The editor solicited this collection of thirteen stories on the theme of entrapment from experienced young adult fiction writers. They represent a variety of kinds of entrapment: in a relationship too serious too early; in an abusive relationship; in a body distorted through the psychological lens of anorexia; in a dream world; in a canyon fire; in a web of secrets woven in an abused childhood; in a maze with a minotaur; in a habit of perfectionism; in the sites of urban violence; in dementia induced by post-traumatic stress (long remembered by a Viet Nam vet); in an unsought relationship with a lost and disturbed brother; in poverty. In each of the stories an adolescent protagonist encounters some challenge either to find his or her way out of a trap, or to understand others’ entrapments. The stories vary widely in setting and style, but held together by this theme, they serve to enlarge understanding of the ways in which any of us may find ourselves entrapped, and how “liberation” may require both imagination and compassion.


Though it is unlikely that any one reader will find every story in this collection equally compelling, the range of situations and characters represented do offer a strong inducement to reflect on one’s own forms of entrapment and desires for “freedom,” in whatever ways those occur. Entrapment in one’s own body, one’s own mind, and one’s own family are recurrent themes that link liberation to healing. The authors take on difficult and delicate situations; some of the stories are edgy and some of the endings ambiguous. This is a book that could fuel a number of rich discussions about choices and strategies for recognizing possibility in situations where options are limited and fear is inhibiting.


Simon & Schuster (Aladdin Paperback)

Place Published

New York




Lois Duncan

Page Count