Monday, April 30, 2007

The Trap, by John Smelcer

The Trap, by John Smelcer, is a true gem for readers interested in the Alaskan wilderness, and relationships between Indian and Euro-American cultures.

The Trap tells the story of an elderly Native man, Albert Least-Weasel, and his young grandson, Johnny Least-Weasel. When Albert does not return from a hunting trip in the wilderness, Johnny must decide whether or not to go out in search of his grandfather.

With its representation of two different traditional Native American myths, this book would pair up well with American Born Chinese, other Native American literature, or more naturalist writing (such as that by the ubiquitous Jack London).

The Trap is a quiet and reflective book, with a surprising amount of suspense and complexity. I recommend it for 6-9th graders, but it is relevant to readers of all ages (I found it in the adult section of my public library).

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