The Voice on the Radio
The kidnapping is long past. Janie Johnson can never change what happened to her or to the families that love her. But finally life seems to be settling down for the Springs and the Johnsons. The worst part of this new life for Janie is that Reeve Shields is away at college. Janie misses him terribly, no matter how many e-mails they send each other. As for Reeve, he's finding life at college overwhelming. He goes to work at the school radio station, hoping a late-night gig will give him what he craves--popularity and fame. Reeve gets his chance to be the voice on the radio, and when he tells the most fascinating story he knows, his show becomes a sensation. Reeve is so sure that Janie will never discover what's making his broadcast such a hit that he doesn't stop himself. But what will be the price for Janie? As Janie knew, the facts about the little girl on the milk carton had to be uncovered, no matter how much pain they caused. Now the truth about what Reeve is doing must come out. Whose voice will help Janie when she must face not only her incredible past, but also her unknown future? With the page-turning suspense that madeThe Face on the Milk CartonandWhatever Happened to Janie?best-sellers, Caroline B. Cooney once again explores the meaning of betrayal, the power of words, and the intensity of love.
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In order to really enjoy this story, you need to have some background information. This novel is the third book in the Janie Johnson series by Caroline B. Cooney. The next two annotations will fill you in on what happened during the first two books.
The Face on the Milk Carton is the first book in the series. In this book, high school student Janie Johnson sees her portrait on the back of a milk carton, along with the information that she is a missing child. She confronts Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, who have raised her as her parents, and discovers that they are not her real parents after all. The reader learns that Janie's real name is Jennie Spring. She was kidnapped as a child by a woman named Hannah, the real daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Because the Johnsons truly believed that Janie was their granddaughter, they kept Janie and raised her as their own child because Hannah was not fit to be a mother. (This annotation contains an image)
Whatever Happened to Janie? is the second book in the series. In this book, Janie connects with her birth family, the Springs. However, she decides that she would rather live with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, whom she has been raised by. She feels more like the Johnsons are her parents because she has spent her entire life with them. (This annotation contains an image)
The first two paragraphs show an email correspondence between Janie and her boyfriend Reeve. What is NOT something that is revealed about these two characters during this dialogue?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently.
Can you find the example of hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration, in the highlighted text? The author uses hyperbole to show you how much Reeve hates being treated like a baby by Derek.
What does the hyperbole in the highlighted text indicate?
Remember that Janie Johnson only recently found out that she was born Jennie Spring. Her identity is an important topic in the series.
As it is used here, it refers to
This is a tense scene for Reeve. He is feeling panicked and embarrassed. Watch the video below to learn more about tension in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Reeve begin telling listeners Janie's story?
Jodie Spring is Janie's biological sister.
Stephen is Jodie's older brother. He left because he went away to college.
What is being personified (given human characteristics) in the highlighted text?
By know you have probably realized that this novel is written from the third person point of view. Did you know that there is more than one type of third person point of view? Click the link below to learn more. It will help you answer a question soon. (This annotation contains a link)
Consider the audience's point of view and how it differs from the point of view of any one character. Which option best describes the narration of this story?
Notice the italicized text interspersed among the other sections of this chapter. The italicized text represents Reeve's monologue, or speech, over the radio.
What trait of Brian might this detail reveal? What does this detail reveal about his relationship with his twin Brendan?
As you continue to read this story, contemplate any themes that may be emerging. The video below can help you out. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Reeve feel about the possibility that Janie may hear the broadcast?
Watch the first 30 seconds of the video below. You do not need to view the whole thing, but you should know the difference between internal conflict and external conflict. Think about what kind of conflict Reeve is struggling with. (This annotation contains a video)
Reeve is conflicted inside: is it fair for him to publicly discuss Janie's private problems? Because this story is told from a(n) ______ point of view, the reader is able to see Reeve's _____ conflict.
Notice the author's use of personification in this sentence. Isn't this a lot more interesting than if the narrator had simply said "sometimes doorways were too short for Stephen"? Great writing often uses a lot of figurative language like personification.
Which of the following options describes one of the main themes that appears to be emerging in this story?
You can infer that Reeve is speaking over the radio again. The reader must make inferences when the narrator does not state something directly. View the video below to review the concept of making inferences. (This annotation contains a video)
Does your school ever hold special events like this? Some schools host an event such as a "Pajama Day" or a "Tacky Day" to encourage students to wear something silly and have a little fun.
What aspect of the highlighted text tells you that the narrator is omniscient?
What type of conflict is this incident? Internal or external?
Identify the simile in the highlighted text. What two things are being compared? What does the comparison tell the reader?
Watch the following video about tone and mood. Think about how words such as "trashed" contribute to the narrator's tone. Does the narrator seem to be leading you to condemn or approve of Reeve's actions? (This annotation contains a video)
How does the highlighted text relate to a main theme in the story?
Think about how the author is building up suspense it the story. Do you believe that Reeve's actions will have a positive outcome or a negative one?
A religious cult is a type of organization that can be very dangerous. A cult is NOT the same thing as a religion, such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. Members of cults usually have very different beliefs than members of mainstream religions. Often, cults act as businesses which make money for their leaders. Sometimes, cults encourage members to harm themselves or others.
What does a "janie" refer to in this context?
Do you believe that Reeve's radio monologues have had the same effect that he wanted them to? Does he seem happy, upset, or just confused to you?
What do the highlighted lines reveal about Reeve?
Because the narrator is omniscient, the reader knows more than any individual character does. Watch the video below to find out how this is related to dramatic irony. Make sure than you understand what dramatic irony is before you answer the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Consider the point of view of this story and the video you just watched about dramatic irony. Which of the following options describes an example of dramatic irony in this story?
Consider Reeve's motivations. Why do you think Reeve has really come to visit Janie? Did he just miss her or is something more going on here?
Some of Reeve's actions so far in the story have been questionable. It looks like he has finally done something which indicates that he has Janie's best interests at heart.
How does Mrs. Spring react when her daughter Jodie asks to drive up to Boston? What has happened in Mrs. Spring's life that most likely influences her to react this way?
The author uses a metaphor here to include a sensory detail. Which of your senses does this detail appeal to? Click the link below to review sensory details in literature. (This annotation contains a link)
So far, difficult family relations have been a major theme emerging in the story. Which of the following options expresses another theme which is emerging, especially through Reeve's thoughts and actions?
Reeve has decided to stop doing "janies" over the radio. However, the narrator continues to mention these talks and Reeve's passion for doing them. Could the narrator be foreshadowing more "janies" to come? Watch the video below to review foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
It looks like you were right if you suspected that this decision was being foreshadowed!
Which option best describes the tone Jodie uses here when speaking to Sarah-Charlotte?
The highlighted text is another example of irony in the story. What does the reader know about Janie's "perfect" boyfriend that Janie and Jodie do not know?
How do Mr. and Mrs. Johnson treat Jodie and Brian? Use examples from the text to support your answer. What type of people do Mr. and Mrs. Johnson seem to be overall?
Consider what you know at this point in the story that Reeve is not yet aware of. Does this situation help to create some suspense? Could Reeve get himself into some trouble soon?
At the end of the second book in the series, Whatever Happened to Janie?, Jodie and her oldest brother went to New York to search for Hannah and bring her to justice. They were unable to find their sister's kidnapper in the big city and returned home.
Jodie's admission that she once wanted to murder Janie helps to highlight the _____ between the two girls.
So far, family relationships and making the right choices have been emerging as themes in the book. Could growing up be a third theme in this story? This video may help you contemplate. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted line propels the action in the story by creating a ______.
Notice the tension at this point in the story and how it creates suspense. Right now, the story is at the "rising action" point of the plot diagram, building up to a climax. (This annotation contains an image)
Explain what embellish means in this context. How is Reeve embellishing his stories and what does this habit say about him? Remember that you can look up embellish using the Define feature if you need help.
Can you make a prediction about what will happen between Reeve and Janie next? Which of these two characters do you feel more sympathetic towards?
Hannah's phone call creates ____ at the end of the chapter.
You have already learned about dramatic irony while reading this novel. Another type of irony is situational irony, when the opposite of what you expect occurs. Watch the video below to learn about situational irony. Isn't it ironic that during Reeve's broadcast about a kidnapper, the actual kidnapper is the person to call in? (This annotation contains a video)
This metaphor compares ____ to ____.
What type of person is Jodie? Notice Jodie's actions towards her sister here. Even though Jodie feels betrayed by Janie because she hurt the Springs, Jodie still feels very sisterly towards her. Direct characterization is when an author tells the reader outright about a character's attributes. "She is a kind and forgiving person" would be an example of direct characterization. Indirect characterization occurs when an author gives the reader clues about a character's attributes but does not state them outright. Jodie's caring actions are an example of indirect characterization.
How does Reeve feel about his decision to do another "janie"?
Consider the metaphor here. What two things are being compared by Jodie?
Which event would be least important to include in a summary of this story so far?
"Pixie" is another term for a fairy. Consider what the narrator is saying about Jodie's demeanor in the highlighted sentence.
Which phrase does not help contribute to the tense mood of this scene?
Can you identify with Reeve a little? Have you ever done something that seemed okay at first, but then began to get out of control?
Barbie dolls have been mentioned at other times throughout the text. Barbie can be considered a symbol for Janie. Janie feels that she is manipulated like someone's doll; she has no control of what is going on around her. Click on the link below to learn about symbolism, how symbols are used in literature. (This annotation contains a link)
The term "rape" is being used as a _____ here.
Which of the following quotes from the highlighted paragraph is an example of personification?
Consider what Janie is thinking about Reeve's life and personality. How does this relate to the theme of making the right choices? Do some people have a harder time making responsible decisions because of their life experiences?
Also notice how the themes of making the right choices and growing up are interwoven in the story. