No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons. But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the ordinary little girl with her hair in tight pigtails, wearing a dress with a narrow white collar--a three-year-old who had been kidnapped twelve years before from a shopping mall in New Jersey--she felt overcome with shock. She recognized that little girl--it was she. How could it possibly be true?
Janie can't believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, but as she begins to piece things together, nothing makes sense. Something is terribly wrong. Are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson really Janie's parents? And if not, who is Janie Johnson, and what really happened?
The picture of a missing child printed on a milk carton attracts the attention of 15-year-old Jane Johnson. A glimpse of the girl's polka-dot dress causes memories to surface, and Jane begins to review her past and question her true identity. It is nearly impossible for Jane to perceive her loving parents as kidnappers; the task of gathering evidence and drawing conclusions proves less difficult than confronting the undeniable truth. As the novel ends, Jane has found the courage to contact her real parents, but Cooney cleverly leaves the events that follow to readers' imaginations. Although the book's plot is based largely on coincidences, Cooney's skilled writing makes even the most unlikely events seem plausible. The roller-coaster ride Jane experiences with her emotions is both absorbing and convincing. Strong characterizations and suspenseful, impeccably-paced action add to this novel's appeal. Ages 12-up.