Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B Cooney

I decided to re-read the Face on the Milk Carton because I couldn't remember everything that happened. I've read the other two sequels, so the story got a little mushed together in the mean time.

Janie has a pretty good life for being almost sixteen. She actually gets along with her parents, has great friends, and enjoys school (as much as one can). So when she's at lunch one day, she can't believe the picture she sees on the milk carton of a 3-year old kidnapped girl. It's her.

Janie becomes obsessed with learning about the family she may or may not have been taken from. She convinces the boy next door, Reeve, to drive her to their house in New Jersey so she can see it. She goes through old boxes and finds the dress from the picture. And her memories start coming back of another family and of the woman who bought her an ice cream sundae and convinced her to go for a drive.

Janie can't believe her parents would kidnap anyone, but it's obvious they must have, right? Things start colliding together until Janie is left with no other option but to tell them she knows.

I've always enjoyed this story, but re-reading it gave me a chance to step back and look at it again. Janie is a likable character and her fears and emotions come across well. Her friends don't play an important part of the story, so while there, they're more background noise, other than Reeve. Janie is a little more wrapped up in her own world than anyone in her life appreciates, but it's understandable.

And you can try to ignore the references to cassette tapes and pay phones as well as the lack of cell phones and other forms of technology. The story isn't any worse for missing those.

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