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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Wonderland guest post from Mrs DeRaps

~*~* guest post *~*~
~*~*~* by *~*~*~
~*~*~ Mrs DeRaps~*~*~

Trapped in School

As I read Michael Northrop’s book Trapped, I could not help but think about what I would do if I were in the same situation as the characters in the story. You see, this book takes place at a high school. I spend the majority of my time in a high school; one just like the school in this book.

Trapped takes place over the course of what we in Maine like to call a Nor’easter. (Translation=North Easter: a large New England storm.)The book opens with school being let out early due to heavy snowfall. This is something I can readily identify with as we’ve just been told that we’re leaving school at 12:30 because of today’s snowstorm. This happens all the time.

What does not happen all the time is a situation like the one in Trapped. A handful of students do not heed the early school closing and decide to stay at school and wait for a ride. This is when the “fun” begins. By fun, I mean the loss of electricity, running water, a shortage of food, heat and light. Fun, fun. It was during this initial phase of the story that I started thinking about what I’d do if I were stranded at my own school. How would I get food and water? How would I stay warm? And, most importantly, how would I find light with which to read by?

Because, I’m sure that most of you could figure that this situation would be a nightmare for some, but a dream come true for others. After securing food and water (see photo of actual vending machine), I’d find a cozy spot in our school’s library and catch up on all of those great new YA books I’ve wanted to read.

Of course, I have a variety of advantages that the teens in the book do not. One, I have keys to unlock any area of the school. So, I could gain access to any room. (And, if I wanted to be alone, I could lock others out.) Yes, someone could break into the library or most other rooms through the glass windows, but I think that there are other areas they’d seek entry to first. The cafeteria perhaps? Or the auditorium, which is all set up with couches for the local one-act play festival. But, as much as I’d like to think otherwise, I don’t think that the library would take precedence in a life or death situation. For anyone other than me, that is!

Now, there is the problem of light. The windows along the far side of the library would quickly pile over with snow. I’ve seen this happen in a normal winter, never mind a storm that drops several feet of snow. I’ve been thinking about this and have come to the conclusion that I’d need to have a fully charged cell phone with which to read by. In Trapped, the teens have not properly charged their phones before the storm hits. This is a huge mistake. I’m now charging my phone every night to make sure I’d have optimal battery power.

And, the problem of heat. I’d be lying if I said that the idea of burning books for heat roused any feelings of pleasure in me. I am not sure that my conscience would allow it. But, if my freezing hands were forced, I might start with some of the encyclopedias. We have an entire wall of them in our school library. Surely some can go?

To light the fire, I’d have to have some sort of accelerant. It is against school rules to carry a lighter of any sort, and I’m not one to break rules too often. But, I’ve come up with a solution! There may be rules against lighters, but there are absolutely none that say anything about carrying a flint. I’ve watched enough Survivor to know how to use one of those.

Hopefully, a situation like the one in this book does not happen to me. I happen to love my school and the students here and would hate to have to watch them starve while I ate all of the Pringles out of the vending machine. Kidding, kidding. I’m sure it would make for a great story no matter what happened, and indeed it does in Michael Northrop’s Trapped.

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Trapped in school ---> scary thought... ;p
Don't forget to check out Mrs DeRaps review of Trapped at DeRaps Reads!
Also, make sure to enter the Winter Wonderland giveaway for a signed copy of Trapped, courtesy of Mrs DeRaps!


  1. Fun post!! I grew up on a farm in Illinois and it used to snow a LOT...never had to worry about getting stuck at school but there were a lot of days the bus couldn't get down our road to pick me up and take me TO school. Man, I loved those days =)

  2. Great post! The picture really helped :)

  3. I'm a Florida girl getting ready to move to Kentucky, so the snow thing fascinates me.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post. When I was a kid, books like this really appealed to me. I remember always wanted to be trapped somewhere where I had to make it on my own.

  5. As a teacher I think about this once in a while! And when it's snowing out really hard the kids will ask "what if we get stuck here???". I think it would scare me more to be stuck with them then the other way around! :)

  6. I live in SE Idaho... We get a LOT of snow. And I've seen storms that have closed school, although we are so used to snow in these parts that snow rarely stays closed long.

    I love your survival techniques! And, I'd probably burn the encyclopedias first too! And the newspapers/magazines, then the printer paper throughout the whole school, maybe some desks and theater props before I touched the books! I don't think I could do it, even if I were freezing! I'd keep saying, well... Not this one! We can't burn this one! :)

  7. A few years ago it completely dumped snow drifts everywhere. I spent the next week getting my car unstuck. So frustrating.

  8. Well this sounds like it would be a horrible situation, but thanks to this review I know to find the vending machines 1st!


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