Who doesn’t like a snow day – no school, no work – cozy around the fire or out building a snowman?  But a Northeast blizzard is not fun, and can be lethal.  In his young adult fiction, Trapped, Michael Northrup explores how people react and survive when a blizzard traps seven high school students in their school – with no prospects of being rescued.

Do you remember that survival game – if you could only pick five people from the boat to accompany you on the life raft, who you would you pick?  Who would give you the best chance to make it?  In this story, the party consist of Les, street-wise and the high school degenerate,  Elijah, the loner who likes the library, two girls, one basketball player (who is the narrator), a mechanically inclined shop class enthusiast, and a nerd.  Who would have the best chance to survive?  Who would have the skills to help the others?

“When the snow buried the first floor, we moved to the second.  When the heat and water went out, we built a little fire and melted snow.”

Days go by; they eat canned peaches and peanut butter from the cafeteria.  Their thoughts rally around food, girl-boy connections, and rivalries – this is high school.   The high point is the radio station program they can play; the low point when they realize that noone knows they are there.  Then, part of the roof collapses, and someone must go out for help.  The ending is dramatic and abrupt, and not everyone survives.

Trapped is a suspenseful easy read; all that snow might cool you down on a hot summer day.

The Final Game – Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers

Down to the final game, basketball fans!  Whether you are a Celtics or a Lakers fan, a follower of Rondo or Bryant, this is the time to put down the book and yell awhile.

When the action is slow and the score is a ten point stretch,   you might pick up something that would not require your full attention – so you can keep one eye on the game.  A book of short stories or essays or cartoons.

I have the Politically Correct Bedtime Stories on my shelf – short, funny.   I can reread them and still get a laugh:

“The emperor is naked!”
“No, he isn’t. He’s merely endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle.”

And if my team loses, I need a diversion.

March Madness Is Here

March Madness – the NCAA basketball tournament is starting.  Wondering what all the excitement is about?  Never got to play on an intramural team in school or a pickup game with Buds like the Pres?

Get yourself to a bookstore, buy a cup of coffee, and read Chapter 10  -“You Don’t Need to Play to be a Fan” –  of  Basketball for Dummies while sipping your latte.  Skim over Chapter 14, “College Basketball,” and Chapter 17 “Filling Out Your NCAA Tournament Bracket,” and you are ready.

Bonus points – the book has great cartoons.