What Janie Found by Caroline B. Cooney
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Published in 2000
Recommended Age Group: 14 and Up
Summary: What Janie Found is the fourth and final book in the series that started with The Face on the Milk Carton. Janie is tired of being the good guy and doing everything to help other people. This book opens with her contemplating being the bad girl and like Hannah giving it all up and to be last seen flying west. Janie’s Connecticut father Frank Johnson had a stroke and a heart attack in the same day and to help support her family Janie is asked to take care of the bills. While looking in the file cabinet she finds a folder marked “H. J.” it could only be about Hannah the kidnapper and Frank’s original child. Janie doesn’t want to go through the folder with her mother sitting there so she decides to wait until she can be alone, unfortunately Brian, her little brother, and Reeve, her ex-boyfriend are in the room and see the folder too and want to see inside. The problem is she wants to see it alone. While waiting for a good time to look at the folder the possibilities of what could be inside go through the minds of all three. One thing is certain, being in the paid bills section Frank was giving money to Hannah or money to find her.
When they were finally able to look in the folder they found that not only did Frank know where Hannah was but he was also sending her large chunks of money four times a year to an address in Boulder, Colorado. Conveniently Janie and Brian’s oldest brother Stephen is living in Boulder going to college. They decide to visit him and while there find Hannah because they all have questions that need to be answered. Worried about how their parents will react to the trip they come up with all kinds of reasons but they are all happily surprised and readily pay for plane tickets for Brian, Janie, and Reeve to fly. As the trip progresses one by one they decide that finding Hannah isn’t the greatest idea. Janie also has to face the choice as to whether or not she should continue to support her kidnapper. In the end they decide not to meet her. They mail Hannah the rest of the money in the account with a note that she will not be getting any more and not to contact the Johnson family again. They also have a great visit with Stephen and Janie decides who her real family is and what she’s going to do with the rest of her life.
Personal Notes: Not the ending I expected but it was really good. With the way the others just ended I was happy to finally have a bit of closure with the last one. I appreciated the depth of the inner conflict in each character. They were all very round and complete. I also liked how everything worked out in the end with both the families and Reeve. It wasn’t a and they lived happily every after, there was actually work involved and I think that made it more realistic.
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