The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney, Caroline Bruce

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Chapter 13 Summary

Janie feels oddly thrilled when her parents scream at her. She tells herself that their anger proves they are real parents who really love her. She apologizes. Reeve explains that the two of them were just talking, not running away as their parents suspected. Reeve’s father threatens extreme punishment, and Janie suddenly realizes that she and Reeve are at risk of being kept apart. “But Reeve helped me,” she says. “I needed him and he was there.” This diffuses the situation a little. Both sets of parents are forced to admit that she has a point, but they maintain that it was horrible of Janie and Reeve to run off without calling home.

During another sleepless night, Janie considers what she has learned. By now she feels sure that her parents kidnapped her in a fit of insanity and blocked out the memory. However, she cannot bring herself to ruin their lives and hers. She decides to forget the family of redheads in New Jersey. She will just be the person she has always been.

In the morning, Janie’s mother drives her to school. She begs Janie to come home right after class and to call if any problems come up. Janie promises. She spends the school day in a fog of fatigue. At lunch her friends ask her if she is hiding something. One of them, Katrina, guesses that Janie is in love, and Janie cannot help glancing at Reeve. Her friends urge her to blow him a kiss, which she does. He blows her a kiss back, publicly acknowledging her romantically for the first time.

In history, Janie’s class gets a research assignment and goes to the library. While there, Janie realizes that she can look up Jennie Spring’s kidnapping in old newspapers, but she does not want to do this in the school library where people are likely to notice what she is doing. After school, she takes a bus to the public library. She finds several twelve-year-old issues of The New York Times on microfiche. She reads...

(The entire section is 524 words.)