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.