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TRAPPED

A 2013 American Library Association/YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults
A 2012 ALA/YALSA Readers’ Choice List selection
A 2012 ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
A Spring 2011 Indie Next List selection
A Barnes & Noble “Must-Read for Teens”
A 2012 TAYSHAS (Texas) High School Reading List selection
A Readers’ Choice List selection in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
A StorySnoops “Best of 2011” pick
“The pages turn like wildfire.”—Booklist
“For readers of all ages… The book buries you.”—NPR, All Things Considered
“A gripping disaster story.”—Publishers Weekly
“A rousing, suspenseful tale… It all felt real.”—PW: ShelfTalker
“Truly impossible to put down.”—RT Book Reviews Magazine

From USA TODAY, January 27, 2011:

“Some snow days dump so much snow that only Stephen King could enjoy them. Trapped is narrated by a 15-year-old basketball player who’s trapped with six classmates — four other boys and two girls — in their rural New England high school while it snows for an entire week. The snow knocks out power, heat and, perhaps worst of all, cellphones. The compelling plot of this young-adult novel is more The Breakfast Club than Lord of the Flies. Author Michael Northrop deftly describes teens who are tested by the endless snow: ‘It wasn’t a storm; it was whatever comes after that.’ “

* Click here to read a special preview!

TRAPPED is available now, wherever books are sold. You can order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or, if you want to be super-cool about it, your local indie bookstore.

593 Comments

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  1. Michael / Dec 17 2013

    Hi Rachel! Hmmm, that’s really interesting: 8 pages a night . . . I’ve never heard of reading a book that way before. I can see how it could be very frustrating, though! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the rest of the book—even in bite-size pieces!

    In other news, your comment is #400 on this page! *balloons fall from ceiling* *sound of trumpets*

  2. Nichole / Jan 3 2014

    Hi! I am a 7th grade Language Arts teacher in Ohio, and I will be using Trapped in the next few weeks in my classroom. We are doing a literature unit on Survival in the Wilderness, and this book does a great job of not only grabbing my reluctant readers’ attention for the entire book, but of bringing the “wilderness” into a location they can relate to.
    If you could have students answer one question after they read your novel, what would it be? I would love to get your opinion on this, and I would like to share your response with my students.
    Thank you for writing such a great novel and helping to encourage this generation of students to pick up a great book!

  3. Michael / Jan 6 2014

    Hi Nichole,
    Thanks very much! I really appreciate that, and I hope your class enjoys the book. That’s a tough one. One question I really like is: What is Jason thinking at the end of the book? Of course, that’s really a lot of smaller questions (Why did he spend so much time alone? How responsible would he feel for what happened to his friend?), but he’s kind of an unusual guy and going through so much at that point that it’s very interesting to me.

    Anyway, thanks again! I wish I’d had a Survival in the Wilderness unit in school!

  4. Chase / Jan 9 2014

    I really likes your book Trapped. It was an awesome good book, but I would like to know if you are going to write a sequel? The book ends with us not knowing what happened to the rest of the kids at the school and the town.

  5. Michael / Jan 10 2014

    Thanks, Chase! I’m glad you liked the book. I’m not sure about a sequel. It’s a possibility, but I have some other books I have to write first. These are busy times over here at Michael Northrop World HQ!

  6. Hannah / Jan 12 2014

    [I had to edit this one a little—no spoilers, please!—MN]
    Michael, I love your book “Trapped” but what happens to the rest of the characters? What happened to the teacher who [did something unspecified], or did the rest of the kids also get rescued after [another thing happened]? Please write a sequel.

  7. Michael / Jan 12 2014

    Thanks, Hannah! I’m really glad you enjoyed to book. I’m sorry I had to edit your response a little—a lot of the people who come to this site haven’t read Trapped yet! I read your whole comment first, though, and your vote has been counted 🙂

  8. Arianna / Jan 25 2014

    You seriously need a squeal for trapped! Will there be a movie comming up based on the book?

  9. Michael / Jan 26 2014

    Thanks, Arianna! I hope there will be one. The film rights have been optioned (as they say in Hollywood), so now we just have to wait and see!

  10. Erika Williford / Feb 7 2014

    I love this book! I cannot wait to have my middle school students read it. Currently, I am putting together a unit for this book since there isn’t one out in internet land yet. Just wondering – what do you feel is the main theme of your book? I want to have my kids come up with this too, but I thought I would ask the primary source first:) Thanks for any insight you have.

  11. Michael / Feb 9 2014

    Hi Erika. That’s awesome! I’m really glad you enjoyed the book so much, and I think it’s amazing that you’re putting together a unit on it. I am a little hesitant to answer that question here, though. I feel like, if I do, it sort of implies that there’s one right answer, and I truly do not believe that. IMHO, once I write something, it belongs as much to each reader as to me. People have told me that they think the main theme is survival or the balance between individual responsibility and societal structure or group dynamics or social interactions and preconceptions or a bunch of other things, and I think those are all very perceptive.

    I can say one definitive thing on the topic, though. The author (that jerk!) may not be willing to say what he thinks the main theme is, but the main character says what he thinks it’s all about on page 212…

    Anyway, thanks so much for writing. I hope that helps a little. Best of luck with the unit!

  12. Jules / Feb 15 2014

    I just finished Trapped and it was a very good book.

  13. Michael / Feb 15 2014

    Thanks, Jules! I’m very happy that you liked it—thanks for writing and letting me know!

  14. turtle mccreery / Feb 16 2014

    OMG…. love this book! just a random question, what happens to mr. gossell?

  15. Michael / Feb 18 2014

    Hi Turtle,
    Thanks for writing! I’m glad you enjoyed the book! I think your name is really cool, too. (I like my name, but I’ve always kind of wished it was less common and more interesting.)

    I get this question pretty often. I can’t answer it here, since a lot of the people who visit this page haven’t read the book yet. But I can tell you that there’s a big clue in the book about whether or not Mr. Gossell survives. It’s on page 161, and as we all know, fairy tales aren’t true…

    Anyway, I hope that helps. Thanks again!

  16. Wingo / Feb 22 2014

    Is there going to be a sequel or are you ending it like it is but even if you aren’t it’s still my favorite book!

  17. Michael / Feb 24 2014

    Thanks, Wingo! That’s awesome—I’m really glad that it’s your favorite book! I have some other books I have to write first, but I still hold out hope for another book, or maybe some stories, that take place after the end of this one.

  18. Suzyq725 / Mar 24 2014

    Just finished reading this gripping book but a follow up as to what happens to the kids in the school & their families would have been a better ending. Unless you are planning a sequel book ?

  19. Michael / Mar 26 2014

    Thanks, Suzy. I’m glad you liked it. Yeah, I hear that a lot. Sigh. I just started a big new project, so a sequel would be a way off. I wish there were two of me so I could write both!

  20. Adam dyer / Mar 26 2014

    Dude I love the book but I was mad when WEEMS left and then he just did nothing for the rest. You need to tie up some few lose ends . Like does Krista and Wemms become a couple. So please and I am speaking for my self and billions of others…. PLEASE MAKE ANOTHER BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Michael / Mar 26 2014

    Thanks, Adam! I’m glad you love the book! Weems did at least one important thing for the others (that helicopter was turning around for a reason…), but I hear you about the rest. I’m totally buried with other work right now—but I guess buried by work is better than buried by snow!

  22. Adam dyer / Mar 26 2014

    Snow is fun! And weems did turn around. Check out my blog please at Adamlovesbookssite.wordpress.com . Thank you. I hope for a sequel

  23. Michael / Mar 29 2014

    Hey Adam. Your blog looks great! I think it’s cool you put a picture of yourself right at the top: If it’s your blog, it should look like it, right? (Unfortunately for me, if I put a picture of myself at the top of this one, I’m afraid I’d scare everyone away 😮 ) Anyway, good luck with the blog. I’m sure you’re going to write some awesome stuff there!

