professornana (professornana) wrote,

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small wonder

Thanks to a posting by Rollie Welch, I threw THE TRAP by John Smelcer into the suitcase for my trip to Phoenix this weekend. Yesterday, I read the book on a very bumpy flight back home. It takes an extraordinary book to keep my focus during turbulence and this one certainly did. Albert Least-Weasel is checking his trap lines when he accidentally steps into one of his own traps. His story of surviving against the elements of nature is part of the focus of this slim novel. However, readers also see part of Albert's story from the perspective of his grandson, Jimmy. Jimmy knows his grandfather should have returned from the traplines earlier and is concerned that something has occurred to keep Albert from returning to his family. Through Jimmy's eyes, we have the chance to see the other members of Albert's family and the community in which he lives. This insight into the life of the Indian (and Jimmy insists his community prefers this appellation) village feeds directly back into the story of Albert stranded in the throes of winter.

Kids who have loved the adventure and survival stories of Gary Paulsen and Will Hobbs will, I think, find this slender book riveting and compelling. It is absolutely SPARE in its description. But do not think there is any stinting on details, though. The descriptions are as spare as the countryside which serves as the setting for the novel. Not predictable, not ordinary, not forgettable: this is a book that deserves to find readers.

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