The Face on the Milk Carton is a Contemporary Realistic Fiction. It covers many ideas but the main one is : Identity. The Face on the Milk Carton is a book about a 15 year-old high school student in Connecticut, Janie Johnson. One day at lunch she looks at the missing child picture on her friend’s milk carton and recognizes the girl in the picture – it’s her. The milk carton says the girl, Jennie Spring, was kidnapped from a shopping mall in New Jersey twelve years ago. That afternoon, Janie begins to have flashbacks of a house and a family and herself as a little girl.
Her memory from the day of the kidnapping is of herself and a family shoe shopping. She became angry and stormed off, and a woman bought her an ice cream and took her for a ride. However, she doesn’t know who this woman is. She can’t believe that her parents would have kidnapped her, but she can’t come up with any other explanations. Janie goes to the attic and rummages through the boxes. In them she finds old school papers with the name Hannah, and also the polka dotted white dress she saw on the milk carton. When Janie confronts her parents with this information, Mr. nd Mrs. Johnson explain that Hannah is their daughter, and Janie is Hannah’s daughter – so, Janie is really their granddaughter. Hannah was a confused child and joined a cult at a young age. She was married to one of the men in her cult and one day showed up at her parents’ house with Janie. Hannah returned to her cult, and the Johnsons left with Janie, moving to a different state, and even changing their name from “Javensen” to “Johnson,” fearing that the cult would try to get her back. Janie is relieved that the people she believed were her parents were not kidnappers.
However, Janie cannot get the picture on the milk carton or the memories of another family out of her mind. She researches the Spring kidnapping. She comes to the conclusion that her parents are probably insane or lying and actually did kidnap her, but she still loves them. Janie and her boyfriend, Reeve skip school the next day and go to New Jersey to see the Spring family with their own eyes. She witnesses Mrs. Spring and her twin boys, with bright red hair, just like Janie has, and which none of the Johnson’s have. It’s proof that Janie can’t ignore, but she tries to anyway.