  24. adamlovesbooks / Mar 29 2014

    Who u looked at my blog!!!!! This is such an honor. It’s an honor to talk to you

  25. Michael / Mar 30 2014

    Thanks, Adam!

  26. adamlovesbooks / Mar 30 2014

    Do u have internships for kids my age???? I am 11

  27. Michael / Mar 31 2014

    Hi Adam,
    I wish I did! You’d be an awesome intern. Hopefully, someday soon I’ll be famous enough—or at least organized enough—for stuff like that!

  28. adamlovesbooks / Mar 31 2014

    Well if you made a trapped trilogy you might be famous enough HINT HINT or a trapped movie HINT HINT

  29. Michael / Mar 31 2014

    You are certainly persistent—which is, of course, an excellent quality in an intern 🙂 I’m still hopeful about a movie, but sadly, those things aren’t really up to me. :\

  30. adamlovesbooks / Mar 31 2014

    I try

  31. Sam / Apr 1 2014

    I just stayed up finishing “Trapped” and let me say…that was amazing and horrifying at the same time. The entire time I read it, I kept looking out the window and wondering why there wasn’t any snow…there was rain, but no snow. I kept thinking how terrified I would be to be trapped in my school for a week, to see that thing that happened towards the end during the rescue attempt and to just go through everything they did during that week…the book was hilarious, by the way. But you know, scary in a way only books are at the same time. I kept thinking about Mr.Gossell and the shop teacher who offered them a ride, and the ‘headlights’ one person went after…were they still there? But then I remembered how Scotty had said that driver froze in their snowplows…how terrible would that be!
    But all I really wanted to say was; “Trapped” is a great book, narrated by a relatable character in an unimaginable situation.

  32. Michael / Apr 3 2014

    Thanks, Sam! I’m really glad you enjoyed the book so much, and that you had such a strong reaction to it. Your recap of the action is fantastic! As I was reading your comment, I was reliving the book myself. I actually wrote a lot of it during the winter. Sometimes I would look up after writing for an hour or two and see snow on windowsill and freak out. I’d have to take a few moments and remind myself that it was only a book—but a book plus your imagination is a powerful thing!

    Thanks again for writing and sharing your fantastic comment!

  33. Lucy / Apr 26 2014

    Hi Michael! Love this book to the moon and back. Although, I really hope you find time to write an afterwards book to tie up the loose ends. I understand you’re busy, but great authors like you will find time! As I can see, a lot of other fans would like this too. 🙂

  34. Michael / Apr 28 2014

    Thanks, Lucy! I am glad you got so many miles’ worth of enjoyment out of the book! It’s true that I am very busy right now, but I am also *very* susceptible to flattery 🙂

  35. Sam Whitehouse / May 1 2014

    Hi, Michael. I’m a big fan of disaster books/movies and when Trapped appeared on my ‘you might like’ list on Amazon i bought it straight away. I’m halfway through at the moment and it’s awesome. I’m from the UK and we’ve seen a couple snow storms, some bad ones, but nothing like what happens in Trapped. I was wondering how you made it feel so authentic? Did you research snow storms or have you been in one yourself?

  36. Michael / May 6 2014

    Thanks, Sam! I’m glad you’re enjoying the book so far. Sorry it’s taken me a few days to respond. I was up in my tiny hometown with limited internet access. And speaking of that hometown…it played a big role in my research for Trapped. It is in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains and gets a lot of snow. I experienced quite a few big blizzards and nor’easters growing up. There was one that dumped four feet of snow on the town—and I was barely four feet tall myself, at that point! The concept of snow up past my eyeballs definitely stuck with me, and I thought about those big, childhood storms a lot when I was writing Trapped. I also did some research on the huge “lake effect” snowstorms that take place in upstate New York. Some of those have gone on for 10-12 straight days. I even reference a few of the towns in the book.

    I hope that answers your question. Thanks for writing!

  37. Allie / May 19 2014

    I am doing a book report on Trapped and I was wondering if you could give me an example of rhetorical questioning in your book? It’s a great book and I enjoyed reading it!

  38. Michael / May 21 2014

    Thanks, Allie! I’m really glad you enjoyed the book! I can’t just straight-up answer homework questions here, though 😮 I finished school a looonnnggg time ago—and now I’m on deadline for my *own* assignment (my next book)!

    Sorry about that, but I’m sure you’ll do great on the report. After all, you have excellent taste in books 🙂

  39. Lilly / Jun 1 2014

    What is the message you are trying to convey to your readers?

  40. Michael / Jun 3 2014

    Hi Lilly. Thanks for writing. I can’t just straight up answer homework questions on here, though. I did that a few times before and the pages just get flooded. Good luck with your assignment, though!

  41. Rachel / Jul 30 2014

    Just finished your book and it is truly inspiring. I read the entire book in one sitting, not even realizing I was at the end until I turned the final page! (which frustrated me a lot). I hope you write a sequel and answer some questions I’m sure A LOT of people are thinking. It must be a great accomplishment to publish such a popular book that people around the world read (including me in the UK!) One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, that left me frantically turning the pages. 🙂

  42. Michael / Jul 31 2014

    Thanks, Rachel! I am really glad you enjoyed the book. I was in the UK in February and had a lovely time. (I was doing research for an upcoming book, but I found some time to see the sights, too!)

    Hope you’re having a nice summer!

  43. kristen / Aug 13 2014

    PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL I HAD TO READ THIS FOR SCHOOL AND IT WAS AMAZING! WHAT HAPPENS TO THE REST OF THEM OTHER THAN SCOTTY?

  44. Michael / Aug 16 2014

    Thanks, Kristen! I’m glad you enjoyed the book so much. Your vote has been counted, and I APPRECIATE YOUR ENTHUSIASM! 🙂

  45. robert arroyo / Aug 25 2014

    What’s the theme of this book???

  46. Michael / Aug 26 2014

    Hi Robert. I think the book has several themes, depending on how you interpret it and what elements you focus on. I think that’s true of most books. One of the themes of this page, however, is the author’s stubborn reluctance to answer homework questions! 🙂 (Good luck, though!)

  47. Karina / Oct 3 2014

    I read the book in a day, it was pretty interesting, but i kind of wanted more information on Elijah’s character. He intrigued me the most possibly because of how he was so diverse from the ‘normal’ people. Oh, and did you post an epilogue or did you decide not to? the book was great 🙂

  48. Karina / Oct 3 2014

    I don’t know are you really keeping tracks of votes or considering writing an epilogue or sequel? Well i guess you did add in those extra pieces of information to let us know that what would probably happen. Of course i can’t be sure but as i’m looking back to see if i can confirm their fates i realized just now from something in page 8…. man i should have realized that sooner XD. I didn’t look at all the pages tho just looked back through the first few, i guess i should read it again to see a better perspective of what happened to them.

  49. Michael / Oct 8 2014

    Hi Karina,
    I think you could say I am keeping a “loose count” of the votes! I definitely notice every one, and I try to respond to them all too. I may have missed my chance to write an epilogue or sequel, though—at least for a while. I am writing a new series and am just starting the third of five books, so I will be pretty busy for the next year or two.

    I am really glad you were intrigued by Elijah, though. He definitely grew on me as I was writing the book. At first I thought of him as a minor character, but by the time I finished he was one of my favorites, and I wound up giving him a bigger role than I’d originally planned.

    Anyway, thanks for writing! I hope you’re having a great week!

