What is the theme of the book? what is the author trying to tell the reader?

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estoverl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A young teenager named Janie glancing at a milk carton one day suddenly has the feeling that the face on the milk carton staring back at her is her own at three years old. From that moment she sets off to figure out if what she strongly suspects is true. She seeks to understand how and why this could have happened to her and who she really is. 

The main themes of this novel are identity, figuring out who one really is and truth vs coincidence. Almost immediately the novel is focused on Janie wondering who she is. Her identity, always tied to the only parents she has known, is shattered as she seeks to understand who her parents truly are and what happened to her. 

As the story continues and Janie finds what she believes are clues to her true identity, she must sort out which are truths and which are simply coincidence or unconnected facts that have nothing to do with her reality. 

alexb2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main theme is the need and importance of communication between families, especially between parents and their children.

mpewing | Student

the theme is adolescence and finding yourself. also it could be things are not always as they seem because she just assumed that that was her family and it had always been, but in reality she had been kidnapped. also the difference between fantasy and reality because throughout the book, janie always had 'daymares' and questioned wether they could be real or not often.

yodaddde | Student

The theme is to not talk to strangers

chelseababy00 | Student

its amazing how an author can find a way to explain growing up and how its not easy in a way that both young adults and adults can understand. congrats to caroline b. cooney

sampson1 | Student

THe main  theme is to finding your idenity is filled with obstacles and road bumps but is conquered with acceptance

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The Face on the Milk Carton

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