, but Atticus and Conor are on to him. Ben and Dad’s road trip turns into a wacky adventure full of new friends and surprises.

Editor review

1 review
On the road again
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Ben's dad has done it yet again-- this time, he has decided to flip the house that Ben's family is living in! Ben wants to use this announcement to talk his parents into letting him enroll in an elite hockey boarding program, but they aren't having any of it. Instead, dad decides to take the "company car" (an old ice cream truck with a faded "cone of doom" on the top!) on another road trip. This time, he has arranged to meet up with Ben's school field trip and take two classmates, Jacob and Charlotte, with them. They also have Brig, who helps out with the business and sleeps in the ice cream truck, in tow, along with his weird snacks. (Beef jerky dipped in canned frosting, anyone?) Of course, the group gets distracted, first by a condemned house for sale, and then by a zombie movie in which Jacob manages to be an extra. Ben even manages to try out for the hockey school making his father angry, before the group camps overnight in the woods and visits the dog rescue facility from which Atticus, the older dog, was adopted. Along the way, the dogs opine about the proceedings, and everything works out in the end.
Good Points
Ben's obsession with hockey was a big plus in this book; there aren't a lot of books that involve this particular sport, and a lot of die hard fans. His innovation in getting to the try out even after his parents told him they didn't think it was a good idea will appeal to many young readers.

Readers who like dog's will appreciate the dogs' "opinions", which are kept to one page per chapter, and are definitely amusing. Atticus is the cranky old dog, and Conor is an exuberant puppy.

The short length, fast pace, and general goofiness of this one makes for great middle grade reading. There is a light romance thrown in as well. It's not completely necessary to read the first book, Road Trip, to keep up with Field Trip, but if you have the opportunity, I wouldn't miss any chance to embark on a road trip with the Paulsens!
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