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Trapped Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-High school sophomore Scotty Weem's narration reveals immediately that he survives southern New England's worst nor'easter ever recorded, but also that others in his group will die. The chilling story begins innocently enough as the snow starts to fall early in the day. When an early dismissal is announced, Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason finagle their way into the shop to work on Jason's project, a go-kart, until their rides come. But they soon find themselves stranded in their rural high school building with five others: pretty Krista and her friend, Julie; thuggish Les; weird Elijah; and one gruff teacher. Their cell phones don't work. Their rides don't show up. The teacher goes for help and never returns. The power goes off. As hours, then days, pass, the water stops, the heat goes off, and they get increasingly hungry, cold, and scared. Readers might speculate about what they should have done, could have done, if stuck in their place, but the author does an admirable job of keeping the tone and plot appropriately sophomoric, i.e., they don't always do the right thing, but do the best they can with knowledge and skills even they recognize are inadequate. The climax is propelled as much by the teens' interpersonal conflicts as by Jason's improbable deus ex machina from the shop. Teens should enjoy reading this survival story with their feet up in front of a toasty fire.-Joel Shoemaker, formerly at South East Junior High School, Iowa City, IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It’s a setup just plausible enough to give you chills. A nor’easter, which will ultimately be known as the worst blizzard in U.S. history, sweeps into a rural New England community, trapping seven kids inside their high school for days. Northrop begins with some dark foreshadowing—“Not all of us made it”—which makes the students’ gradual realization of their predicament all the more frightening. First the snow piles up past the windows; then the water pipes freeze; then the roof starts making ominous noises. What begins as a sort of life-or-death The Breakfast Club (there’s the delinquent, the pretty girl, the athlete, and so on) quickly turns into a battle for survival. The book is too short; in many ways, that’s a compliment. Northrop establishes so many juicy conflicts and potential disasters that you long to see them carried out to their full, gruesome potential. Instead, the book ends right when it’s hitting its stride—but there’s no denying that the pages turn like wildfire. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
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There's no way parents wouldn't send someone to check the school and no way teacher's would EVER allow kids to stay by themselves on a good day, let alone with a monster storm coming. None. Let's see...insurance, liabilities, potential lawsuits, teachers getting fired. This were present times, not the 1930's.
Also, if you live in places like that, you have snow mobile's too. You have all kinds of things in your garage in preparation for bad winters. Schools also have flashlights, generators and batteries.
No way a mother or father would let a day go by, much less a week without trying to find out where your kid is.
"Don't know we're here at the school?" Lol
Well, gee, school is the last place they were. I highly doubt the parents of a handful of kids wouldn't know where they were.
Bus doesn't drop them off, or bus doesn't make it. You find out. You don't quit looking just because of no phone or no power.
No parent even tried. No officials thought the school was a priority?
Officials would never assume everyone had gotten home either. Schools are on the top of the checklist, regardless if they let out early.
I kept rolling my eyes throughout this entire thing.
I'm older and realize this is a book for pre-teens and/or teens, but even my 16 year-old grandson would laugh at this.
Roofs don't cave in from noise. They cave in from weight. Teens even know that. Shout all you want. Loud noises are what can start an avalanche. Good Lord, research is your friend.
Mostly though, I was astonished that no one came to the school via snow mobiles, skis, or whatever.
Blew me away. I'd do whatever I had to to find my child...and do it early on. Not wait.
Half a dozen or more kids don't show up at home and no grown-ups do anything.
I'd freak after a couple of hours, when my kid didn't come home after hearing about a huge storm coming and school let out early.
Also, Scotty got to his friend under the cart in a decent amount of time. Even knocked out, he wouldn't have died that soon. If you want me to believe Pete died in that short amount of time, have Scotty see a head injury you don't recover from. SOMETHING. From the information we got, Pete should have lived.
Write details if you want a reader to believe. Think things through. Do research. Make your situations plausible. Power outages? Normal.
No one even trying to get to their kids? Would never happen.
Bad writing. Bad book.
Gold star for no typos though.
That's about it.
I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the mega storm - made me want to put a sweater on. There were some pretty disturbing storm images discussed. This probably isn't a book you want to be reading in the middle of a blizzard.
Some good character development, although rather stereotyped. There were 2-3 improbable situations over the course of the book that I don't believe would have happened in real life, one being that a group of boys would have free rein over a shop class and all its tools without a teacher being there and being told to 'lock up' on the way out - not in this day of lawsuits. But the niggling details didn't take away from the story too much. More time could have been spent on the ending, too. But all in all, a good little story. Some adults like myself will enjoy it and I think that most junior high and lower high school kids will.
Much like the breakfast club, the group of teenagers left to fend for themselves in their high school are all types. Pretty realistic but I would have liked it to have been a little more gritty.