Girl, Missing

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Sophie McKenzie
Simon and Schuster
Oct 2006
Fourteen year old Lauren is struggling to make an identity for herself, made more difficult by the knowledge that she was adopted as a small child. She soon becomes obsessed with learning more about the circumstances of her adoption and sets out to find her biological parents. Increasingly alienated from her adoptive family, hazy memories and hard evidence begin to emerge, suggesting that she may have been abducted from an American family and illegally adopted. Lauren is willing to risk everything to learn the truth.

Girl, Missing works best when read as a thriller/ suspense novel. It has an intriguing and unusual premise that was inspired by a real-life missing child case. However, I think that it also taps into one of the enduring archetypes of children�s literature, of the perilous quest that reveals secret identities and a hidden heritage/parentage. A stronger sense of place would have added another dimension to this story; more could have been made of Lauren�s journey from England to New England in search of her family. Lauren is not a particularly sympathetic character, but is probably more plausible because of this (some of the plot devices I found less plausible!). However, the descriptions of Lauren�s instinctive kindness towards her little sister were genuinely touching, and left me wanting more insight into her emotional development.

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This page contains a single entry by Mai Lin Li published on November 30, 2006 1:47 PM.

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