By Caroline Cooney

Ember, reprint May, 2012 ($7.99)

ISBN-13: 978-0385742382

Young Adult Fiction — Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Miriam Martinez

When 15-year-old Janie Johnson looks at the missing child ad on the milk carton, she identifies the kid in the picture as herself. According to the ad, she went missing twelve years ago in a shopping center in New Jersey. Now, Janie doesn't know what to think: could it be that her loving parents kidnapped her from her real parents when she was a toddler? Does this mean that her real name is Jennie Spring as mentioned in the ad? What ever happened to her in that shopping center? As days go by and confusing thoughts torture her mind, she starts having flashbacks of what must have been her life before the kidnap. What should she do now? If she calls the 1-800 number on the ad, her parents will be accused of the crime and treated as criminals, but if she doesn't call another set of parents will never know that their daughter is alive and safe. But, the most disturbing questions for her are if her parents could really have committed such a crime and why.

This is a really interesting series (there are actually 5 books in the series, the first of which is THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON). Once you start reading you won't be able to put it down because you will want to know what really happened and how the story develops. I liked the in-depth development of the characters, since — especially in the second book — the author deals a lot with the feelings of the people involved and the human aspects of the situation. I found the story concept really creative and the plot is great. In my opinion, this is a truly recommended read not only for young adults but for anyone who has a family and has ever felt sorry when looking at the "Have you seen this child?" ads in public places.

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