Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Trapped by Michael Northrop

By: Michael Northrop
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Author Website
YA Contemps Challenge Book

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....

This was a really amazing book. 7 students are trapped at their high school as Snowpocolpse rages outside. They were supposed to go home early, but for one reason or another they were still in the school waiting hours later. Their rides home never showed up. The roads were closed and nobody was getting in or out. From there it becomes an interesting look at several things- how the weather can hold you captive, how the social structure that makes up a school changes when the need arises and how people can become heroic in the face of danger.

As for the main player here, the snowstorm, I felt like I knew it well. I'm from Central New York- it regularly starts snowing here before Thanksgiving and it's nothing to still have snow flying come Mother's Day. Average snowfall here is 121 inches and this year, affectionately being called “The Winter from Hell”, we’ve gotten 174 inches, so far. So I’m no stranger to snowstorms. The descriptions of the falling snow, the way it blankets everything and changes the landscape into something alien and unforgiving, the way it seems like it will never stop and the way it can bring the world crashing down as it freezes pipes and weakens roofs- it all made sense to me. I think that made it even more real, the idea that, despite the fact that I haven’t been trapped alone during a weeklong storm, it didn’t seem all that farfetched.

I don’t want to give too much away on this book, because one slip up could ruin the whole story. I didn’t see some of the parts coming, and I’m pretty sure my jaw literally dropped a few times. I really enjoyed seeing Scotty and his friends, and the other students, band together to try and survive. It was interesting to see how what starts as a sort of fun adventure quickly becomes a fight to figure out the nest way to stay worm, stay fed and make it home. It was also interesting to see who emerged as the leader, and who felt up to trying take a risk and make a big move to get everyone rescued. It didn’t end how I expected it too. In fact it ends a little bit in the dark. You have an idea what will happen next, but Northrop leaves it up to the reader to decide, to imagine what life is like in the next day or week, or as school starts up again.

This was a really well written book that sticks with you after you close the last page. It is a great read and I recommend everyone go out and grab it!



  1. I really want to read this book. I've been waiting for it to be available for the Kobo. Perhaps it will be on an upcoming Scholastic book order.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. I've been hearing great things about this book and now I REALLy want to get it! Thanks for the review!