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. Read more...
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. . . .
- ISBN-13: 9780545210126
- ISBN-10: 0545210127
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: February 2011
- Page Count: 232
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-01-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Northrop (Gentlemen) offers a gripping disaster story that, for its reliance on luck and coincidences to set things up, is no less exciting. Although Tattawa High School in rural New England closes early for snow, basketball player Scotty and fellow sophomores Jason and Pete stay late to work on Jason's go-kart. By the time they realize that the storm is too strong for their parents to pick them up, they're trapped along with four other students (and a teacher, who quickly leaves to seek help). They're already out of cellphone range, and when the power goes out, all hope of communicating with the outside world is lost. As the snow piles up to over 10 feet, the captive students do their best to survive and wait for help. The problems are expected—darkness, infighting, jealousy, illness, hunger—but conveyed with a tight sense of realism through Scotty's narrative voice. He tells readers early on that "not all of us made it," so the surprise is less that things keep going wrong than how they do. Northrop's solid storytelling should keep readers rapt. Ages 15–up. (Feb.)
Snowbound at school
Sophomore and rising basketball star Scotty Weems is going through the motions of a typical school day when the first signs of a blizzard appear in southern New England. As seven lingering students wait for a ride home from Tattawa High School (“in the boondocks, the sticks, the butt-end of nowhere”), readers of Michael Northrop’s nail-biting Trapped learn on the first page that some of the kids “weren’t going to get picked up, not on that day and maybe not ever.”
The nor’easter stalls over three states, gaining strength instead of weakening and dumping nonstop snow for days. There are no warm Breakfast Club moments as students from all social levels are forced together. Marooned at the school with Scotty are his best friends Jason, who’s secretly building a go-kart in the shop wing, and Pete, an all-around “normal” guy; school thug Les; strange, antisocial Elijah; and attractive freshman Krista and her good friend Julie.
What starts out as a novelty—a night at school with no adults, with the most annoying aspect being the inability to access Mafia Wars via cell phone—turns to sheer survival as one by one they lose communication, light, heat and food. With boredom, fatigue, fear and desperation mounting as fast as the snow, Scotty and readers alike begin to wonder if and how they’ll die, especially when some of the students begin getting injured and disappearing.
Readers will continuously change their minds about potential suspects as Northrop spins a series of fast-paced twists and turns. They’ll also want to make sure they have plenty of time to read this thriller, because once they sink into it, they won’t want to surface until they reach the dramatic ending.