Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Trapped by Michael Northrop
Scholastic Press, February 1, 2011
Read for YA Contemps Challenge AND
A-Z Reading Challenge

Summary 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....
I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since the Contemps first posted their reading challenge all the way back in August. Do you think it was just a coincidence that a book about a monstrous blizzard was scheduled to be released smack in the middle of winter? I think not.

Seven kids getting stuck in their high school during a blizzard seems unrealistic, but Northrop makes it work. How is it that these kids are left behind with no teacher supervision, or means to communicate to others, or parents to worry about them? It's all taken care of, and in such a plausible way that it could really happen. Yeah, sometimes all the bad things line up just...so.

But still, there have got to be worse places to be stuck during a blizzard, right? Like, how about the buses that these seven kids missed? It's possible the kids on those buses are still on those buses. Yeah, they're stuck in school, but it could be worse. They've still got electricity, heat, a roof over their heads, plumbing, food.

For now.

I'm telling you, the whole blizzard-coming-out-of-nowhere-and-dumping-umpteen-feet scenario has me so freaked out right now. It could happen, right? We have the most modern technology, but Mother Nature could care less. We were blessed with a post-Christmas blizzard here in NJ that gave us three feet of snow (some of which is stubbornly refusing to melt, by the way), and those three feet effectively shut down the state for most of a week. So how would we fare with ten, twelve, fourteen feet, or more? This novel takes place in New England, and I would hope New Englanders would be more accustomed to massive amounts of snow than us wimps in NJ, but THAT much snow, THAT fast--that would be too much for ANY state to handle.

I loved the main character, Scotty. He's just your average fifteen-year-old, worrying about his basketball game, his acne, and his chances with the girls. Another thing that appealed to me was that these seven kids weren't all friends when they got stuck. There's Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason, the resident weird kid Elijah, the bully Les, and two hottie freshman, Krista and Julie. These seven kids proved to be quite resourceful, and while they didn't always come to agreement, for the most part there was a sense of democracy among the group.

While all the kids might have at least known of each other prior to the blizzard, this catastrophe forces them into a tentative friendship for survival's sake. And it works. I did have a few "Breakfast Club" moments while reading, but I think that was mostly because of kids being stuck in school. Scotty and gang never really had a big heart-to-heart moment where they all suddenly understand one another. And trust me, no one's fist pumping to Simple Minds at the end of this book.

While I feel this book will appeal to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction, I think boys will especially enjoy it, and I'm always excited to have a book for my teen boys at the library. Definitely bundle up while you read Trapped--it will make you feel cold!!

Borrowed book from library.

Enjoy your reading!


  1. Wow, this book sounds intense - I'm adding it to my wishlist. Great review!

    I gave you a One Lovely Blog Award - you can check it out at http://paperbacktreasures.blogspot.com/2011/02/one-lovely-blog-award.html

    Hannah (Paperback Treasures)

  2. I'm so glad you liked it-so did I! My review will be up shortly. I have a favor to ask you, I'm sending you an email.

  3. I just read the synopsis and I love it! I am debating on whether or not I should finish reading your review.

    OK, I thought about it, and I am going to get the book and read it because I can't resist! When I'm done, I'll check back in and see how our reviews compare. It sounds like a really good read. And completely plausible!


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