Whatever Happened to Janie?
No one ever paid attention to the faces of missing children on milk cartons. But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the little girl who had been taken twelve years ago, she recognized that little girl--it was herself. The mystery of the kidnapping is unraveled, but the nightmare is not over. The Spring family wants justice, but who is to blame? It's difficult to figure out what's best for everyone. Janie Johnson or Janie Spring? There's enough love for everyone, but how can the two separate families live happily ever after?
The curriculet is being added to your library
Before you begin reading, it is important that you know that this novel is the second book in the Janie Johnson series by Caroline B. Cooney. The first book is titled The Face on the Milk Carton. (This annotation contains an image)
Are you a little confused after reading this page? You might be if you did not read the first book. In The Face on the Milk Carton, Janie Johnson finds out that her real name is Jennie Spring. She was kidnapped from the Springs when she was three and she was raised believing that the Johnsons were her real parents. In this book, she will be taken from the Johnsons and reunited with the Spring family.
How does Janie's kidnapping affect the way that Mr. Spring (Dad) treats his other two children, Stephen and Jodie?
Janie's original name was Jennie. After her kidnapping, her new "family" renamed her Janie. For the purpose of simplicity, we will continue to refer to her as Janie in questions and annotations.
How do Jodie and Stephen feel when their parents pray for their lost sister and decide to put the kidnapping behind them?
The highlighted lines show what the family has DECIDED to believe about Janie. At this point in the story, they do not really know what has happened to her. They just want to move on and forget their grief.
In the highlighted line, panic is compared to burning acid. This comparison is a simile because it uses the word "like." Please watch the video below to learn the difference between similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
At the end of the first book, The Face on the Milk Carton, Janie finds out that she was reported missing as a child. She calls the Springs and lets them know that she is alive and well.
What causes Mom and Dad to respond with relief and joy?
Did you know that you can easily look up the definition of any word in this book? Select the word that you need help with. Then, choose the "Define" option that appears. Try this with any difficult words you see.
Watch this video to learn about making inferences when reading. After reading the highlighted paragraph you can make an inference, or educated guess, that Jodie feels a little guilty about how she treated her sister. (This annotation contains a video)
How do Mom and Jodie expect Janie to feel when she comes to their home?
Remember that Miranda Johnson is not Janie's real mother. However, she raised Janie as her own child. Mrs. Johnson kidnapped Janie from the Springs without realizing that she was doing so. She honestly believed that Janie was her granddaughter. Instead of ever explaining their true relationship, Mrs. Johnson raised Janie to believe that she was her daughter. Hannah is the name of an actual daughter that Mrs. Johnson lost. Mrs. Johnson thought that Janie was Hannah's child.
How is Janie feeling about her decision to contact her real parents? Explain your answer.
Watch the video below to learn more about setting. Consider the setting of this story in preparation to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following options explains how the setting changes between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 as the story moves forwards?
Have you noticed that there has been a LOT of discussion about names so far in the story? Names are an important topic in the novel because they help to develop the theme, or main idea, or identity. Watch the video below to learn more about themes. Any book you read will have at least one theme, and sometimes several. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what you have read so far, what inference can you make about the relationship between Reeve and Janie?
Click the link below and read about the difference between first person point of view and third person point of view. Knowing the difference between these two will help you answer the next question. (This annotation contains a link)
Consider what you just read about point of view. Is this story written in first person or third person? Explain how you chose your answer.
You probably know by now that this story is written from the third person point of view. Notice that although the point of view remains the same, the perspective changes. Sometimes, you have insight into Stephen's thoughts. Other times, you have insight into the thoughts of Janie, Reeve, or another character. This type of third person writing can be considered omniscient. Omniscient means that the narrator is "all-knowing" since the narrator is not limited to the thoughts of only one character.
How would the story be different if it were written in first person from Janie's point of view?
As you continue to read, you see more examples of how Janie's disappearance has negatively impacted Stephen. Can you understand some of his frustration, or do you think that his emotions are not justified?
