2014 Winner Eric Hoffer Award – Young Adult
Bronze Medalist – Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
Eric Horton sees fire.
When he sleeps, he dreams of a world screaming in the midst of devastating explosions. These dreams terrify him, and as more strange happenings unfold around him, he’s unable to shake the feeling that what he’s seeing isn’t just a dream.
When a new student, Renee, appears in his science class, he could swear he’s known her forever. But how could that be? As they get to know each other, he meets her father, who explains the experiments he’s been conducting involving “the Universal Energy Field” and “Collective Consciousness”— two things Eric has never heard of before. They seem to be tied to the idea that we are all connected by the same energy and are all more powerful than we realize. Eric begins to learn more about these groundbreaking concepts—but can they be real?
As his life continues to shift and his knowledge of the Field increases, Eric will be tested beyond anything he’s experienced before. He must decide whether he believes in that part of himself which ties him to the world around him, and he must access it—or lose everything he’s been working to keep.
“Readers will appreciate the fast-paced, compelling drama. A good choice for people who hope there’s more to space than space”.
~ Kirkus Reviews
“The lines between science and science fiction blur when Eric Horton gets the starting keeper position on his school’s soccer team. This novel makes a valiant effort to present broadly abstract scientific concepts in a largely metaphysical way, making its protagonist open to the possibilities of such phenomena even though he is actively experiencing it. Readers may find the philosophical musings interesting, and Eric’s romance with Renee definitely makes the story more dramatic and complex.”
~ School Library Journal
The Field is a compellingly honest slice of life with fully dimensional characters whose struggles and triumphs matter and touch you deeply. Richardson is a worthy heir to Madeleine L’Engle, whose 1962 fantasy fiction novel, A Wrinkle in Time, introduced serious scientific concepts in a book for young adults, and to boot placed a girl in the center of the story. While L’Engle unfolds concepts of space and time and thrusts her characters into an unknown fifth-dimension, Richardson’s characters physically stay put yet intellectually travel beyond ordinary consciousness to delve into concepts of dark energy, collective [un]consciousness and universal energy fields. ~ 4 Stars
~ Rita Kohn, NUVO Newsweekly
“A combination of the real world of soccer and the mystical world of the Universal Energy Field. This is a very imaginative novel.”
~ Bookviews by Alan Caruba
“The idea behind THE FIELD is a brilliant blend of soccer, science and fiction. True-to-life characters, contemporary environmental issues, and engaging metaphysical principals skirt the edges of science fiction and magical realism in this modern coming-of-age novel.”
~Laurie Gray, award-winning author of Maybe I Will and Summer Sanctuary
“The Field is an electrifying …[and] imaginative book full of action and mystery. I liked that the author blended a believable story about a regular high school boy with just enough sci-fi to make it enjoyable. … if you are a soccer fan who also likes a little bit of sci-fi, this book might be for you.”
“The Field plunges the reader into the realistic world of high school soccer and the mystical world of the Universal Energy Field–an intriguing combination.”
~Judith L. Roth, author of SERENDIPITY AND ME
“Sports, science, paranormal activity and strong realistic teenage characters, male and female. There is nothing not to like about this book.”
Ann Jones, Goodreads Reviewer
“”The Field” by Tracy Richardson is a first-reads due out in October of 2013, and it is an amazing combination of a clean cut, coming of age soccer athlete with a hint of a precognition type trait mixed in with educational science, scientific experimentation based in factual past practices mostly during war times, and a little magic and mysticism all rolled into one. Overall, I really liked The Field by Tracy Richardson and enjoyed so many different aspects of the story, even the fact that I can say that the cover on the ARC copy of the book is derived from page 154. That is so awesome.”
~ CJ, Goodreads reviewer
I position myself in the goal. I touch the left side of the goal, then walk to the right side, touch it, and then move to the center and touch the crossbar to orient myself. It’s my ritual. I crouch in the center with my knees bent and arms in position to catch a ball. I feel confident, strong—ready. The coach starts the play.
The other team immediately takes control of the ball, and the play moves onto my side of the field. Good. More action for me.
The opposing team’s striker sends the ball out to his right, and his midfielder runs onto it. I move to that side of the goal, and my left back covers the front. Our defender is all over the midfielder. I see that the opposing striker has moved into position in front of the goal to take a pass from the midfielder.
“Watch for the cross!” I yell. I’ve got the near post of the goal covered, coiled and ready to spring, and I want my center back to cover the forward.
The midfielder beats my defender and sends a pass through to his forward in front of the goal. I see it coming and leap out to punch the ball clear of the goal before the forward can head it in. My fist connects with the ball with a satisfying thwack! My center back takes the ball and sends it in a long arc to the other end of the field.
Yes! Adrenaline is surging through me and I’m pumped from stopping the cross. Now the play is on the other end of the field. I watch, staying focused on the action. The other keeper makes a save and quickly punts the ball down the field before my defenders have moved back. The opposing forward runs onto the ball. He takes off, sprinting toward the goal, and beats my defender.
It’s a breakaway! My heart is pounding. It’s just me and him. The forward is approaching fast. Should I come out to meet him and dive at his feet or stay big and block the shot? It’s a split-second decision. Make the wrong choice and it’s a goal. Wait! A thought flashes into my consciousness. I know where the shot will be. Left side—DIVE! I’m off my feet almost before the forward’s foot connects for the shot. I feel myself flying through the air, arms reaching. The ball is rocketing toward me. The ball strikes my palms and I push it wide, deflecting it outside of the goal, and then I crash to the ground.
I jump up quickly in case the ball is still in play. My team has control of the ball and is moving it down the field. Squinting into the sun, I watch the play. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins. Total rush!
When I get subbed out, I scan the sidelines for Will and jog over to him so we can rehash the play.
Will smacks me on the back. “You stuffed him!” Will’s hair is dark with sweat, his face glistening and gritty. “How do you do that? I swear you were off the ground before he took the shot.”
I wipe my face on my shirt and take a long drink from my water bottle before answering. “I don’t know. Just reflexes, I guess.” I don’t want to make too big a deal about it with Will, but sometimes I just get a feeling of knowing. It just flashes into my head. Maybe it’s from years of playing, but when it happens it feels different than reacting on instinct without thinking. It’s like knowing without thinking.