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GIRL, STOLEN by April Henry

GIRL, STOLEN

By April Henry

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9005-5
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

This can't-put-it-down crime thriller unfolds through the viewpoints of both victim and criminal. Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, blinded in an accident that killed her mother three years earlier, has pneumonia. As she sleeps in the back of her stepmother's car, Griffin steals it, inadvertently kidnapping her. Once Griffin's car-thief father learns she's wealthy, he decides to demand ransom. When the hapless Griffin realizes his dad and cronies will kill the girl to protect their identities, he tries to protect her. Clearly, the author did extensive research on blindness and its challenges. Her realistic depiction of the coping strategies and the strengths developed by the blind greatly enhances the novel, lifting it above the level of a mere escapist thriller. Characterizations make an impact, with both Cheyenne and Griffin becoming quite appealing; much suspense revolves around Griffin's divided loyalties. The slightly ambiguous ending highlights Cheyenne's ambivalent feelings toward Griffin. Although Cheyenne's multiple problems might feel overdone in less skilled hands, Henry handles them deftly and makes her choices work. Constantly interesting and suspenseful. (Thriller. 12 & up)