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The Girl in the Box

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  841 ratings  ·  138 reviews
To Anybody Out There My name is Jackie McGee. I am the girl who disappeared. Listen to the news. See if other pieces of paper are scattered nearby. Maybe if you yell really loud I can hear you and yell back. I am not making this up. Please help!
Left in an underground cement room by an unknown captor, Jackie has food and water but no light or human contact. She does not
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 1st 1989 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 1988)
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Mommooshka Once you join GoodReads.com by creating a free account, whenever you click the box below a book and change the status from "Want to Read" to "Read",…moreOnce you join GoodReads.com by creating a free account, whenever you click the box below a book and change the status from "Want to Read" to "Read", it will open a space on a new webpage or else slightly down the webpage for that book for your review. It will allow you to rate the book from 1 to 5 stars and provides a text box to enter your reviews or feedback. Then hit Save. Looking forward to your reviews. = )(less)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  841 ratings  ·  138 reviews


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Aniko Carmean
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was twelve years old the first time I read The Girl in the Box, by Ouida Sebestyen. More than two decades later, the story still haunted me. The magic of Amazon delivered the book to me in paperback glory. I may have aged, but the girl on the cover with her high-top sneaks was exactly as I remembered her: long fingers poised over a typewriter, crouched on the ground, and surrounded by impenetrable darkness.

I opened the book.

I was unprepared for the intensity of the experience. As much as the
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Ashlea
Jan 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
moviebunny
Jun 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book has gotten a quite a few reviews, and I think as readers we can all agree that this was absolutely one of the most disturbing, chilling, haunting stories that I have ever read. It has unsettled me since the day I read it.

I still remember clearly, the story of young girl who'd just had a fight with her best friend and is walking home when she is kidnapped. The only things she has with her are her typewriter and some paper, and she hangs on to them for dear life, just for the need of
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Kelly K
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
I picked up this book when I was 11 years old at a bookfair. I am 32 now and it still pops into my head. The subject matter is way too intense for the targeted age group. I was a wreck for weeks. Maybe some would view a book that haunts you 20 years later as good, but having reread it , I can honestly say it's not even written that well. It wouldn't affect an adult the way it affected me as a child.I never write reviews but I feel like if I can save one little girl the experience I'm doing a ...more
Cheryl
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did nobody else on GR see the clues that maybe the girl was making this up, locked inside her room, or maybe inside her own mind, maybe catatonic. Maybe sorta like Me & Emma.

Whatever really happened, and whatever really happens after the last page, doesn't matter. The story is about the friendships, and about this girl with the amazing ability to tell stories, and the ambiguity of it all. And it's brilliant.
Erica
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dark and haunting, I still remember this vividly over a decade on.
Ashley
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I remember really liking this story, and reading it over and over again, and everytime I finished, I wondered...
.
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book a little less than a decade ago, when I was about 13. It was in amongst many of the other books we had at my house that we've collected along the way. Whether or not we still have it, I don't know, but it popped into my head earlier and searched the internet to find it's name. And here I am.

When I read through it the first time, I couldn't stop. I couldn't put it down. It was scary. I was shocked. And that's why I loved it. "What happened to this girl? Why her? Why didn't her
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Kate
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book had a very weird premise: a girl finds herself in a dark basement with an old typewriter. She isn't sure who kidnapped her or why they are keeping her. There isn't any light, but she knows how to touch type, so she proceeds to type about what's happening to her, letters to people she loves and may never see again, pretty much anything, as she is kept in this basement starving and waiting to die or be killed. The ending left me hanging and wondering, "What happened to the girl in the ...more
Jules
Oct 19, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this when I was in high school, and I remember being just so plain shocked by the ending. It's one of those books that disturbs you and stays with you, even if you can't say whether you enjoyed it or not.
cosmos
Sep 04, 2007 rated it liked it
I read this book when I was young, and it still haunts me.
Blue
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it

I read this book as a young teenager (when it was first published), and probably reread it a few times around that time as well. Since college, I've been describing it to friends who still like to read and reread YA novels, but nobody ever knew what I was talking about! I've tried to find its name several times in the past, but only just found it by searching "kidnapping, typewriter" keywords on Bookfinder (description of success just in case you need to search for something yourself).
So I
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Morgan
I found this book at a library book sale several years ago and purchased it based on the title and back cover summary. Having just finished it, all I can say is *wow*. Absolutely, it's a disturbing read. Written entirely from the point of view of the titular girl, the chapters chronicle her thoughts, reflections, and internal (as well as physical) struggles post kidnapping while trapped in an underground cellar. It's a haunting book, and very well written. It's not the feel good story of the ...more
Alex
Aug 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Stupid Dumb Hated it.

