The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

I read the short content of this book on the back cover:

"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?"

Isn't that the most intriguing short content you ever read?! I simply had to read the book after that.

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?

As a child I always imagined that I had been adopted... so this premise appealed to me. A good read and, if kids like it, there are several more titles in the series to keep 'em reading!

Shadow Bear by Joan Hiatt Harlow

Shadow Bear by Joan Hiatt Harlow (author), Jim Arnosky (illustrator)

I love this gentle story of an Eskimo boy and a polar bear cub. Written as parallel tales, the boy's mother warns him about the large, dangerous bear while the cub's mother warns him about dangerous humans.
Both young ones go out for a romp on the tundra and carefully peek around a large boulder. The low, setting northern sun casts huge shadows, even of a small boy and a small cub.
Each is reminded of his mother's warnings and runs home where it is safe.

I am hesitant to tell you about this book because it is out of print. But hopefully your library has it or you will be lucky enough to find it at a used book sale. If you do, enjoy!

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

"Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life."
Catherine's father is determined to marry her off to a rich man -- any rich man, no matter how awful. Even though she's only a young teenager, because the day and age is the Middle Ages and this is a glimpse of real life back then.
By wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. One, by setting the outhouse on fire when he's inside... Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call -- by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all. Unfortunately, he is also the richest.

Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father?
Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!

I picked this book for my 'favorite books ever' list because of the main character's witty voice. I imagine that, if I had lived in the Middle Ages, I would have wanted to be just like spunky Catherine.

Extensive study guide:

ISBN 978-0064405843