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The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1)
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The Face on the Milk Carton

(Janie Johnson #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  50,607 ratings  ·  2,590 reviews
The face on the milk carton looks like an ordinary little girl: hair in tight pigtails, a dress with a narrow white collar, a three-year-old who was kidnapped more than twelve years ago from a shopping mall in New Jersey.

As fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson stares at the milk carton, she feels overcome with shock. She knows that little girl is she. But how could it be true?

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 13th 1996 by Delacorte Press (first published 1990)
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Diana Braxton Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake! Not only is it dark and scary, but it's very well written!
Autumn Francia Whatever you are wondering about reading this book for on here, Goodreads is not an Ebook lending library unfortunately. It is good for if you want to…moreWhatever you are wondering about reading this book for on here, Goodreads is not an Ebook lending library unfortunately. It is good for if you want to know what books to look for at your home library. The home library you have may even offer Ebook services (Like Overdrive, RBDigital, or Freading or Hoopla) but you will need to log in to those with your library card number from the libraries website to get connected to them the first time. each of those has apps for Ebooks if they offer them.

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man, there are some HATERS on this front page...

listen. if you loved this book when you were in middle school, it sure as hell wasn't because you thought the literary style was articulate and composed. it was because you were in middle school, and therefore an angsty teen who wished you too could discover your lame parents weren't actually related to you by blood. everybody wants to find out they've been kidnapped when they're that age! it's WAY cooler than just being born into suburbia and woul
so i had to read this for the "banned books" portion of my teen r/a class, and i am convinced that this wasn't banned by parents or terrible librarians, but by the students themselves who were like "noooooo , don't make us read this!! it is soooo ba-zoring!!!"

because it is. truly.

this could have been a five page book. "oh shit, i was kidnapped when i was three?? let me ask my "parents" and if they are not forthcoming with the info, then i will go to the library and do some research."

end of tale.
Maria Elmvang
Excellent concept, not-so-excellent execution. The plot idea is absolutely thrilling - suddenly realising that your parents are actually not your parents, but that you've been kidnapped, not knowing how to react, who to turn to or who to trust.

Unfortunately Caroline Cooney's didn't quite have the skills to pull it off, and therefore the writing seemed occasionally choppy and the emotions unrealistic.

Still, the story itself was really interesting, so I definitely want to read the rest of the seri
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
From what I can recall, I enjoyed it a lot when I was 11 or 12 . I remember reading this book very quickly and being quite creeped out at the premise!
Jun 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Toward the end of the book Janie has the thought that this situation is going to go on forever. I'm with you, Janie. This book went on foreverrrrrrrrr.

I listened to the book on CD based on a referral from a 5th grader during my school visits, who told me this was an awesome book. And I'm glad he liked it.

For me, it was excruciating.

She loves her family, she hates her family, she loves her family. She's a wretched wretched girl because she allowed someone to buy her from her family with a sunda
N.N. Light
Why I love it: I was shocked to see that one of my favorite books from the 1990’s is a banned book. I guess with the subject matter, people don’t want kids reading this. Listen, I don’t want eight-year-olds reading this either. It’s geared for teens and sheds light on a very real subject matter: child abduction. Back in the late 1980’s, there was a lot of child kidnappings going on. So much so, the government came up with putting missing children’s pictures on milk cartons as a way to catch the ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book as a little girl! I always thought it would be scary to see my own picture on a milk carton and wonder if I'd been kidnapped. My daughter checked it out to read and I can't wait to see what she thinks of it!
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was about Janie Johnson, a high schooler who had lactose intolerance, serious red hair, secret admirers. Every once in awhile, the factory of milk cartons put up an image of children who gets kidnapped. And when Janie reaches out to try her friend's milk, the image on the milk carton was of her.

I like this book of its contrast, how while Janie was trying to figure out what happened to her, romance and true love also struck her. And sometimes she can't have both.

