Ouida Sebestyen The Girl in the Box

ISBN 13: 9780553282610

The Girl in the Box

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9780553282610: The Girl in the Box

To Anybody Out There
My name is Jackie McGee. I am the girl who disappeared. Listen to the news. See if other pieces of paper are scattered nearby. Maybe if you yell really loud I can hear you and yell back. I am not making this up. Please help!
Left in an underground cement room by an unknown captor, Jackie has food and water but no light or human contact. She does not know when--or if--her abductor will retum.
As her desperation mounts, Jackie touch-types to focus her mind: letters to her family, a story for her English class, and reflections on her life in the past few months. In her isolation and fear, Jackie is forced to test her emotional boundaries, and in doing so she finds new meaning in her past as well as rich reserves of strength and courage within herself.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 7-12 Kidnapped by an unknown assailant and thrown into a cement cell with no light and no escape, Jackie McGee struggles to understand why this happened to her. What she learns is not the answer to that question but about herselfthe strengths of character that she didn't know she had and insights into why life sometimes turns out the way it does. Left with only one jar of water and very little food, Jackie hopes throughout to be rescued, but her growing self-awareness allows her finally to accept the inevitable. The story is told through Jackie's letters to her friends, a teacher, the police, her parents, and notes to herself, touch-typed in the dark on a typewriter and a ream of paper that she had with her when she was taken. The story-within-a-story is Jackie's retelling of the circumstances that led to her being in the right place to be kidnapped. This story of her long-time friendship with April and Zack, broken up when she finds out that April and Zack are in love with each other, gives a counterpoint of saneness to an otherwise unreal situation. The unreality of the premise produces a book that is not as strong as most of Sebestyen's others, as neither Jackie nor readers can see a reason for the kidnapping. This makes it difficult to develop empathy for Jackie's plight. The mood and the style are excellent and entirely appropriate for so bizarre a situation. The book leaves a sour taste in the mouth, but that is what senseless acts of terror do, and perhaps that's what Sebestyen intended. Kathy Havris, Mesa Public Library, Ariz.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Jackie is a high school student who finds herself in a cement roomperhaps a cellarwith only a thread of light, a jar of oily water and a box of old donuts and pastries. She doesn't know why a man in a van snatched her off the streets, brought her there and hasn't returned. All she has is a typewriter and a ream of paper. And so, to keep herself going until the nightmare of captivity is over, she types stories, letters to her friends and family, notes to herself. The story of the last days before her capture are revealed, but what is never told is why she is thereand by the end, it doesn't matter. In fact, it doesn't even matter whether or not her "captivity" is real or imagined, madness or illumination. Her world is so self-contained that the voyage inward brings to Jackie the most essential truths; these she conveys to readers. In that self-absorbed state, without any external interference, Jackie is more purely herself in mind and spirit than most people are ever privileged to beand that gives her the strength to meet her fate (rescue or not) with calm and even hope. The power of Sebestyen's writing lies in the simplicity with which she delineates the intellectual and emotional processes of a girl in a box. The author has put herself in that box; this is a tightly focused writing exercise that is also a brilliant piece of suspense. Readers will come forth deeply stirred by their thought-provoking and devastating stay. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Sebestyen, Ouida
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ISBN 10: 0553282611 ISBN 13: 9780553282610
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