Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Trap” as Want to Read:
The Trap
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Trap

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  301 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel knows that his grandfather Albert is a stubborn old man and won't stop checking his own traplines even though other men his age stopped doing so years ago. But Albert Least-Weasel has been running traplines in the Alaskan wilderness alone for the past sixty years. Nothing has ever gone wrong on the trail he knows so well. When Albert ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Square Fish (first published September 19th 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Trap, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Trap

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 600)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Angela Cameron
I was looking for a quick read in between other books. Normally I would not have picked up this book. But I'm glad that I did. Grab yourself a blanket because just the words can make you feel cold! It was a really good book with very interesting facts about a life I would never normally question.
Apr 08, 2009 Thomas rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Survival/Adventure fans
"The Trap" is about seventeen year old Johnny Least-Weasel and his pursuit to save his grandfather from "the trap" itself. It switches narrative from Johnny to Albert (his grandfther) and tells a story of fast-paced action and the survival skills neccesary to survive in below freezing temperatures.

I would NOT reccomend this book to younger children, although the length of the book might make it seem that it is meant for that age group. Some parts of the book were pretty gruesome, escpecially tow
Dec 28, 2009 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kristen and anyone who lives or has lived in Alaska.
A very powerful book that makes you think about life. The imagery was so powerful I had to mark sections to re-read. I went to the authors website and found out more about him. I'll bet my brother-in-law knows him or of him. Our paths may have crossed since he went to UAF. He has done so much with his life and has really lived his life. He has also helped many people preserve their culture. I also found that he writes from personal experience of his own or of his relatives

In brief: A grandfather
A quick 3 hour read. I hate unhappy endings.....I know, I am a sucker....but I want to know that everything ends happily ever after. Still, you need to read this. I am sure Smelcer did not do his research....we do not call snowmobiles snowmobiles...every time he referenced this I cringed (which is a lot)...sorry...I can't give it more than a 2.5 at most. Nevermind that I hate unhappy endings. Dang it! I did picture my friends in the village of Hughes...a river that is a lifeline, remote from eve ...more
Toby Inman
Johnny Least-Weasel worries about his grandfather Albert Least-Weasel checking his trap lines because most men his age don’t any more. One day Albert runs his trap lines but never comes home that night. When Albert was checking his traps, he accidentally shut in a bear trap that closed on his leg. He tried to pry it open, but he couldn’t muster enough strength to get his leg out. The weather started to get worse and worse, and the temperature kept dropping. He tried to chisel the stake out of th ...more
Spare, lyrical writing (a discussion group described it as "man pretty"). An old Indian man is trapped in his own bear trap in winter in a harsh northern land, and his 19-year-old grandson eventually searches for him. I liked it, and some teens might enjoy it, but I don't think it's truly a teen novel (whatever that is). Chalk another one up to publishers trying to cash in on the only growing segment of the industry.
Short, wonderfully haunting and descriptive book that really conveys the stark and barren subject matter of the Alaskan north well. While the book itself is short, it's not light reading in the least (IMO), but is a fantastically written book that will really stick with you. I'm glad I picked this up.
Don't read this book if you are cold already. This is definitely NOT light reading. Think The Old Man and the Sea.
This book was a good book because you didn't know what was going to happen.And it didn't leave you hanging .
The Trap is a interesting story, the two main characters are the grandson and the grandfather, they live the life they like and in the book the excitement is so intense. I felt as if I were there, in Alaska, feeling the cold and the wind , hearing the wolves, It was simply written, jumping between the isolated grandfather who was in danger and the grandson who wanted to help the people he love .

