Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Michael Northrop
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic Press, 2011   ISBN: 978-0545210126

Have you ever noticed how red-letter days often begin in a very normal way? This is what happens on the day when Scotty Weems’ life is changed by a winter storm. The day begins very normally with Scotty going to school and going to his classes. He thinks a great deal about the basketball game, the first of the season, which he will be playing that evening. He notices the snow falling at the beginning of second period, and by third period, the snow flakes are so large that people begin to talk about the weather. During geometry, the principal announces that school will be closed early and that all sports events are cancelled. Scotty is very annoyed because he worked hard to be ready for the basketball game.

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason stay after school to work on Jason’s go-kart, which he is building in shop class, but it soon becomes clear that the storm is a big one and the three firends go to the gym to wait to be picked up by Jason’s father. There are six other students there, and one teacher. After a few hours, the teacher, Coach Gossell, thinks he sees the lights of an emergency vehicle outside and he goes out into the blizzard. The seven kids never see him again.

With no cell phone signal, no power, and no sign of life outside, the seven kids decide to make the best of a bad situation. After all, the worst that can happen is that they will have to spend one night in school. Right? Wrong. In the morning, the snow drifts are so high that Scotty and the others can barely see out of the windows. The snow is still coming down at a phenomenal rate and it shows no sign of letting up. How long are they going to be trapped in their school? Does anyone even know that they are there?

In this gripping novel, Michael Northrop shows his readers how seven teenagers cope with a natural disaster that leaves them isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. They have to use what they have on hand to survive, and they discover surprising things about each other as well.

Narrated in Scotty’s voice, we are given a very personal picture of how one young man comes to terms with being in a situation that he has no control over.