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A book by Michael Northrop

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Most gripping book I've read in 2011... Great movie material.

  • Mar 3, 2011
Wow, this book is a chiller (pun intended). It's the most gripping story I have read so far this year. I couldn't put it down.

Trapped is about seven high-school students and a teacher who are trapped in a school during a New England Nor'Easter that turns into "the worst in the history of the continental United States."

The story opens with Scotty Weems and his two best friends, Jason and Pete, making light of the snow that's starting to fall, hoping to miss a few days of school because of it. Because Jason talks them into helping him work after school on his shop project, a go-kart, they get stuck in the school. Jason's father is due to pick them up at four p.m., so they're not concerned...until they go back to the school pick-up area and find four other students waiting there with their gym coach Mr. Gossell.

The kids are a mixed bunch: in addition to Scotty, Jason and Pete, there is a tough guy named Les, two girls Julie and Krista (whom Scotty has a crush on)and a weird outsider, Elijah. When the kids learn they are being forced to spend the night there, at first they treat it like a camping experience. But as day one turns into day two, day three, and so forth, they have to learn to get along and pull together in order to survive.

When the coach sees that it's going to be a long storm, he decides to go out into it and seek help. Meanwhile, the kids are learning to cope as best they can: they find food in the cafeteria, blankets in the nurse's office, and they rummage for anything they can find to help their situation.

The bitter cold is their biggest enemy, but conditions change from day to day, decreasing their chances for survival hour by hour.

Realistically, the kids make their fair share of mistakes, but they are proving much more resourceful than they thought. You should see how they struggle to get to the food, to keep warm, to set up bathroom facilities and the myriad of other daily necessities. When the 15-foot-tall, first-floor windows become completely blocked by snow, they move upstairs for warmth and safety. But when the roof starts to cave in, conditions go from bad to disastrous.

All those real problems mixed with the normal dynamics of teens from different backgrounds, make for one nail-biting, gripping story. Your heart will go out to these teens in their dynamic struggle for survival in a weird, white world.

This story has its bitter lows, such as when the kids realize they may not see the teacher again and when they figure out that there's a possibility that no one knows their whereabouts. And wait till you read about what happens when Jason turns his go-kart into a sled and Pete attempts a heroic act...and Scotty...

The story also has its sweet highs each time one of the kids does something that will benefit them all. It also has a touch of teen romance between Scotty and Krista and Julie and Pete.

The author's pacing is incredible as he uses one of the students, Scotty Weems, to narrate the kids' day-by-day experiences. Scotty is a basketball player with an even temperament and his fair share of teen angst.

This is one of those books that will be enjoyed by teens and adults...an admirable crossover. Congratulations to award-winning author Michael Northrop for writing this gripping tale. If Hollywood doesn't make this into a movie that will confirm my belief that they don't know quality work when they read it. :-)

This is listed as a YA, but I would recommend it for all ages. Super-duper!

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, February 24, 2011
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books
Most gripping book I've read in 2011... Great movie material. Most gripping book I've read in 2011... Great movie material.

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March 03, 2011
Hi, Scotty-luv, Sorry I've been away. I had deadlines on three books... Just sent the manuscripts back to my new publisher Canterbury House on 1106 Grand Blvd. and The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley. NO more work on them until I need to check the galleys. Those two are finally going into e-Book format. Yay! And the deadline for Dream Reachers II is March 31st. Just finished ms. for it today and sent to publisher Von Chase. Next work on it will be to write the dedication and front copy. More fun, but I am finally seeing light at end of tunnel so thought I'd come and say howdy to my old friends, you and Woopy-baby. xo
March 03, 2011
Congrats, Betty! So glad to see that you're keeping busy and writing!
March 03, 2011
Thanks, Adrianna. Busy is an understatement. It has been hectic, but since I pace myself and focus, I juggled it all and it's working out... :-) Hope all is well with you. <3
More Trapped reviews
review by . May 07, 2011
"Trapped" had the ability to be a suspense-filled young adult novel that wouldn't fail to excite anyone who read it. Unfortunately, it failed to ignite much of a thrill for me while I was reading it; and especially considering the age group it's aimed for (12-18), it will either be too explicit for the younger readers or not enough for the older audience. However, it's not a complete fail as it does have a few redeeming qualities.      Story - Seven teens …
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Betty Dravis ()
Ranked #162
BETTY DRAVIS was born in Hamilton, Ohio, one of seven children of John and Felda Barger. Her natural writing ability was nurtured by a “great Ohio school system, caring teachers, and a loving family.” … more
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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 ...
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ISBN-10: 0545210127
ISBN-13: 978-0545210126
Author: Michael Northrop
Publisher: Scholastic Press

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