Take a look at the highlighted line. What does a "cover-up smile" mean in this context?
Is this a simile or a metaphor? Think back to the video you watched earlier.
"But she hovered on the edge of the pool" is a _____, comparing _____ to a pool.
Which line in this chapter helps to develop the central theme of identity?
This is an example of hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration used to make a point. You have probably heard some other examples of hyperbole before, like "he was as big as a house," or, "she was so hungry she could eat a horse." These statements are meant to emphasize something, but they are not meant to be taken literally.
Here is another example of hyperbole. Did you notice it on your own?
At this point, the author has given you insight into how Jodie feels about Janie coming to stay with the Springs and insight into how Janie feels about the situation. Compare the two view points. How is Janie feeling about the situation in comparison with how Jodie is feeling? Make sure to discuss both view points.
The protagonist is the main character in a story. This character is usually the "good guy" and the plot revolves around him or her. For example, Harry Potter is the protagonist in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Greg is the protagonist in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney. Keep the idea of a protagonist in mind as you read this story.
_____ is the protagonist of this story.
In the highlighted sentence, the art projects are being personified. Watch this video to learn more about what personification is and how authors use it. (This annotation contains a video)
Janie's assignment to chorus class helps to develop the recurring idea that
How does the highlighted text help to repeat the theme of identity?
When Janie learns about the assembly from her classmate, her internal response is to feel
Whose point of view does the highlighted text focus on? How do you know?
Jodie is beginning to show signs of being a dynamic character because she is going through a major change in the way she feels about the arrival of her sister. Watch the video below about static and dynamic characters and think about which characters may be static and which characters may be dynamic as you continue to read. (This annotation contains a video)
It is important that you make a connection here. Remember that Mrs. Johnson lost a daughter named Hannah and she believed that Janie was Hannah's daughter. Now it should make more sense how Mrs. Johnson could have accidentally kidnapped Janie. Mrs. Johnson's daughter, Hannah, was the person who actually took Janie from the shopping center. Later, Hannah lied to Mrs. Johnson about who the child was.
You can make some inferences about the Johnsons as you read the story. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson lost their only child, Hannah. Because of this, they treasured their grandchild, Janie. Although Janie was not raised with any siblings, it is clear that she did not have a boring childhood. It seems like the Johnsons made a special effort to take her to fun, education places such as theaters and museums.
What is the main purpose of the highlighted sentence?
Wow! Do you think Nicole realizes that she is being extremely rude and insensitive?
This video will teach you about tone and mood. Try to consider the author's tone and the mood of each scene as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Think back to the video you just watched about tone and mood and consider the highlighted dialogue between the characters. Which option best describes the tone used by the boys in this scene?
In literature, a conflict is an opposing force or issue faced by a character. What conflict is Janie facing now? (This annotation contains an image)
There are two main types of conflict in a story. An external conflict is a conflict which can be seen by characters in a story. It might be a tornado, a fight between two people, or a car accident. An internal conflict is a problem that occurs inside of a character's mind. (This annotation contains an image)
What conflict is Janie responding to in this scene? Is it an internal or an external conflict? Explain.
Acidly is used to describe
In your opinion, is Janie being cruel? Who do you feel more sympathetic towards, Jodie or Janie?
Why does Janie touch Brian?
This story takes place in the present day and consists of events which could really happen. It is an example of realistic fiction. Watch the video below to learn more about the realistic fiction genre. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the italicized text represent?
This marks a change in Janie. Up until this point, she has had difficulty adjusting, but has tried to be kind to the Spring family.
Do you know how to write a good summary of a story? The video below may come in handy very soon. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following details would be most important to include in a summary of this book?
What details in the story tell you that Janie is gradually getting used to the Spring family?
What is the simile in the highlighted text? What does the author mean by the simile?
This is a great example of EXTERNAL conflict!
Which word does NOT contribute to the violent mood of this scene?
Reeve is 18, three years older than Janie.
Explain how the Johnsons have reacted to Janie's move to New Jersey. Why are they acting this way?
The highlighted text is an example of foreshadowing. The video below will teach you more about this literary device. Pay attention so that you will be able to identify foreshadowing when you come across it in the future. (This annotation contains a video)
Decades ago, photographs of missing children were printed on milk cartons in the hope that someone would recognize them and know their whereabouts. Now, more effective technological methods have been put in place to find missing children. AMBER Alerts are electronic messages which are sent out to the public when a child is reported missing or kidnapped. You can see an AMBER Alert message below. (This annotation contains an image)
What element does the highlighted text add to the story?
As a teenage boy, Reeve has recently gone through puberty. He is beginning to grow a beard and has feelings about being with another person intimately. Both girls and boys go through physical and mental changes as they become adults. It might be a little embarrassing, but puberty happens to everyone!
Idioms are another type of figurative language. They mean something totally different than what they literally state. "Break the ice" means to allow conversation or the formation of a relationship. Can you think of any other idioms? (This annotation contains an image)
Which word best describes the mood of the current scene?
Before the discovery of Janie's true identity, she was believed to be 16.
You can safely assume that this is another example of hyperbole!
Although the boys are in the same grade, Reeve has had more ____ than Stephen.
The same letter or sound at the beginning of a group of words is a literary device called alliteration. The highlighted text is an example. Another example is "Peter picked peppers." Try to think of an example of alliteration on your own!
Which sentence does NOT support the idea that the narrator is omniscient, or has insight into every character's mind?
Did you recognize the foreshadowing in this paragraph? Who do you think is at the house and why?
The milk carton is mentioned several times during the story. It is a symbol which represents Janie's identity crisis as well as the turmoil that the Spring family has gone through for years. The video below will teach you about how authors use symbols. (This annotation contains a video)
The simile in this sentence shows that Janie finds the pillow to be
The highlighted line adds
Play the video below and learn about tension. The scene of the FBI interview in the living room is an example of a tense scene. What details in the scene make you feel tense or anxious? (This annotation contains a video)
This paragraph gives you a little information about how the Johnson's lost their daughter Hannah. Hannah became involved in a dangerous cult. The Johnsons even changed their original last name, which was Javensen, in order to hide from the cult. A cult is an extreme religious group that brainwashes members in a way that harms these followers mentally, and sometimes physically. Many cults encourage members to harm themselves and others in the name of religious dedication. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do the Johnsons kidnap Janie?
Why is the highlighted paragraph included?
If you would like to read some more interesting and true statistics about kidnapping, follow the link below to a fact page from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. (This annotation contains a link)
Follow the link below to read a non-fiction news story about Shawn Hornbeck, who was formerly a kidnapped child. It will help you answer a comparison question next. (This annotation contains a link)
Compare Janie's story in this fiction novel with the story of Shawn, whom you just read about in the article above. List at least one way in which their cases are different and at least on way in which their cases are similar.
What is Janie's motivation here? Who does she really want to protect?
Why does Janie want to prevent a trial for Hannah Javensen?
There are some similarities that you can draw between Hannah and Janie. Both girls left their parents and caused them great pain. Although both girls left willingly, there are other factors to consider in each case. Is a three year old able to make an informed decision? Is someone who is brainwashed by a cult able to make an informed decision?
In the highlighted dialogue Mrs. Spring speaks in a ____ tone regarding Hannah.
Why was Hannah attracted to the cult? What need did the organization fulfill for her?
Why is Janie angry?
What metaphor does the author use here to describe Janie's anger?
Identify the metaphor in the highlighted text. Who is being compared to what?
When reading the conversation between Sarah-Charlotte and Janie, it is easy to see how different Janie's life is from that of an ordinary teenager. Consider what is most important in each of the girls' lives at this point.
Janie has difficulty
Although the author does not directly state that the Johnson's are surprised at Janie's reaction, what clues in the story lead you to make this inference?
Why aren't the Springs celebrating a birthday today?
How is Janie's attitude towards Hannah changing?
How are these verses of song relevant to the main idea of the book?
You can look up this word yourself by using the Curriculet "Define" feature. The second definition which appears is the most relevant explanation of the word "grace" as it appears here.
You can listen to this song and read all of the lyrics by playing the video below. Think of how the song relates to Janie. Could this song be a SYMBOL for Janie's true identity? (This annotation contains a video)
What meaning does the phrase "I hate her" really carry in this line?
Quartering, or cutting someone into four pieces, was a real method of execution during the Middle Ages. Yikes! (This annotation contains an image)
Which phrase does NOT help to contribute to the serious, troubling mood of this scene?
Do you remember watching the video about static and dynamic characters? Jodie is an example of a dynamic character. At the beginning of the novel, her feelings towards her sister were loving and full of hope. Think about the internal change that Jodie has gone through. How is she feeling towards her sister now?
Jodie feels ____ by her sister at this point in the story.
Another theme in this story is being true to oneself. Have you ever heard the expression "you can't please everyone all the time"? The protagonist of the story is learning this lesson. Sometimes, you just have to do what is best for you, knowing that you cannot avoid leaving someone hurt, no matter what decision you make.
In your own words, explain the meaning of the highlighted text.
Think about all the details in the text that lead the reader to believe that Mrs. Spring truly loves Janie. Do you feel compassion for Mrs. Spring because of her difficult situation? Do you believe that she is doing the right thing?
Why does the protagonist leave behind her "Jennie things"?
There is some foreshadowing at this point in the text. What do you think will happen next?
Which word could be a synonym for, or word with the same meaning as finesse as it is used here? You can use the Define feature for help.
Does your town or city have a soup kitchen for the needy? If you have never heard of a soup kitchen before, the article linked below can explain the concept. (This annotation contains a link)
Explain in your own words what the Johnsons might be afraid of. You may be able to come up with more than one reason for their fear.
This is a pretty meaningful statement. It summarizes another main theme in the story. As you are reading, think about how the author weaves the themes of identity and family love together to create the story.
Read the poem below. Compare the speaker to Mrs. Spring. How are the women similar?Lullabyby Tara SimmsWhat I wouldn't giveTo have you in my arms again,Breathe your scentAnd snuggle close to you.I want to watch you sleep,See your chest rise and fallIn peaceful slumber.Let me lay my handOver your heart,So I canFeel it beatingBeneath my touch.I want to beLulled to sleepby its rhythm.
These two words are important. Why?
The highlighted text is an example of imagery. The description should help you to visualize the setting in your mind. Please watch the video below to gain an understanding of imagery. (This annotation contains a video)
At the beginning of this chapter, the author uses a lot of descriptive imagery. This imagery mostly helps to develop the _____ of the scene.
The author uses a simile in the highlighted sentence. What does she want you to realize about the people in the alley?
The author's description of the odor is an example of sensory detail. Follow the link below and read the definition of sensory detail. Which of your senses is the author focusing on here? (This annotation contains a link)
Which quote provides an example of sensory detail?
"Junkie" is a slang term for a drug user. Addiction to drugs is a sad and terrible disease which changes a person, inside and out. Below, you can see before and after photos of a woman addicted to a drug called crystal meth. (This annotation contains an image)
The narrator describes the people at the second soup kitchen as being "less derelict." In your own words, explain what this means.
Did you noticed that the characters are looking at a physical map instead of using their cell phones? This book was written in 1993, before smart phones.
This chapter ends in suspense. Follow the link below and read the definition of this literary device to gain a better understanding. Does the suspense make you want to keep reading? (This annotation contains a link)
Which of the following is NOT an option which Stephen has for finding Jodie?
The highlighted line contains an allusion to the Nancy Drew detective book series. An allusion is a reference to a famous place, event, or another work of literature. Authors usually do not explain allusions and expect readers to make connections on their own. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following terms would best describe the discovery of Hannah at this moment?
Are you surprised that the policeman would lie to Jodie and Stephen like he did?
Although Jodie and Stephen did not really find Hannah, what realization did they come to in New York?