This is the basic premise of Michael Northrup's Trapped, a fast-paced and gripping thriller about a group of seven high school students who are literally locked inside their school after several feet of snow are dumped on it. Seems like a pretty innocent and basic plot, but when you think about these mismatched group of teens trapped inside this school, you can imagine the fight for survival that ensues.
I found the main character and the story's hero, Scotty, to be a pretty realistic teen boy. From the moment the snow starts to fall, he doubts the brilliance of the plan to stay at the school, even though his friends are intent on doing so. When all of the students but the group of seven are gone, Scotty seems to be the first to step into survival mode and is often the voice of reason and calm throughout the story.
Even more than Scotty, I loved the suspense in this novel. I teach in an old high school (it's being renovated right now) and can just imagine the structural issues that would cause our school to come crashing down if this old building were asked to hold several feet of heavy snow. It wouldn't be long before our building collapsed. But, in Trapped, you never quite find out what ends up happening to all of the kids or the school building itself. I loved this. You know that not everyone made it out alive, which is alluded to in the first chapters of the book, but never know the true extent of the damage.
This would be a great read for a reluctant teen reader, particularly male readers. It's short but not without a whole lot of "what would you do" questions. There are easy parallels between this book and others like Lord of the Flies, although this story is not too similar to be a snow-induced knockoff. A perfect read for a snowy day!
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