I can somewhat relate
May 07, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Rather contrived plot,it struck me as being the literary equivalent of a paint-by-numbers picture. It was almost as though the author sketched an outline and then proceeded to fill in the blanks (I know English teachers always harp about pre-writing with an outline but who really does that?)Besides, milk cartons haven't featured photographs of missing children for years so it is unlikely the current teen audience would grasp the reference.
Mariah Roze
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't believe I never rated this book! I read this in middle school and loved it!!!
Chris Blocker
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in the sixth grade. We were having one of those Scholastic book orders that made reading so exciting. This book caught my attention. What could be more captivating than a book about a kid finding out they're kidnapped?!! I begged my mom to order it and she did. Shortly thereafter, the book was in my hands, and suddenly I was ashamed. I was a boy on the verge of junior high school. I watched sports, liked cars and video games. I was too cool for a book with a pig-tailed girl on the cover.

Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone 9 and up
Recommended to Rhein by: My sister even though she had only ever read the first chapter b
This book was by far the best book I've ever read but has some adult content. Even though it does it is a great book. It's about a girl named Janie (Jennie) who sees her face from twelve years ago on the back of a milk carton saying she has been kidnapped. The whole book is about her finding out if her "parents" had actually kidnapped her and her finding her real family. I am reading the second book out of four now and so far it is amazing as well.
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!! It is about a girl who finds out she might have been kiddnaped as a little girl. it kept u on ur feet, begging for more and keeps you longing to turn each page!! Read it!
Karina Magana
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In the novel The Face On The Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney is about how a girl named Janie was stolen when she was three, but she never knew. Until one day, she sees a milk carton that has a girls face and says that she is missing. She realized that the little girl in the carton was her.She soon has thoughts about if her parents are really her parents or the kidnappers.She soon discovers many things that she wished she had never known.She found out that her parents had a daughter and she ra ...more
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Phillip Ye 3/20/08
Mr. Nourok Writing Arts 903

Final Draft Book Review

The Face on the Milk Carton
By Caroline B. Cooney

At first, I thought this book was just going to be about a girl, who got kidnapped, and some detectives went and tracked down clues to find her. It made me think this book was no different than any other normal mystery book but I was terribly wrong. This book was a lot more than just a mystery!

This book is basically about a girl named Janie and she lives her life as an ave
Completely Melanie
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so good that as soon as I finished reading this one, I ordered all the rest in the series! It's about a 15 yr old girl named Janie Johnson who while she was drinking a carton of milk at lunch stopped when she saw the missing child picture on it. It was her. This book follows her struggle as she tries to figure out what to do. I highly recommend this book! So good!
Cody Kubicki
Jun 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
I read the book, The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. It was published in 1990 by Dell Books for Young Readers. Cooney is the author of many other books that include Driver’s Ed and the sequel to Face on the Milk Carton, Whatever Happened to Janie? Now, I admit I’ve only read this one book by Cooney, but based on this first experience there’s no way that I would ever read any of her other novels. Frankly, I’m not even sure why a publisher would agree to print this book. Perhaps the ...more
First of all, I'm not big on the young adult genre. I read it because it's what's available, but generally I don't like it because most of the "young adults" I know are perfectly capable of reading "adult" books, but choose young adult books because they're shorter and easier. In other words I think it's a genre based largely on laziness. Don't get me wrong, the stories can be excellent; but the whole idea of writing easier, shorter books for young people who don't feel like challenging themselv ...more
J.Aleksandr Wootton
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Suspenseful, cinematic, tersely edited: a success for the reader.

Would not pass a Bechdel test, however, and our female protagonist is barely proactive in her own story. The book's incessant obsession with boys is irritating at best; the indecision and angst feel appropriate, given the stakes, circumstances, and hero's age.

I picked this up on a whim from a charity shop, and now I want the rest of the series!
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Janie Johnson, a 15 years old girl, lived in Connecticut, United States. Janie had the most loving and caring parents, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. One day, Janie recognized her picture on a missing persons advertisement on her friend’s milk carton. The description read that Jennie Springs, a three years old girl, was kidnapped from a mall in New Jersey, United States. Janie tried her very best to forget about the shocking advertisement. However, she started getting flashbacks of a woman and a few chi ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
1 star. The author had a good idea I suppose.

