The story of Janie Johnson first began with Caroline B. Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton, a book that was made into a TV movie about a teenager who recognizes her own three-year-old face on a milk carton and discovers that she had been kidnapped years before. Two additional books, What Happened to Janie? and The Voice on the Radio, continued the remarkable story of a girl who somehow needed to blend her present life and family with the life and family from which she had been taken. Readers who followed Janie's trail from the first discovery of her real family to her final decision about which name to use are in for even more revelations in What Janie Found.

As Cooney's latest book opens, Janie is as angry as she has ever been. Mr. Johnson has had a stroke; Janie is paying bills for him when she comes across a file and discovers that the life she has so carefully sorted out is in fact a fantasy spun by people who supposedly loved her.

Reeve, her former boyfriend, and Brian, the younger brother from her original family, immediately sense a change in Janie and set about trying first to uncover the secret Janie's found and then to help her solve the additional mystery that surfaces. Janie, however, has determined never to let anyone close to her again.

A part of Janie feels guilty trying to touch the past and make logic out of her life, but she devises a plan that includes taking Reeve and Brian to visit Brian's older brother, Stephen, in Colorado. Things don't go exactly as planned. Janie and her estranged brother Stephen must grapple with the residue of the long ago kidnapping, searching for ways to reconnect to their families and to each other. By solving this additional mystery, they are able to find a way back home. They simply need to find the courage to do the right thing.


Jamie Whitfield writes from her homes in Tennessee and North Carolina.

comments powered by Disqus