To the five Herbert girls, life is messy and unpredictable. Dad’s been laid-off; Mom’s a sensitive, overweight wreck; Fancy, the special needs one, just won’t stop talking; Stevie’s mean; Beauty just can’t wait to escape the family and the town. To the stranger, they are perfect, a joyful flock of girlish energy. He watches. He waits. He won’t act – or will he?
A story of teen/tween angst – or family turmoil and romantic longing – turns into a quite different story of abduction, of decisions that could make the difference between life and death.
This book was selected as our school’s book club book for May 2010; I was intrigued by the cover image of swirling hair on a white background and became hooked when I read the predator’s haunting take on the girls as he passes them to work every day.
Bibliotherapeutic value: A story about how true mental illness can reside in a completely normal-looking person, it shows surface normalcy can be deceiving (that someone perfectly innocent and boring-looking to a teen might be a real threat). It’s also a tale about strength and self-preservation – and about recovering from trauma.
Mazer, Norma Fox. The Missing Girl. New York: HarperTeen, 2008.
ISBN: 0066237769. $16.99.