How does it end? Does the grandson arrive in time to save his grandfather? Read the story and find out
Reece Eifert
I rated this book a 5/5 because it was very interesting. This book was interesting because it had allot of suspense and very exciting. I also liked this book because it was very suspenseful because the characters in the book are very life like and they do things that other people also do so it is very realistic. The main character of the book is johnny and johnny's grandpa and johnny's grandpa goes trapping one night and does not come back for a while. I would recommend this book to other people ...more
This book will appeal to many teens. The main reason may be in the way it is written from the views of two different characters. One whom is worried about his grandfather, and one who is trapped. The writing style was fun to read. To go with this, there is the element of survival. Many teens enjoy being taken out to the wilderness when they read, far away from their normal city or suburb life. Hopefully teens will also remember how education is shown to be important. Finally, learning about Nati ...more
Charlotte Jones
This novel is about an old man who is on his way home from a hunting trip and accidentally gets his leg caught in one of this own traps. It accounts his struggle to survive and his grandson's journey to rescue his grandfather. This story is set in an Alaskan winter, adding to the threat of the grandfather's life and also the worry of Johnny back at the village.

As far as a survival story goes, this novel wasn't very captivating. Although the level of danger to the grandfather, Arthur, was quite h
More like 3.5 or 3.8 stars.

Told from alternating points of view - Albert Least-Weasel, an elderly Native American who has been caught by one of his own traps out in the polar wilderness and Johnny Least-Weasel, Albert's grandson who is worried when his grandfather doesn't return as expected. The juxtapostion of past and present is very evident in this story - as he waits for rescue, Albert remembers his life living the traditional ways, and as Johnny decides whether or not a rescue party is nece
I randomly pulled this off the YA shelf in the library to entertain myself while my son was playing in the children's area, and I ended up taking it home with me to finish. (Sidenote: It was fun to choose a book this way -- I don't often do it any more. I'd never heard of it, but liked the title, the cover, the premise, and there was a nice blurb from Bradbury on the front.)

Initially, it felt like something we might have been assigned to read in about sixth grade. Simple language, beautiful desc
Richard Van Camp
When I heard that John Smelcer was the last speaking member of his nation, the Ahtna First Nation, I just had to read this book. The story follows seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel as he worries about his grandfather, Albert, who does not return from his trap line when a storm rolls through Alaska. This novel is epic in theme and an unforgettable read. Completely heartbreaking. I wrote to Mr. Smelcer, to see if it was true that he was the last speaking member of his Nation and to praise him ...more
I rated this 5/5 because after I read the book, my heart fell into pieces and I held the book like it was some kind of stuff toy on my chest, as I cry myself to ease the pain away.

I thought it was another one of them unrecognized books that would bore me as because I got this at a thrift bookstore and I just bought it because of the nice plot it got on the paper cover, but to my surprise.. I love it. Some elements of my book tastes were there. Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Beast, Man to Son relations
I think this is more of a class novel or literature circle book than an independent reading book for kids. It's good, but I think it might go over the head of a lot of middle school readers without some structure for figuring it out.

It's the story of John Least-Weasel and his grandfather. Johnny's grandfather is caught in a trap while working on his trapline in Alaska. They're Indians, so Grandfather is very capable of survival in the wilderness, but when he's trapped in his own trap even a few
Rhonda Morris
This story takes place in northern Alaska, where in the winter the temperature can drop to 65 degrees below zero. The author tells the story of Johnny Least-Weasel and his grandfather and the dangers of living in such a frozen world. This is a place where food is flown in on a bush plane or you hunt for it. Johnny's grandfather likes to hunt, but when his grandfather does not come home when expected, he begin to worry that something is wrong. Johnny does not know whether to trust his grandfather ...more
Nate Bruns
I rated the trap a four star because the book was interesting all throughout the book. Some things that happened in the book was that Johnny's grandpa got caught in his own trap. So, Johnny goes out to look for his grandpa. With time running out, Johnny's hope is going down to find his grandpa. Will Johnny find his grandfather in time, so that his grandpa doesn't die? Find out and read the trap. I would definattly recommend this book to different people.
This book was about an old man who has a grandson that cares about him. One day the old man goes in the alaskin wilderniss and checks his trap to see if he caught anything. He accedently steps on the trap and gets stuck there for days. His grandson gets woried and finnaly he goes and looks for him. Iliked the book it was intersting learning about all that stuff like how to survive in the forest and how he makes fire with only two sticks.
I added this to my to-read shelf because both my brother Richard and my friend Jean had read it and it looked interesting. It is cold (colder actually), stark, haunting. I thought of The Old Man and the Sea when I read it. I came to write this review and first read Jean's review and found that our thoughts had run alike. Now that I have finished it, I am going to read it aloud with Davy or with Dave and Davy on the road in a couple of weeks. Later: Just finished reading it to Davy - he found it ...more
Kendall Alexander
This book was a very very heart warming book. This will make you want to get under covers and read for hours. It is a very short book that is action packed. There is so many great parts. It is a very great book for people that love the outdoors. Although there are a lot of goods things about this book there is also a few things that you will be disapointed. There is also a few sad parts in the book.
After reading 10 pages of The Trap by John Smelcer, I chose not to read it for my second book report. I chose not to read it for my book report because it did not interest me. Another reason I chose to not read this book was because it was hard to follow. Because of these reasons, I rated the book 2 stars. However, this could change if I were to read the book in its entirety.
I was hoping this would be another option for kids who like Hatchet or Touching Spirit Bear.

