“The Trap,” by John Smelcer

“The Trap,” by John Smelcer is an unforgettably moving story about an Indian boy and his old grandfather.

Book Cover Art for The Trap by John SmelcerJohnny Least-Weasel and his grandfather Albert live in Alaska, where the winters are long and treacherous. Albert has been working traplines all his life. He travels out into the lonely wilderness and sets traps to catch wild animals. He sells the skins to make money to buy food and supplies. It is how his father and his father before him made a living. Now Albert is old, and although he knows everything about working traplines and knows the ways of the wilderness, he no longer has the strength of a young man.

His seventeen-year-old grandson Johnny worries when his grandfather Albert leaves on yet another circuit to check his traplines. Something tells him that he should check on his grandfather or follow him, but he doesn’t want to hurt Albert’s pride by making it seem as if he needs supervision. Still, Johnny worries, because he doesn’t know how long it will be before his grandfather returns.

Little does he realize, but far away in the Alaskan wilderness his grandfather has gotten caught in one of his own wolf traps. The steel jaws are so strong that the trap must be stepped on with both feet to open it. With one foot stuck in the trap Albert can not open the trap, and he can’t free the trap from its chain, which is bolted into a frozen tree.

Albert will have to use all his knowledge of the Alaskan wilderness to survive. All his supplies, comforts, and tools are on a snowmobile that is within sight, but there is nothing that he can do to reach them. All Albert has is the tree he is chained to, a few matches, and a pocketknife.

Meanwhile Johnny prepares to set off in search of his grandfather. But will he find his grandfather before the hungry Alaskan wolves do?

“The Trap” has a very calm and deliberate progression. Albert never panics despite his predicament. Instead, he uses his knowledge of the wilderness and its ways to survive. I found this story to be very reminiscent of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire.”

I think that John Smelcer has written a laudable book about survival and the clash between old and new ways for Indians living in Alaska’s wilderness. I definitely recommend “The Trap” to all readers.

Inkweaver Book Rating:

★★★★Plot

★★★★Characters

★★★★★Presentation

★★★★Overall

Your Rating:
Inkweaver Review 2009-07-17T16:15:00-05:00

18 replies so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

great book (sike)

Anonymous said...

hate this book

Anonymous said...

THE BOOK WAS THRILLING :D

Anonymous said...

great book!

Anonymous said...

The book was alright, I don't think really like books that though. But other than that it was a good book! But sad, just a tad! :)

Anonymous said...

If you are the "outdoor" type person this is a very good book.

Anonymous said...

the book was alright but bored me in some placse !!!

Anonymous said...

Read it ending made me tear up :,( it was pretty nice before that that book I great it is the most detailed book I've had so far so all the people that think it looks boring IT'S NOT!!!! So I would rate this 5stars for anyone to read this book this was a really touching story I was thrilled by the action and saying in my head like "DON'T DIE PLZ DON'T DIE!!!!! I'm so into this book I hope u read it and to all those who took there time to relax and enjoy this great book I hope you all have an awesome life
~P.S I'm sorry for writing such a long comment!!

Anonymous said...

guy that typed alot u r awsome i agree :D

Anonymous said...

i belive this is a book i will recommend people that love to read or even just people that dont read. its great and this book is worth reading more then once

Anonymous said...

Darn it!!! I Have to do an eassy on this

Anonymous said...

worst book and it makes or brakes graduation

Anonymous said...

Meap, cool book.

Anonymous said...

therible book

Anonymous said...

DON'T READ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

terrible book its boring. the most interesting part was when they were explaining different types of snow!

Anonymous said...

does the old man die

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