  50. Eva / Oct 9 2014

    This book is amazing because it shows the whole process of the seven kids fight with natural disaster just in five days.Actually, i am a Chinese.I read this book with no any translation.My English teacher gave us an assignment that is read an English novel independently and do some project.I am doing the 25 plot line with “Trapped”.I hope that i can get some suggestions from here.Thanks for this book bring to me a wonderful story.

  51. Michael / Oct 14 2014

    Hi Eva,
    Thanks for writing! I am sorry it took me so long to respond—I am visiting Berlin right now and away from my office. I am very impressed that you read my book without a translation. That is amazing! Translating novels is hard work, even for professionals.

    I am also thrilled that you enjoyed the book. (I would’ve felt awful if you went through all that work and didn’t like it!) I hope you’re having a great week. Best of luck with your studies!

  52. Yvonne / Oct 22 2014

    My 8th graders from Grayslake Middle School in Illinois just finished your book today and they loved it. They could not wait to contact you. They would love, love, love if there was a movie. Anything in the works? They loved the description and the details. It grabbed their attention from the very start. they became so adept at making predictions and really putting themselves in the characters’ shoes. Thank you so much for writing a story that my reluctant readers loved to read.

  53. Michael / Oct 23 2014

    Thanks, Yvonne! That is awesome! I am very happy to hear that. I can tell you that writing the book was a very immersive process for me. I did it over a very intense stretch—and during the winter, no less! I’d spend hours imagining what it was like in those cold, dark hallways and then look up and nearly fall out of my chair when I saw snow on the windowsill.

    As for a movie, nothing has come together yet. The book has been optioned for film a few times, but there are a lot of steps along the way, and something has always come up to put the brakes on. I’m still hopeful that a movie will happen eventually, though. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one!

    Anyway, thanks again, to you and to your whole class. I hope you are having a great fall, but don’t forget to prepare for winter!

  54. Jennifer Myers / Oct 23 2014

    Hi! I have read this book 2 times and now I am reading it again. I love this book so much!

  55. Michael / Oct 24 2014

    Thanks, Jennifer! That’s very cool. I am really glad you enjoy it so much!

  56. J Cobb / Oct 27 2014

    Okay, so this book is great.
    I love Scott’s mind set about things, and the certain details you like to include, though I have a question.
    For some reason, my mind keeps telling me that Les and Eugene may be homosexual. In the book, I feel that it hints it, but I want to be for sure.
    Is Les, and/or Eugene homosexual?

    Thanks!

  57. Michael / Oct 28 2014

    Thanks, J! I’m really glad you enjoyed the book. That’s the first time anyone has asked me that! All I can say is that the book is from Scotty’s perspective, so we only know what he does about the others, and he has no idea. The thought doesn’t really occur to him over the course of the book.

    With stuff that’s not in the book, I prefer to leave it up to individual readers to decide. Once the book is published, I truly believe the story belongs as much to you as it does to me.

  58. J Cobb / Oct 28 2014

    No problem!
    I’m satisfied with this answer, thanks a ton!
    In my point of view, I feel there’s hints, just by the way the characters are, I guess.
    And whoops! I just realized I wrote Eugene instead of Elijah, I’m sorry! o:

    Thanks for the quick response, by the way!

  59. Michael / Oct 29 2014

    Great! I’m glad that makes sense to you. And don’t worry about the Eugene thing. I knew who you meant—and I won’t tell Elijah about it!

  60. lillian / Nov 4 2014

    thanks so much for writing this book! It was really was phenomenal. Although many other people in the comments are asking for a sequel, I on the other hand don’t know how that would work out, because after you find out what happens to scotty and his friends, what else would you write the book about? I do think however, that maybe you could publish an epilogue of some sort, I don’t really know how you’d do that, but I think if you could, that would be amazing! Unless of course, you wanted to have all the characters die. That would be bad and make me very sad. (haha that rhymed!) I REALLY hope seems ended up with Krista, because they are the cutest couple! That I think would be a bit sad too though, because then I’d feel bad for Julie, being all alone with no peter. I was really sad after what happened to him. (I don’t want to spoil it) He was one of my favorite characters, even if he was impulsive and annoying. He reminded me a bit of my younger brother actually. I also would love to know whether everyone’s family survived or not, and more specifics on what happened to everyone after they were found. Thanks so much for writing this amazing book! It was definitely worth the read, even if many questions were un answered. I guess that is the beauty of it though, you can decide yourself what happened to everyone!

  61. lillian / Nov 4 2014

    also, I love the pun you have under your name. author-ized… HAHAHAHAAA

  62. Michael / Nov 8 2014

    Thanks, Lillian! I am really glad you enjoyed it! I sometimes joke that a sequel would be called Trapped 2: The Shoveling. There would definitely be a lot to do, but it would be a *very* different book. One of my favorite things about Trapped is how confined it is: seven people in one location. It’s almost like a play in that way, and it would be an entirely different sort of story without that element. I don’t think it would be bad, just… different. My other favorite thing is exactly what you said: That readers can decide for themselves what they think happens.

    Anyway, thanks again! I hope you are having a nice weekend—and your younger brother too! And for the record, I felt bad for Pete, too. As soon as I realized where the story was heading I thought “poor guy.”

  63. Bob / Nov 13 2014

    This book was phenomenal. I could not stop reading this book. Your creation was like a movie because of the plethora of details. Could you please make a sequel? Thanks.

  64. Bob / Nov 13 2014

    How did you come up with this story? Is based on a real event? These were just a few questions I had.

  65. Michael / Nov 14 2014

    Thanks, Bob! I’m really glad you enjoyed it so much! The book isn’t based on any one event in particular, but it does include little pieces of real events. For example, when I was a kid a huge snow storm dumped four feet of snow on my town. I was only about four-feet-tall myself at the time, and I remember looking out the window and realizing that if I went outside I would basically disappear! That idea of snow up past my eyeballs stayed with me ever since, and it was a big part of my inspiration for this book.

  66. Lily Thompson / Nov 20 2014

    Oh my God! I was so sad and mortified at the same time when Pete was found **** (I won’t say what happened cause people might look on here before they read the book, but I’m pretty sure it’s obvious what I mean)!!! Also, I know a bunch of people have said this like a million times, but I needs a sequel! Would you happen to have finished/ been working one yet?

  67. Gage K. / Nov 22 2014

    Hi. My name is Gage. I’m only 13. I have always loved making stories. I like making short and long ones. Your books are way higher above the line than mine could ever be. You had the mood just right and the characters could not have been more perfect for this story. I would love if you made more books like a series of this when you get time. Although, I know you have a lot of books to do. I still wait for the day I could get to the expertise that you have. One day I hope to meet you. I am going to make a website soon with stories on it from me. I will link on this page when I get done with a few or I will send you an email. If you like them, I hope that you might use some of them for future books and maybe you could get me in with you. I’m pretty good. you will be surprised when you see them. Thanks for such an awesome book.

  68. Michael / Nov 23 2014

    Hi Lily! Thanks for writing—and sorry about that! It was a rough scene to write. I didn’t feel good about it, but I knew I had to do it for the story.

    As for what I’m working on now: I am smack-dab in the middle of my new series. I am writing Book #3, hoping to finish it up soon, so it will be all about TombQuest over here for a while! (Sorry about that, too!)

  69. Michael / Nov 23 2014

    Hi Gage! It’s great to hear from you. You have a very cool name, and I think it’s awesome that you are a writer. I also started out writing short stories and then worked my way up to books. You are starting much earlier than I did, though. If you keep it up—and I bet you will—you can definitely be every bit as good as I am. (Some people don’t think I’m all that good, anyway—and they are happy to tell me all about it—so I really appreciate your kind comments too!)