I was actually looking forward to this book because of the premise. A seemingly normal life is completely overturned when the MC finds herself on a milk carton that shows pictures of kidnapped children.

But reality was a slap in the face.

I seriously was bothered by the amount of time it took for her to confront her parents about the milk carton thing. When she finally does (view spoiler)
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Although the plot made me raise my eyebrows - she sees a picture of her as a little kid on the milk carton as a "kidnapped" kid - I thought the story and the girl were just annoying.

I didn't understand Janie at all. She was whining and annoying - I have a teenager and she's got such a better head on her shoulders than this girl.

I also didn't understand the characters - Janie and Reeve didn't seem to really like each other and suddenly they do and then suddenly he's yelling at her in the car. Wh
This is the novel I've been teaching my high intermediate learners of English as a second language for the past eight weeks. I've never read this author before, and I probably won't read anything by her again if given the choice.

I had a hard time relating to the main character/narrator in any way, but the book contains lots of new vocabulary for the students. They were unhappy that there were no pictures.

Although I really didn't enjoy reading this, I did kind of like the way it ended. I feel l
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read
This was fantastic!! I love the Lifetime movie and the book didn't disappoint! I'm very interested to continue in the series to see if more aspects of the movie are in them! Fast and great read!
Mar 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
this book is really good I can't wait to read the next oh and kids no younger than 9or10 should read it.
Lisa Brunton
Nov 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is sooooo boring and ends on a cliff hanger, which is the worst. Good idea, bad storytelling/writing. So much for trying to make a satisfying ending. I want to know what happens next but I don’t want to read the next book because the first one was so boring. Don’t read this book :(
Sep 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Steven by: no one
This book is about how a girl named Janie was stolen when she was three, but she never knew. Until one day, she sees a milk carton that has a girls face and says that she is missing. She realized that the little girl in the carton was her.She soon has doughts about if her parents are really her parents or the kidnappers.She soon discovers many things that she wished she had never known.

She found out that her parents had a daughter and she ran away to New Jersey. One day that missing daughter h
I picked this series up from the library. I love Finding Carter, which also deals with a teenage girl finding out she was kidnapped as a child.

These books are really short. No more than 190 pages till you get to the last one.

The first one follows Janie Johnson as she confronts her parents, finds the Springs and makes a decision at the end.

I'm not sure I like Janie. I know she's all of 15 in this book and she finds out that she was probably kidnapped when she was three so her world is falling
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I was reading this last night and by Chapter 2, I was thinking, "I don't care what anybody says. Caroline B. Cooney is a great author. Period. Full stop. Not just, 'Great for young adult,' but just great." Then I get on here and everybody is slamming this book and Caroline B. Cooney. People are crazy.

One, Cooney's writing style, similes and metaphors, being in Janie's head while she's spiraling into Crazytown--all great. Two, anybody saying that Janie drives them cr
Jen Smith
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of my go-to reads in my teens but I hadn't read it in years. While it's still good and I am a sucker for the "what would I do if that was me?" aspect of the story, if I'm being truthful I think it was the disdain Jane Johnson felt for her plain and common name that I really connected with. Well, that and my lifelong desire to have red hair. And Reeve, who wouldn't want a Reeve?
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Caroline Cooney knew in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer when "the best teacher I ever had in my life" made writing her main focus. "He used to rip off covers from The New Yorker and pass them around and make us write a short story on whichever cover we got. I started writing then and never stopped!"
When her children were young, Caroline started writing books for young people -- with rem

Other books in the series

Janie Johnson (6 books)
  • Whatever Happened to Janie? (Janie Johnson, #2)
  • The Voice on the Radio (Janie Johnson, #3)
  • What Janie Found (Janie Johnson, #4)
  • What Janie Saw (Janie Johnson, #4.5)
  • Janie Face to Face (Janie Johnson, #5)
“She was a mind floating in an ocean of confusion.” 19 likes
“She had gradually changed her name. "Jane" was too dull. Last year, she'd added a "y", becoming Jayne, which had more personality.” 11 likes
More quotes…