by Michael Northrop
As a student for most of my life and now as someone who works in schools, snow days are the stuff of legend. I still wake up early in anticipation, turning on the news long before school closings have been reported, wishing and hoping for that snow to fall just a little harder so I can stay home with a giant mug of hot chocolate instead of going to school.
I’ll have to remember not to read this book during snow days.
The story is told by Scotty, a high school basketball player who ignores all warnings and stays late with his buddies to help on a shop project. By the time they finish, they are part of the group of seven students trapped in the high school in the biggest snowstorm I’ve ever heard of.
This book kept me reading. Scotty opens the story telling us that not everyone comes out alive. You know this is a fight for survival, not just a everything-turns-out-ok book. And for someone who gets paranoid like I do, the story plays on all of those fears. The details of the snow falling and falling and slowly trapping the students are right on.
It’ll be hard to look outside on a snow day and not think of this.
As much as I liked this book, I didn’t adore it. I felt like the ending happened pretty quickly and I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters more- as I’m writing this, I had to think a minute to come up with everyone’s names. The true star of this story is the snow, the menace drifting over the windows of the school, the giant presence that never leaves anyone’s consciousness. In that sense, those students are just supporting players, stuck in the worst scenario imaginable- high school you can’t escape.