    Definitely send a link to your website once it’s ready—it sounds amazing! Unfortunately, I can’t really work with you on the stories or use them in my books. My agent and publisher won’t let me do things like that. I think that’s too bad, but I signed my name on the dotted line so now I’m stuck. I definitely hope you keep writing and working on your stories, though. I am looking forward to hearing your name in the future, and maybe seeing it in a bookstore someday, not too far from mine!

  70. Gage K. / Nov 23 2014

    Ok this is my site I told you about I cant put my whole book on there or everybody would just take it, so click on link or copy it. Go to read tab and click on the icon. then click save as and save it somewhere and open it. then look at my other tabs on the website if you want. But definitely read my story, my parents thought it was really good and I do too if you see any errors let me know if you want. thanks

  71. Michael / Nov 29 2014

    Hey Gage! OK, cool. I will check it out as soon as I get a chance. I enjoyed the piece you sent me. I Ioved the details and the mood you created. My favorite line: “I was more in the middle of well-known and basically see-through.” Awesome writing. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  72. Mimi / Dec 12 2014

    Oh.m.gosh. I love your book so much. But Pete…..What happens to Julie after the book. Also, what happens to everyone else after the book because I have been contemplating ideas and I need to know. I. NEED. TO. KNOW. I don’t even need a whole book (not saying that wouldn’t be AMAZING) I just need a closure to this pile of mixed feeling towards the cliffhanger. Thanks.

  73. Michael / Dec 15 2014

    Thanks for writing, Mimi! I am glad you enjoyed the book. You are definitely not alone in wanting to know what happens after the book ends (apart from a whole lot of shoveling)! Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on how you look at it—people keep asking me to write new books. At the moment I am smack-dab in the middle of writing a five-book series, something I never would have imagined when I started writing Trapped way back in 2007! Maybe someday things will slow down and I’ll have time to get back to Tattawa and see what Julie and the rest of them are up to. (Or maybe someone will finally make a movie of Trapped and I can make it my life again, at least for a while.) In the meantime, I encourage you to think about what you know, and what you feel, about the characters and the situation and decide on your own ending! Oh and also: Happy Holidays!

  74. Mrs. Rutkowski's 6th Grade Book Club / Dec 17 2014

    Dear Michael Northrop,
    We are a group of sixth graders in Davison, Michigan. Lately we have been reading your book Trapped. We have enjoyed the story for the most part, but we are kind of left wondering. We are wondering if you could answer some of our questions?

    Does everyone else in Tattawa high school survive? What happened to Mr.Gossel? Did he freeze and die out there? What happened to Jason’s dad? Also we were wondering if you were going to make a sequal?

    Unfortunately, we were disappointed with the ending. Our teacher told us that maybe you wanted us to infer but were not satisfied. So we were thrilled when she told us we could contact you.
    Sincerely,
    Swag Masters (The Book Club)

  75. Michael / Dec 19 2014

    Check ya email, Swag Masters! (And Happy Holidays!) (And go, Wolverines!)

  76. jinny / Dec 19 2014

    i loved this book it is the greatest everyone should read it!!!

  77. Michael / Dec 19 2014

    Thanks so much, Jinny! I really appreciate that (and I hope everyone does read it)! Happy Holidays!

  78. suzy / Jan 7 2015

    was there any research involved while writing this book or was it all imagination

  79. Michael / Jan 8 2015

    Hi Suzy,
    Yeah, I did some research: on meteorology and buildings in extreme climates and things like that. A lot of the research just involved growing up in a very snowy place, though!

  80. Angelina / Jan 18 2015

    Even though I never read the book Trapped, I think I’m going to like it no matter what. I can’t wait for you to come to my school! I way too excited for you to come! I cannot wait to get Trapped and Tombquest!

  81. Michael / Jan 18 2015

    Thanks, Angelina! I really hope you enjoy *both* books. I am looking forward to visiting your school!

  82. Timmy / Jan 20 2015

    Hi i Love this book! I wish you could come to my school. 🙁 Best book i have ever seen

  83. Timmy / Jan 20 2015

    Sorry But GO BUCKS!

  84. Timmy / Jan 20 2015

    :s

  85. Michael / Jan 20 2015

    Thanks, Timmy! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. Sorry your school isn’t on my tour schedule right now. Maybe after the Bucks win it all! 🙂

  86. Timmy / Jan 25 2015

    Trapped is coming alive have u seen the news

  87. Timmy / Jan 25 2015

    Margaret Peterson Haddax is visiting my school

  88. Michael / Jan 25 2015

    Hi Timmy,
    Yep, there is snow doubt about it—snow is going to be falling by the truckload this week 😮 That’s awesome about the school visit! I’ll bet she has a really cool presentation.

  89. Timmy / Jan 26 2015

    Have you met mar great Peterson Haddax?

  90. Michael / Jan 26 2015

    Nope, not yet!

  91. Swagapus / Jan 27 2015

    SWAGAPUS SWAGAPUS SWAGAPUS SWAGAPUS I MAKE NEW WORD! SWAGAPUS

  92. Michael / Jan 27 2015

    And I award points for creativity! It’s probably just as well that I don’t know what “swagapus” actually means, though…

  93. Hailey Roberts / Jan 30 2015

    Mr. Northrop,

    I absolutely fell in love with your book. I love the moral and everything about it, but as I was reading through the comments, lots of people want a sequel and a movie. I totally agree with them. It would really make my world complete with either one. I hope you do find the time to make a sequel it would definatly be a big hit. I hope to get the chance to read all of your books and I hope your career as a writer continues to grow.

    Thanks, Hailey

  94. Michael / Jan 31 2015

    Hi Hailey,
    Thanks so much for this wonderful letter. I am really glad you enjoyed the book so much, and I appreciate you taking the time to write and let me know. A big hit does sound pretty tempting… 🙂 Hope you are having a wonderful winter!

  95. Spoiler / Jan 31 2015

    [No spoilers—mn 🙂 ]! Dont ban this comment

  96. Timmy / Jan 31 2015

    Mr Northrap,

    I love the book trapped, i hope you come out with a movie!

  97. Timmy / Jan 31 2015

    Sorry i ment Mr. Northrop

  98. Michael / Jan 31 2015

    Thanks again, Timmy!

  99. Billy bob / Feb 5 2015

    Hi

  100. Michael / Feb 5 2015

    Hi Billy bob,
    I think we have a mutual friend named Swagapus!

  101. Jessica / Feb 10 2015

    I love this book. Read while I was grounded (I’m a nerdy teenager), but the ending I didn’t enjoy. The idea of suspense doesn’t appeal to me and most people would assume that [Sorry, Jessica, I had to edit this part! Most people who come to this page haven’t read the book yet and I don’t want to spoil it for them!—MN] and they live happily ever after. Although the twist […] has me thinking that maybe that didn’t happen and the snow had started falling again and they crashed. I’ve always been close with English teachers. They always try to explain to me, that it is what makes a book better for some people, to imagine the unwritten ending for themselves. I was wondering if this is one of those books. Also, Why didn’t Jason say anything to Peter about the balance not being correct in his argument to sway Peters actions?

  102. Michael / Feb 11 2015

    Thanks for the long and thoughtful comment, Jessica. (Sorry I had to snip a few bits!) This is definitely “one of those books.” It is also the story of those teens in that place at that time, so when the adults come in—and really the larger world comes into play—it is the end of that story, and the beginning of another one. As for Jason, he didn’t know for sure. He’d never had a chance to test it himself, after all. He was unsure of his creation, but also kind of proud of it (at first). He was also, as you probably noticed, not the most social or talkative guy. Communication, especially of insecurities, isn’t always easy for him.

