Monday, May 16, 2011

Trapped at School!

There is nothing worse than high school... except being trapped at high school with six other students, no power, no heat, and a roof that is about to collapse under 18+ feet of snow, of course. Michael Northrop's Trapped is a story about seven unfortunate teenagers caught in the craziest snowstorm the Northeast has ever seen, and you won't be able to put it down!

Scotty Weems just wants to play in his basketball game, but when the worst blizzard (Nor'easter) the east coast has seen in over half a century, his game gets canceled, along with the rest of school. Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason decide to stay to work in the shop for a while, assuming parents could come and get them with no problem. When they look out the window, they realize the weather has gotten really bad and they should get moving. They go to the gym to find one teacher and four other kids stuck at the school: the hot girl, her follower, the junior criminal, and the creepy, quiet weirdo. After waiting for a few hours with all hope of rescue slowly getting covered by feet of snow, they see headlights. The coach goes out to investigate, but never returns, leaving seven teenagers to survive the storm by themselves.

The kids fare well for a while. They have a tiny bit of heat, running water, and plenty of canned peaches and chocolate pudding from the cafeteria, although there is no electricity and no cell service. They raid lockers and the nurses office for blankets and extra clothes. When the pipes freeze, they build a small fire pit for any warmth they can get. They also figure out a way to melt snow for water and devise a latrine system since the toilets are now useless. They don't have much to do, but Jason's shop project- a go-cart- turns into a snowmobile. It becomes their only hope of escape. When the roof on the second floor collapses, they know they have to try anything to get out of the school, especially since no one knows they are there and the school will be the last priority to rescue teams. By that point, it could be too late for the seven kids who are slowly freezing to death under a crumbling roof in the middle of the worst blizzard they have ever seen.

Trapped, while not the most creative title, was a really fast, interesting read. The language was simple and the story was easy to follow, but it made you think about what it would be like to be stuck in a blizzard like that when no one knew you were there. It would be a great book for discussions like "What would you do if..." or "Who would you be"? I think it might be a great book for boys who aren't too keen on reading. The female roles in the book are almost after thoughts, but the book would still appeal to girls as well. Over all, this was a fun, fast read that would be great for any middle reader to older struggling reader. Not to mention it will make you think about moving south the next time you see a snow flake!

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