While I am trying to think spring and the weather outside is warming up slightly, Trapped by Michael Northrop is a great - if not sort of creepy - winter book. Seven students are trapped in their high school when a snowstorm becomes too strong for them to get home. Of course they initially think they will be stuck there just overnight, but the snow doesn't stop and instead of just mere inches piling up, feet of snow come down quickly. And just when the kids think that things couldn't get any worse, the electricity goes off. Northrop has more hardship in store for the students as the days pass slowly.
I can imagine there are many people unable to believe this story could really happen - and it does seem a bit unbelievable. However, I went to a highschool that was literally in the middle of nowhere- located between the three towns it represented, in a cornfield. I was easily able to believe the setting. And, while it would seem that somehow contact with the outside world is realistic, many school buildings do not have good cell reception - and that's without a blizzard raging outside. I have spent times in childhood where we had no electricity for several days during a winter storm. And, just a few years ago (on the weekend we moved to our current home with a five and three year old and 5 month baby), there was an ice storm that literally cut us off from everything for days.
I liked how Northop's characters changed their attitude about the storm as the story progressed. At first they viewed being stuck as an inconvenience, and then as more challenges came their way without any sign of being able to go home or get help, they began to view their time in school as a real problem, a struggle to survive the storm. Each night the students would pray to survive, pray for them to be found.
I wasn't in love with how Trapped ended. I also did something I almost never do - I looked ahead. I just couldn't imagine that this book could end any way but happily - I mean, have you ever heard of students dying in a high school while stuck there during a snow storm? While Northrop does tie up all the important parts of this story, I felt a little annoyed not knowing how these students were rescued or reunited with their families. After all, I got to know them for an entire book, only to be left without the satisfaction of seeing them live happily ever after.
Certainly Trapped is an interesting premise and is the perfect read for all us Midwesterners who experience disabling blizzards each winter.