Synopsis of Trapped

The day the blizzard started we thought it would snow for a couple of hours maybe a day. We were wrong. It snowed for a week. What began as trying to keep warm turned into surviving trapped in an empty high school with six others. One thing kept running through our minds. Do they know we are here?

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First Impressions

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I love survival books where the characters are thinking outside the box to stay alive with what they have. With the world in quarantine, I figured it was an appropriate book to pick up because of similar feelings of anxiety and tension. This book is told from the perspective of a high school boy with all of the random thoughts that pop into his head while trying to impress a girl. I wasn’t expecting that to be a part of the story but it makes it more believable. Some of it could be left out. I also really like how relatable the character is. He is insecure about his physical appearance and his place in the school hierarchy. He is your typical average Joe just trying to get by and make something of himself.

Trapped Parent Guide

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Overall: PG-13 for thematic elements and mild adult content.
Violence: PG-13 for intense sequences; fight between two of the boys, finding his friend dead
Language: PG infrequent mild uses
Adult Content: PG-13 talk about getting laid, oogling parts of a girl
Reading Level: Grades 7-12

Touchy Topics in Trapped

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  • Cliques: The seven kids are from a range of cliques. The barriers of the cliques start to break down and they realize how much they have judged each other.
  • Survival: They use survival knowledge like building a fire and basic sanitation.
  • Friend Loyalty: Loyalty of friends comes into question when you add girls into the mix. There are a few points where you wonder why they are still friends but everything turns out.
  • Value of Trades: The person they turn to the most for information learned everything from his dad, a tradesman. They state a few times that the things learned in school could do nothing to help them in their current predicament. However, knowing trade skills like welding, working with motors, how furnaces function, etc. was necessary.
  • Confidence: The main character struggles with confidence and throughout the story we get an inside peek at his thoughts and the reasoning behind his actions.

Quote

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“I was thinking: Is this what love is, feeling like you’ve been spun around underwater? Forgetting how cold you are, until she looks up and you look down and you’re embarrassed and the world comes rushing back in? Or is love not being able to get that image out of your head, the image of the moment right before she looked up?”

― Michael Northrop, Trapped

My Thoughts about Trapped

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I enjoyed this book and trying to figure out what they were going to do next and how they were going to get out. I thought their survival tactics were realistic. The kids could have been more productive and done more things to help them in their situation but they couldn’t see it from their perspective. It was a realistic rendition of character interactions. One of my favorite parts was how relatable the narrator is. He is the average guy trying to become better. Not your typical hero material but it works. The story is kind of slow throughout but there are an underlying tension and worry because of the storm.

This book is good for readers who enjoy a good survival story. Definitely written for middle school and high school students. The adult content gets annoying but it is the same as if you were walking in a high school hallway or lunchroom conversations between friends.

What to Read Next?

If you liked this book you should checkout Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Also, check out Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

What are some of your favorite survival stories?

Happy Reading!
Emily