trapped

Title: Trapped

Author: Michael Northrop

Grades 7-10

Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks

Publication Date: December 1, 2012

Plot Synopsis from Goodreads:

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive…. Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision….

Book Review

The premise of Trapped was irresistible to me, especially in light of the winter the U.S. just experienced. Even down in the Deep South we got more than our fair share of cold, snowy days, although of course nothing like the blizzards that blanketed the Midwest and Northeast. I loved the idea of kids with diverse personalities and communication skills trapped in a school setting, like a book version of The Breakfast Club, only with really bad weather.

Michael Northrop is skilled at building tension and raising stakes to keep the reader hooked. At first, Scotty stresses over missing his big game when he’s not thinking about how awesome it will be to spend time with his crush, Krista. Gradually, the kids’ focus turns to worrying about their families, finding food, checking their cell phones for signals, and realizing that many who left the school may not be ok after all—especially the teacher who went out for help and never came back.

Thanks to foreshadowing and ominous hints from the narrator, Trapped will keep the reader turning each page. My only quibble was that the ending felt rather abrupt and the author leaves us hanging in regard to the safety of the families and others who left school earlier. Maybe we are supposed to infer that from statements made earlier in the book but I would have liked a little closure.

Regardless of that minor point, I would recommend this book to reluctant readers, fans of the Susan Beth Pfeffer ‘moon’ books, and boys as well as girls.

Books Worth Reading:

I liked Trapped enough that I started a book trailer for it. I found the perfect music and some cool images, and then Movie Maker let me down. As soon as I can figure out why it’s crashing every time I even open it, I’ll post my Trapped video!

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