  103. Lisa / Feb 13 2015

    My son just picked up the Tombquest Book Of The Dead at his Bookfair and he absolutely loves it!! He is also enjoying Tombquest the game. I cannot wait for him to complete his read, so I can read it. I thought Trapped was a great book, and did book talks on it to Middle School and High School students when I worked as a sales rep for Scholastic. We both find you to be a very talented author. Thank you!

  104. Michael / Feb 14 2015

    Thanks, Lisa! I am glad he is enjoying the book so much—and the game, too! (I’ll bet he is already better at the game than I am!) I really appreciate you writing to let me know, and I appreciate all of the work you did to promote Trapped too. I hope you both have a fantastic weekend!

  105. Alex / Feb 24 2015

    Hi, Mr. Northrop.

    I initially began reading your book for a school assignment, but began flying through it after the first few chapters. I loved how it wasn’t some sappy love story like people try to make these things out to be; it really was about survival. But I must tell you: I was not prepared for (spoiler) to die like that, though it set up the end nicely. I also love how you made Scotty a real person and included his zit distress. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this that included zit distress.

    One more thing:

    I hate Julie. I hate the fact that she ditched (spoiler) after he attempted to defend her honor and didn’t even like, kiss him goodbye when he (spoiler).

    It should have been her.

    Thanks,
    Alex

  106. Terra Price / Feb 26 2015

    Is there an audiobook version of Trapped?

  107. Michael / Feb 27 2015

    Thanks, Alex! I am very glad you enjoyed the book! After spending so much time writing that book—and inside Scotty’s perspective—he began to seem very real to me. Instead of writing about an imaginary person, it felt almost like getting to know a real one, and it became much easier to imagine the details of his day-to-day, and even minute-to-minute life in there. It was a very intense process!

    Yeah, Julie… All I’ll say about that is, under such intense circumstances, I think a lot of people would behave in ways that they wouldn’t be too proud of afterwards.

    Anyway, thanks again for writing. Hope you have a great weekend!

  108. Michael / Feb 27 2015

    Hi Terra! No, there isn’t an audiobook—at least not yet. Trapped was published four years ago now(!), when not as many books were being made into audiobooks. (Or maybe no one wanted to listen to a narrator talk about all that snow for so long!)

  109. Terra Price / Feb 27 2015

    Are there any plans to create an audiobook? I have a class of special education students who are much stronger in listening comprehension and they really want to read the book. Just curious.

    Thanks!

    Terra

  110. Michael / Feb 27 2015

    None that I know of, Terra. Sorry about that. The books in my new series, TombQuest, are the first of mine to be made into audiobooks.

  111. Project_Low_Lyfe / Mar 3 2015

    I loved this book!!! I hated the way it ended though….i read it as a senior in high school which i am now and at the time it was snowing so i was huddled up in my house vaping and reading in front of the fireplace

  112. Michael / Mar 3 2015

    Thanks, man. I’m glad you enjoyed the book—if not the ending so much. What’s amazing to me is that this book has been out for more than four years now. The first time I got a comment like this, vaping wasn’t even a thing! (There were fireplaces, though. The book’s not *that* old!) It was snowing during a lot of the writing process, too. It was pretty intense.

  113. Joe Amberman / May 25 2015

    Hi Mr. Northrop! I loved your book Trapped. I had a question about something that was used when [Sorry, had to edit this one a bit to remove a spoiler!—MN]. Flamenwherfer? I thought it was a flame thrower. Where did you come up with the idea that a flamethrower would move? Thanks!

  114. Michael / May 26 2015

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book, Joe! Flammenwerfer is just the name Jason gave his shop project. It was never really a flamethrower. He just thought that would be a cool/unusual/tough name for a go-kart!

  115. Bella / Jun 19 2015

    OMG! I just finished the book and had to look up if there was a sequel, so far I haven’t found one but I hope if you already haven’t and I just can’t find it, that you make one in the near future. This was an awesome book and is now definitely one of my favorites!

  116. Michael / Jun 21 2015

    Thanks so much, Bella! No sequel yet (I am in the middle of writing a five-book fantasy series!), but I am very happy that you enjoyed this one so much!

  117. Joshua / Jun 28 2015

    I really love your book,Trapped.You should make a sequel.

    Keep Writing.

  118. Michael / Jun 28 2015

    Thanks, Joshua! I’m very happy that you enjoyed it—and I will definitely keep writing!

  119. Ethan / Aug 19 2015

    I loved this book so much, I think it is actually
    One of my favorite books I have ever read!!!

  120. Michael / Aug 19 2015

    Thanks so much, Ethan! I am very happy to hear that! Thanks for writing and letting me know. I hope you are having a great summer!

  121. Stephen / Aug 21 2015

    I loved your book Trapped and it’s probably my favorite book now and I wanted to know does Krista, Julie and the others survive?

  122. Michael / Aug 22 2015

    Thanks, Stephen! I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s hard to say much about this without giving away the ending for people who haven’t finished the book yet, but let’s just say I like their chances 😉 (But what they would find when they returned home is another question…)

  123. jami / Sep 17 2015

    Is Trapped offered in an audio version?

  124. Michael / Sep 18 2015

    Hi Jami. Is “I wish” a valid answer? Sadly, there is no audio version of Trapped. My TombQuest books are the first things I’ve written that have been made into audio versions, and it has been very interesting to see that process up close.

  125. Eyan / Sep 30 2015

    Hey, Michael, the book is amazing! Keep it up. 😛

  126. Michael / Oct 1 2015

    Thanks, Eyan! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’ll keep writing if you keep reading!

  127. mangocat / Oct 10 2015

    Hi Michael! I really love Trapped. We actually had a thunderstorm yesterday, and I was reading it during the storm! Kinda spoopy actually. 😮 Anyways, I just wanted to ask a question about the book. Once the first-floor windows filled up, do they move to the second floor? And how do Scotty and Pete get out? Was it by opening a second-floor window or by opening the first-floor door?
    Overall, I immensely enjoyed reading your book and REALLY hope that you make a sequel soon!

    P.S. My dad’s name is Scott(y) and played basketball in high school 😀

  128. Michael / Oct 11 2015

    Hey! Thanks for writing. Yep, they head upstairs after the first floor gets buried by the snow. And then, like a lot of my ideas, they go straight out the window 🙂 That is a cool coincidence about your dad—just tell him to avoid high schools when a blizzard is on the way!

  129. Cooby / Oct 21 2015

    Mr. Northrop. I am a middle school student and I really enjoyed your book a lot! I am just a little confused on the ending and what happens to the rest of the kids at school, and whatever happens to the teacher who left and never came back. I would also really love it if we knew what happened with the students and their family’s after the book and if they stay friends and stuff like that. I know this seems like a lot to ask, but I was just wondering since I saw this page and thought it would be awesome to ask, thank you for the book, it was great!

  130. Tracy Dowd / Oct 23 2015

    Hi Michael…I am a 5th grade teacher at SCS in Lakeville, CT. One of my students bought me Trapped at the book fair yesterday. I’m halfway done already! When I read about the high school in rural CT and how Route 7 runs by the school, I thought boy that sounds familar! So I looked you up and discovered you grew up in Salisbury! Looking forward to finishing the book…

  131. Michael / Oct 25 2015

    Hi Cooby! Thanks for writing. I am really glad you enjoyed the book. That is a lot of questions! I have actually answered, or at least talked about, some of them over the years in the comments above. Speaking of years, I just realized that I wrote this book seven years ago now 😮 That seems amazing to me! I am really blown away that people are still reading and thinking about and discussing this group of mismatched students stuck in that snowy school. I think it is really awesome, and I definitely encourage you to decide what you think would happen next. You know the characters, you know the situation—the snow has finally stopped! So what would happen next? Whatever you decide, I am sure it will be awesome!

