Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster

Lois Duncan, Editor
Lois Duncan, Editor Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing $16 (240p) ISBN 978-0-689-81335-1
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
What do a pair of careless campers, a frozen princess and a 13-year-old sugarcane cutter have in common? All are physically, socially or emotionally trapped, the theme of these 13 stories by mostly prominent YA authors. As Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer) states in a foreword, she hopes to recreate the type of powerful impression made on her as a 13-year-old by the Poe classic, ""The Cask of Amontillado."" The results are mixed. Some selections, like Lois Lowry's ""A Matter of Getting Out,"" about a boy contemplating marriage instead of entering college, are too tidy to make much of an impact; few represent the individual author's best work. But some pack a one-two punch, as in Rob Thomas's ""Sheep,"" set in a home for battered women. The sense of doom overhanging most of the protagonists here is periodically lifted by strategically placed, more humorous narratives like Joan Bauer's ""Pancakes,"" which depicts the unraveling of a perfectionist waitress. Other contributors include Francesca Lia Block, Walter Dean Myers, Marc Talbert and Rita Garcia-Williams. Ages 12-up. (July) FYI: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association.