This is a great book for people who have never lived anywhere cold. It will give you a great idea of the MILLIONS of types of snow and the HUNDREDS of ways you can die in the cold.

So no, it won't make the suggestion list.
Yes, Johnny feels more like a sketch than a character, but that may be a strength rather than a weakness here. He's the young reader's avatar and entry into a story they would surely not even attempt otherwise. Lyrical, beautiful, and subtle, it was so much more than I had ever hoped to expect.
Joan Henges
A fascinating fight to survive

The old Indian fights to live. His grandson fights to hold on to the aspects of his native heritage he finds are the touchstone of meaning in his life as he realizes he must find his grandfather.
This was a good quick young adult read. I enjoyed the insights in to the Indian lifestyle, the two short Indian tales told before each chapter, and arc of the story. A nice quick read.

This was an enjoyable read. I liked the tales at the beginning of each chapter, and I love that they related to the overall story. The main characters were likable, and there was good characterization. The Indian traditions and stories the characters told built the environment and world. The story was a bit slow at times, but it didn’t take away from anything. I thought the ending was really great, though others might not think this. I won’t spoil it but just prepare for some intense
Short book told in the alternating voices of 80-year-old Albert Least-Weasel, who has caught his foot in one of his own hunting traps, and the grandson who is his only hope of survival. Which will be his undoing, the bitter Alaskan cold, or the pack of circling wolves? This is a gritty, tough depiction of living in Alaska with a fair amount of information about Inuit customs and culture thrown in, making this a bit of a tough sell to middle school boys, its true target audience. Smelcer would ha ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
T.Burchett 2 6 Apr 26, 2012 10:09AM  
  • Rescue Josh Mcguire
  • Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears
  • Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway
  • The Ghost of Fossil Glen
  • The Year of Goodbyes
  • Dead Connection
  • Kiss Me Twice
  • Somebody
  • Sleeping Lady (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #3)
  • Open Ice
  • Bucking the Sarge
  • The Kids from Nowhere: The Story Behind the Arctic Educational Miracle
  • Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut!
  • Hothouse
  • The Cloud Chamber
  • Zombie Baseball Beatdown
  • Ghost Stories: #1,27,59,89,107,133 (Nancy Drew)
  • Rewind
John E. Smelcer is the poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and the author of more than forty books. He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and is now the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna.

His forthcoming novel, LONE WOLVES is being partially funded via an Indiegogo campaign. Check out this video and the unusual gifts offered. Among them, you can choose an autographed, numbered, l
More about John E. Smelcer...
The Great Death Edge of Nowhere Lone Wolves The Raven and the Totem A Cycle of Myths: Indian Myths from Southeast Alaska

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Nature is not tailored to man. It exists for itself.” 2 likes
More quotes…