  132. Michael / Oct 25 2015

    Hi Tracy! It’s nice to hear from you. It is very cool (and thoughtful too) that your student bought the book for you. Yes, I am a proud product of both SCS and HVRHS (Go, Mountaineers!). For the record, Tattawa Regional High School is not Housy—not exactly, anyway—but there are plenty of similarities between the two. Are the SCS teams still the Colts? I still remember the old school song!

  133. Annie / Oct 27 2015

    I love this book so much it’s one of my favorites, If you had to pick three objects to represent Scotty what would they be?

  134. Michael / Oct 28 2015

    Thanks, Annie! I’m glad you enjoyed it! That’s an interesting question… I’d have to think about it for a bit. One of them would definitely be a basketball, though.

  135. Yvonne DeLongchamp / Oct 30 2015

    Another 8th grade class at Grayslake Middle School in Grayslake, Illinois chose this as their read aloud book and loved it. Quotes from the students:

    “Make a sequel”–Tommy
    “Can you make a movie? It would make an awesome movie. Put the Rock in it!”- Morgan and Juliet

    “It was an awesome book!”- Logan

  136. Michael / Nov 1 2015

    Thanks, Yvonne! That’s awesome—this is quickly becoming an annual tradition! Here are my quotes (about your quotes):

    “These quotes are amazing!”
    “Grayslake students rule!”
    “I would love to see a Trapped movie. The Rock once came in an worked out at my gym in NYC while I was there attempting to lift weights. I should have hit him up about Trapped (but I was too busy feeling totally humbled and puny)!”

  137. Cielo / Nov 1 2015

    Hi Michael,
    I really like this book but i don’t understand where the setting is.

  138. Michael / Nov 2 2015

    Hi Cielo. I’m glad you like it. The book is set in southern New England, near the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.

  139. Declan / Nov 2 2015

    Hi. How are you, Michael? I really loved this book. One thing you could’ve done is make the ending hot and spicy by adding more detail. But great book. I really loved it. The beginning really hooked me in. Also, great job with all the dialogue you used. It was perfect. I am your #1 fan and I think you should make a Trapped 2. Also, if you could you can say on the front, to Declan, who inspired me to make a book 2. Then I would love it even more. :). Anyway, thanks for making this book and I hope you can read this comment and get back to me. If you read this far then wow, I love you.

    Bye,
    Declan

  140. Julia / Nov 3 2015

    Dear Michael,
    I just finished reading this book and I loved it!! I do have a few questions about the end though.
    What happens to Pete?
    What happens to Scotty?
    What happens to the rest of the kids?

    I loved this book but there are definitely a few things tat you could have added at the end that would have made the book better.
    Sequel Please!!!!
    Julia

  141. Michael / Nov 3 2015

    Hey, Declan! Thanks for writing. It’s not every day I get a message from my #1 fan! I think it’s awesome that you enjoyed the book so much. The dialogue is one of my favorite parts, too. I guess I missed out on a chance to make things hot and spicy, but it’s a winter book, so I went for cold and icy. At this point, I think I could fill an entire second book just with the names of people who’ve asked me to write a sequel, but I’ll tell you what, if I do it, I’ll put your name first: To Declan and Abel and Abdul and Adam and Amanda and…

    Anyway, thanks again for the message. I hope you’re having a fantastic week!

  142. Declan / Nov 4 2015

    It’s your #1 fan again! :-), lol! Thanks for getting back to me Michael! I have an idea for Trapped 2 and just maybe you might use it. I think you could have the grandchildren of Scotty be in the book and have them not believe a word Scotty says. Then it should happen to them and its up to you to write what happens.

    Thanks again,
    Declan

  143. Michael / Nov 6 2015

    Hi Julia! Thanks for writing. I am glad you enjoyed the book so much. Your comment is a first, I think. I have been answering (or not answering!) most of those questions for five years now, but I am pretty sure you are the first person to ask me what happens to Pete. I thought that one was pretty clear, but I guess there are always more questions!

  144. Michael / Nov 6 2015

    That’s a very cool idea, Declan! It would have to be set in the future too, so there could be laser shovels and rocket sleds and things like that. We might need a science fiction author to write this one, though…

  145. Declan / Nov 8 2015

    Hi Michael! Thanks for getting back to me.(again :)) Remember, you are getting this from your #1 fan! You told me that you would need a science fiction author to write Trapped 2. And I have the perfect guy. Please get back to me if you want to know who it is. Just kidding. It is you! You can always write science fiction. Just get a good editor to correct the mistakes.(if there is any) I believe in your writing ability and think you can do anything you want to do. I know I might not be the smartest and most talented person on the earth and pep talks, but I know that anything you want to do you can do. So write science fiction. It will put you out of your comfort zone and I know everyone will like it.

    From,
    Declan

    P.S. I believe in Michael Northrop.

  146. Michael / Nov 15 2015

    Thanks, Declan! Sorry it took me a while to reply. I am on a pretty crushing deadline these days. Thanks for the pep talk! In addition to helping me tackle any possible science fiction in the future, it will definitely help me with this darn deadline right now!

  147. Benjamin / Nov 21 2015

    Hi Michael, I got this book at my local library looking for something different to read and this is now on of my favourite books ever. I was wondering at the end when the helicopter makes a banking left turn is he going back to the high school. Do the other 5 survive? Can we expect a sequel in the future. Thank you, Ben.

  148. Michael / Nov 25 2015

    Thank you, sir! I am very glad you enjoyed the book so much. I don’t like to get too spoiler-y on here, since a lot of people who come to this page haven’t read the book yet, but regarding your first two questions, I think those are *very solid* assumptions 😉 As for the third, sigh, maybe someday. The writing life has been a bit too busy for it so far.

  149. Bria / Nov 28 2015

    I have a question out of all the people who changed the most in this book

  150. Michael / Nov 30 2015

    Hi Bria. That’s an interesting question. It’s tricky because the book is from Scotty’s perspective, so we see the changes he’s going through more clearly, but that doesn’t mean he’s the one who changes the most. I don’t think there’s one right answer for that. It’s really a matter of opinion, and I think different readers would come up with different answers. I’d be interested to hear yours!

  151. Natasha / Dec 5 2015

    Hi, I’m Natasha from Toronto Ontario Canada. I read your book for my ISU and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t stop reading it. I’m thinking of reading more of your books. For my ISU I have a number of questions. A couple of my questions are what is the authors point of view. So what was your point of view. Another question is what life lesson does this book teach. What life lesson would you personally say Trapped teaches

  152. Michael / Dec 6 2015

    Hi Natasha. Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed the book—especially since you know a thing or two about snow up there in Toronto! Trapped is written entirely in first person, so I was really trying to capture the main character’s point of view on the events. When I write a book from that perspective, I am trying to inhabit that character’s mind as completely as possible, so it’s much less about what I think and much more about what Scotty thinks. As for the second question, I really leave that up to the reader. Stating what I intended sort of implies that there’s one “right” answer” to that question, and I don’t believe that. If I write “shaggy dog,” everyone who reads it pictures something different (maybe a big sheepdog or a little mutt) and that’s just two words! So when I write a 55,000-word book, everyone is *definitely* going to interpret it differently. And that’s what I want. I just try to tell the best story possible and let each reader interpret its meaning in the way that makes the most sense to them.

  153. Cameron / Dec 7 2015

    How many pages are there

  154. Michael / Dec 9 2015

    Look, it’s one of the rare questions I actually know the answer to! The book is 232 pages long—not too long, and not too short!

