“The girl on the carton was an ordinary little girl. Hair in tight pigtails, one against each thin cheek. A dress with a narrow white collar. The dress was white with tiny dark polka dots.
“Something evil and thick settled on Janie blocking her throat, dimming her eyes. ‘Sarah-Charlotte,’ she said. She could hear herself shouting Sarah-Charlotte’s name, yet her lips were not moving; she was making no sound at all.
“She reached toward Sarah-Charlotte’s sleeve, but her hand didn’t obey. It lay motionless on top of the carton. It looked like somebody else’s hand; she could not imagine herself wearing that shade of nail polish, or that silly ring.
“‘You drank my milk,’ accused Sarah-Charlotte.
“‘It’s me on there,’ Janie whispered. Her head hurt. Was the milk allergy already setting in? Or was she going insane? Could you go insane this fast? Surely it took years to lose your mind.
“‘On where?’ said Peter.
“‘The girl on the back of the carton,’ whispered Janie. How flat her voice sounded. As if she had ironed it. ‘It’s me” (10-11).
Can you imagine how you would feel if you saw yourself on the back of a milk carton? You grew up with loving, wonderful parents who have done everything they could for you, and now you don’t know who they are. Did they really kidnap her? Are they that good of actors?
Title: The Face on the Milk Carton
Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Publication Information: Published by Laurel-Leaf a division of Random House
Age Group: Grades 7 and up
Topics: Suspense, family, self-identity, first romance