A girl is kiddnapped, luckily she had a typewriter and a whole reem of paper. Luckily she just took a typing class. WOW really??? Lame. So while sitting in a room where you never meet her captors or know why, or what happens after she writes a story of her life.

She has two friends a boy and a girl they hook up she is sad. THE END

seriously it's the end of the book.
Daniela
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
I got this book from my mom as a Christmas gift one year. This book still haunts me even though I read it when I was very young. I found it to be depressing book to read and had a hard time getting through it. In an effort to make it a worthwhile read I did the unthinkable and skipped to the end to see if it was a salvageable. I put the book down and never finished it. I still get creeped out when I think about this book.
Catherine
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, written from the perspective of an abducted girl locked in a cellar, typing missives in the dark and pushing them through a small slit in a doorway, is totally the most f-ed up young adult novel ever and yet I can't imagine having grown up without it. She doesn't even know if she's hitting the right keys on the typewriter and she's running out of the greasy water that was left in a jar down there for her. I really want to know more about the author, Ouida Sebestyen.
Jessica
Nov 10, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: eh.....
This is probably the most disturbing YA book I ever read, and I'm at a total loss about how to rate it. I can't really say it was good in the way that, you know, Robert Cormier was good. However, I can't really say it wasn't good, because it haunted me for years.
Dna
This book scared the utter crap out of me when I was about 11. It wasn't until a few years ago (in my late 20s) that I found the title and author's name online.

It came to mind as I was (recently) reading Emma Donoghue's new book, Room.
Jenn
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not many books are read once by a 10 year old girl and remembered vividly 20+ years later. This is one of those books.
Holly
Aug 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E!!!!! This book was soo boring she just went on and on about her boring and pathetic life and she didnt even escape the box.
Julielenore
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I read this as a teenager and have never forgotten it.
Theresa Miller
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book is maybe a three, but it's definitely rounded up to a fourth star just because I loved it a lot as an eighth grader and I found myself remembering what I'd taken from this book, way back then. I used to write myself notes sometimes, which I guess is like journaling that you do in the middle of social studies class, and I would always write TTM at the top, for Talking To Myself. I got that from this book, and I'd totally forgotten that.
The set-up device for the plot isn't great, but it
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Shania Davis
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story the girl in the box, is about a girl who is kidnapped by an unknown man, she never saw his face because it was a surprise attack. As she is trapped in this mystery man's basement she continues to type on her typewriter, In hopes of someone finding them somewhere and eventually find her down there and save her. The story gives an emotion sense because the reader could be worried about her or feel sympathy for her, or the reader could feel like they're in her shoes and feel the same way ...more
Jessi
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read this creepy book as a teenager and was recently reminded of it while reading "Room" by Emma Donoghue. It is the story of a girl, Jackie, who is kidnapped and locked in a cold cellar with only some water, food, and a typewriter. she passes the days by writing letters, stories, and coming to terms with her fate.

I am sure I read this (and several other kidnapping-themed YA novels) multiple times in my youth. This was definitely the most memorable and haunting. However, reading it as an adult
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Gwynne
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Read this horrifying novel at least four times in adolescence. Are you afraid of being abducted and thrown in a dark cellar to die, without ever seeing your captor, left with only a typewriter upon which you write letters that no one will ever see? If so, I would not recommend this book.
Kristi
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I read this to see if it was as creepy as I remembered it being when I read it around age 11-12. Yep, it is. Although adult me picked up on the implausibility of the situation a lot more, and hopefully won't be plagued as much by nightmares.
Susan
Oct 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this book in middle school and it still creeps me out to this day.
Tricia
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
How could it end this way. Oh book gods, tell me why! Also, how did I not hear about this book when I was going through one of my middle school kidnapping book phases???!
Erikka
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nightmarish memory from my childhood that I think I'd repressed to the deepest parts of my brain until I read "Paperback Crush" by Gabrielle Moss and it came roaring back.
D.D.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect YA book. I liked it as an adult and i think i would have been thoroughly obsessed as a young teen.
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Ouida Sebestyen, nee Dockery, was born February 13, 1924, in Vernon, TX. She married Adam Sebestyen in 1960 and had one son. She attended the U. of Colorado. She began writing at age eighteen, but did not publish her first book, Words by Heart until 1979. Part of this novel had originally appeared as a short story in the magazine 'Ingenue' in 1968. The book was well received, and Ms. Sebestyen has ...more