  155. stormie128 / Dec 12 2015

    I have just started reading Trapped and it is so.freaking.good. I cant stop reading it, and I hope to finish it tonight. Will I ever find out what happened to the teacher? I know this may be personal, but what inspired you to write this? I want to be a writer, and I admire your work very much! This book is one of the best I have read because it completely captivates my attention, there is no boring parts(so far;-) Are you thinking of making a sequel? I hope you do, and thanks you so much!

  156. allie.luvs.swimming / Dec 12 2015

    I just had one of those moments when you have the best idea ever, even though it’s probably a stupid idea. *What if* there was a sequel in like, one of the girls viewpoints? Or the teacher? It is probably like the worst idea ever, but it sounds cool, you know? I love your book sooooooooooooooooooooooooo… much, THANK YOU for writing this book, BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!

  157. Michael / Dec 14 2015

    Thanks, Stormie! I am glad you are enjoying the book (at least so far 😉 )! My inspiration for this book was kind of complicated. Mostly, I was interested in writing about a group of people who were stranded by/in nature, and since I grew up in a very snowy area of New England, a big blizzard was the most natural choice (for a natural disaster). I’m not sure when or if I’ll get a chance to write a sequel to this book, but my next book will probably also focus on a small group of kids in a very defined environment. It’s a set-up I like a lot because it really brings the interactions, dialogue, and interpersonal dynamics to the foreground—almost like a play.

    Anyway, thanks again for your message. Best of luck with your own writing!

  158. Michael / Dec 14 2015

    Hi Allie! That is an awesome idea! Scotty’s perspective is such a big part of this book, and seeing the situation through someone else’s eyes would change it in really interesting and surprising ways. If I ever get a chance to write a sequel, I am almost positive it would be from someone else’s perspective. I was originally thinking it might be Jason, but it would definitely be cool to hear from one of the girls!

    Thanks for writing! I am very happy that you enjoyed the book so much!

  159. Parker / Dec 19 2015

    I really really enjoyed the book trapped it had all of the things you want in a book in this book. I think you should write a sequel to show how things ended up. Thank you for making this I loved it and please make a sequel.

  160. Michael / Dec 22 2015

    Thanks, Parker! I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much. Happy Holidays!

  161. Trappedfan / Jan 9 2016

    I really did love this book i hope for a sequel, this book was so amazing

  162. Michael / Jan 10 2016

    Thanks, Trappedfan! I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed it—and I really love your screen name!

  163. Yvonne DeLongchamp / Jan 12 2016

    Hello, it’s us from Grayslake Middle School in Illinois again! Two more of my 8th grade classes are reading your book, Trapped, and yesterday during discussion one of my students had a fantastic question that I couldn’t answer. One student wanted to know why there are no custodians or janitors left in the building? At our school on bad weather days, the custodians stay after school to shovel, plow, or salt. Sometimes they even come in on weekends or on snow days to clear the parking lot. We were wondering why the custodians wouldn’t have stayed after in Trapped, or do schools in your area have different roles or rules for the custodians? Just curious and liked how your book is getting my students thinking and asking the “why” questions!

  164. Michael / Jan 12 2016

    Hi Yvonne! It’s nice to hear from you, and you’re right, that is a good question! Obviously, the janitorial staff usually stays late and does a lot of work after the school day is over—but that much snow changes everything! I know you get plenty of snow there in Illinois, but we get tons of it in New England, and we take it pretty seriously. On an early closing day, when the weather is extreme and road closures and safety are a concern, the regular custodian/janitor would be dismissed with the rest of the staff (at least that’s what I was told). If the conditions are too dangerous, they can’t be forced to stay. Also, in these small New England towns, snow removal is a *very serious business* and is often contracted out separately (so you don’t have the guy who’s supposed to be mopping the halls at school stuck at home in a back-brace!). Anyway, that’s my answer, but I love it when readers ask the tough questions!

  165. Zach Roach / Feb 10 2016

    Hi Michael I am your biggest fan

  166. Michael / Feb 10 2016

    Thanks, Zach! You rule! (And clearly have great taste in books, too! 🙂 )

  167. Chloe / Feb 10 2016

    Hi! I just finished you book, and I loved it. It was such a suspenseful novel, and you really made all the pictures and characters come alive in my head. I am in seventh grade this year, and I don’t necessarily want to be an author when I grow up, but I do love writing essays for school and just writing in general. I’ve been told I have a very extended vocabulary, and I’ve always felt like I am a good writer. Lately though, I haven’t really been able to find my voice as well as I used to, and I’ve been a little bit stuck while writing this year. So I was wondering if you had any advice for me and writing. You are my favorite author ever, and I think I could learn a lot from you.

  168. Michael / Feb 15 2016

    Hi Chloe! Thanks for writing. I am really glad you enjoyed the book so much. That is a tough question. When people ask me for writing advice, I usually talk about the importance of reading widely, finishing stories, getting to the revision process, and things like that. It sounds like you are an experienced writer and you might have heard that sort of general advice already, though. Instead of repeating it, I’ll talk about something that helps me to find my voice. Almost every day, when I sit down to write, I think to myself “Go there.” I really want to imagine as vividly as possible that I am in the scene that I am writing, and that I’m seeing it the way the characters do. When I was writing Trapped, I tried to think about what it would feel like to be inside a school but still be as cold as if you were outside on a winter day. I tried to imagine walking down the hallway and seeing my own breath. I tried to imagine being completely cut off from the outside world (just forgetting my cell phone when I run out to do errands bothers me). What would the room smell like? What would the cold cafeteria food taste like at first (and what would it taste like when you were really hungry)? I tried to understand what it would be like for me, and then when I was writing, I tried to take that last step and imagine what it would be like for my narrator. What would Scotty be thinking/seeing/hearing/smelling in those cold dark hallways? Because that is the voice I wanted for Trapped.

    So my advice is: When you’re writing, try to “go there” and see the scene from the inside. I hope that helps. Good luck with your writing!

  169. Zach Roach / Feb 16 2016

    Hi again

  170. Michael / Feb 18 2016

    Hey, Zach!

  171. Zach / Mar 7 2016

    when is your birthday

  172. Michael / Mar 7 2016

    Hey Zach! I was born on April 25th.

  173. Yvonne DeLongchamp / Mar 18 2016

    I hope you aren’t getting sick of hearing from us at Grayslake Middle School! Another class read your book and loved it! First of all, thank you for answering my previous students’ questions about the custodians and shoveling. They were so excited to hear back from you! This quarter’s group just finished the book yesterday and they were practically demanding a sequel. I told them that you probably wanted the reader to make his/her own conclusions, but 8th graders tend to see things in black and white and want concrete answers-lol. They wanted to know if the rest of the students are saved, if the roof collapses, and if the helicopter crashed, etc…

    A question they had while reading that was interesting that maybe you can answer is if the high school had a lost and found? My students were wondering if that could have been a place they could have found more clothes and supplies. I just am the messenger for their questions and a connection between you and them.

    Again, thanks for writing such a wonderful book that my students enjoy quarter after quarter, year after year.

    Mrs. DeLongchamp

  174. Michael / Mar 24 2016

    Hello, Grayslake! It is nice (and, OK, maybe not entirely surprising 🙂 ) to hear from you again. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but I was down in the Florida Keys on a research trip. (My next book will be a survival story set aboard an old sailing ship.) Now I am back and buried under 18 feet of emails/tweets/comments.

    It was always my plan to write a book where the readers could come up with their own endings. After all, after reading the whole book, they know the characters and school almost as well as I do! I also wanted to make the point that natural disasters don’t wrap up quickly and neatly, like a half-hour television show. Real disasters linger, and the effects/cleanup/aftermath can last for years. (The example that was on my mind the most when I was writing this was Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The story didn’t end when the storm passed. In a lot of ways, that’s when it began.)

    I would love to write a sequel to Trapped someday, but other books keep getting in the way. If I do get a chance to write one, I think it will be from the perspective of one of the other survivors—which is a big clue that more people survive. My feeling is that the National Guard troops are professionals and they’d been rescuing people for a while at that point, so they would know what they were doing.

    As for the lost and found, I can tell you they don’t amount to much at a small high school, but rummaging through it might have helped a bit. It just wasn’t something they thought of in those scary, confusing first few days, and after that, it wasn’t worth the trip back down to the cold, dark first floor. At least that’s the way I saw it. The point of this book was never to have the survivors make perfect decisions at all times, but instead to have them make realistic decisions. They needed to make some mistakes, both big and small. I even read an interesting study on how disasters/emergencies affect decision-making. (Hint: It’s not good.) For example, people in burning buildings sometimes linger way too long, deciding what to take with them and what to leave behind. It’s a bad decision, but the brain doesn’t always work well in emergencies.

    Anyway, I had better wrap this up. If this response gets any longer, it will be as long as a sequel! Thanks again for reading—and obviously thinking a lot about—my little survival story.

  175. Danielle / Apr 14 2016

    A lot of people commenting on this have clearly not read the comments directly below. The author has patience, for sure! Great novel, interesting details, like the zit stuff, I can really picture it clearly….I will definitely do this novel at some point, as an English teacher. I have to say though, while the ending is interesting, just like everyone else, i guess I want that nice tidy bow of everything wrapped up. I’d also like a sequel, but I guess we’ll have to wait a few years or so and see what happens!

  176. Michael / Apr 18 2016

    Thanks, Danielle! Yes, I admit that sometimes I get a little tired of answering the same questions over and over. I’ve definitely thought of creating a Frequently Asked Questions page. Maybe I will at some point, but for now I try to answer the questions/comments individually. The book came out more than five years ago now, and mostly I am just happy that people are still reading it—and still having such strong (and, OK, occasionally angry) opinions about it!

  177. Yvonne / Apr 19 2016

    Hi Michael,
    my name is Yvonne and I`m a student from Germany. First of all I love your books. Especially the book trapped. Because I love the book so much, I decided to do a presentation about it at school. So I wanted to ask you some question about the book and it would be great if you could answer them.
    My first question is why did you write this book. Is there a reason behind it?
    My Second question is in which year was this book published?
    And my last question. What is your favorite book that you have written?

    Thanks in advance!

  178. Michael / Apr 20 2016

    Hallo! Vielen Dank! I am glad you enjoy my books. Here are my answers to your questions:

    1) I got the idea for Trapped after watching a documentary about a group of sailors who were stranded at sea. They were hundreds of miles from landed, drifting helplessly in lifeboats. Watching that, I started to think about other ways that people could be stranded by or in nature. Because I grew up in a very snowy area, I immediately thought of a huge blizzard. I decided to set the book in a high school much like the one that I attended.
    2) Trapped was first published in February 2011 in the United States. The German edition was published in August 2012 by Loewe Verlag. Shortly before that, I had the chance to visit Loewe in Bindlach! Everyone there was very friendly and I had a delightful visit.
    3) It is hard to pick a favorite book—I love them all in different ways! I guess I would say Rotten (the German edition is called Räudiges Pack). The characters in that one are some of my favorites—including the dog!

  179. Amanda / May 3 2016

    My daughter and I bought a signed copy of Trapped at a stoop sale in Brooklyn a couple of years ago. We both read and really enjoyed it and my daughter has just re-read it for a book club we started. It is to be discussed tomorrow! I enjoyed the foreshadowing and suspense, and seeing how the characters coped with the disaster. I thought the ending was really interesting because it had such a different tone than the rest of the novel, and it took me a minute to understand what was happening and what it meant for the resolution. We will be looking to read your other books soon!

  180. Michael / May 6 2016

    Hi Amanda,
    That’s very cool! I’m glad you both enjoyed the book! (I’m sorry it has taken me a few days to respond. I was running around the tri-state area doing school visits all week.) I hope your book club had a fun and lively discussion. Yes, the ending has actually proven to be a little controversial—I still get angry messages about it from time to time. Trapped came out more than five years ago now, though, so I am just glad (and grateful) that people are still reading/discussing/thinking about it.

  181. Isabel / May 13 2016

    What’s Krista’s last name? I need it for my book report

  182. Michael / May 15 2016

    Hi Isabel, I’ll give you a hint: It’s on page 36. Good luck with your report!

  183. Yvonne / May 24 2016

    Hello! I wanted to ask you how hold you are. I know it’s a personal question and it has nothing to do with the book but it would be nice if you could answer it. Thank you 🙂

  184. Michael / May 25 2016

    Hello again! I actually get that question a lot. Unfortunately, I don’t usually post that sort of thing on here. It is probably paranoid of me, but I don’t want too much personal information to be readily available on the internet. I can say that my birthday is April 25, and that when I was born, disco music was still in fashion!

  185. Simon / Jul 9 2016

    Hi! I just read your book and it is so GOOD!! I was wondering if you have gotten any more information about “Trapped” becoming a movie- I heard that Hollywood was considering it a couple of years ago and was wondering if they approved it or if you got any feedback.
    Thanks!

  186. Michael / Jul 11 2016

    Hey Simon! Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed the book so much! Hollywood was considering it a couple years ago. In fact, Hollywood has considered it a few times. Sadly, it hasn’t made it to the big screen yet. There are just so many steps along the way (finding the right producers, director, studio, etc.)—and any missed step is the end of the line. The film rights have been sold several times, though, so I am still hopeful that it will be a movie someday.

  187. Simba / Jul 16 2016

    I can’t believe I just found this book now. Loved it so much that I read until 2 in the morning at times including now. I just finished it and have a few questions and comments
    1. Are you a fan of some of the bands mentioned such as Shinedown ( my favorite band) and Bon jovi
    2. Still thoughts on a sequel?
    3. I love the fact that as you read, the snow on the chapter pages gets higher
    4. Does Krista like Scotty?
    And last but but not least, my new favorite book!!

  188. Michael / Jul 19 2016

    Hey Simba! Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed the book so much. Sorry about the late nights, but at least it was for a good reason! Here are my answers:
    1. Yeah, Shinedown is cool—and I grew up in the 80s so of course I like Bon Jovi!
    2. Man, I get this question a lot! My answer is still the same as the last bunch of times, though. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to write one someday. And if I do, it will probably be from a different character’s point of view.
    3. That was the book designer’s idea, and I love it. The cover is awesome too. My publisher did an amazing job designing this book.
    4. You know something about both characters now, so that’s up to you to decide. (At least until I get to that sequel!)

    Thanks again. I hope you’re having a great summer!

  189. erick / Sep 16 2016

    i really liked this book, really good thanks for writing it

  190. Michael / Sep 17 2016

    Thanks, Erick. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  191. Ray / Oct 4 2016

    I just finished reading this book and it is now my favorite book. While I was reading it I scared myself by looking out my window I thought I was really stuck in a blizzard myself. This was an amazing book and I am hoping for a sequel I would really like to hear about what happened to the rest of the people. I would also like it if Scotty and Krista became a couple. MAKE A SEQUEL PLEASE!!!!

  192. Michael / Oct 6 2016

    Thanks, Ray! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. And, in the spirit of this election year: Your vote for a sequel has officially been counted!

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