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

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The Face on the Milk Carton Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

A typical school day shatters for fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson during lunch period as she stares at the picture of a kidnapped child on the milk carton that she recognizes as herself. This incident trips a series of flashbacks where Janie Johnson (actually Jennie Spring) begins to remember her family and the circumstances surrounding her abduction. With support from her confidante and boyfriend Reeve, Janie eventually confronts her parents and learns that she was left with them by their daughter Hannah. The Johnsons believe Hannah, who tells them Janie is their granddaughter, and that both Hannah and Janie are being pursued by a religious cult that Hannah joined when she ran away from home. When Hannah deserts the Johnsons and Janie, they take their granddaughter and flee their former life—moving to Connecticut, changing their last name from Javenson to Johnson— to avoid being discovered by the cult. But the Johnsons only know part of the truth regarding Janie's true identity.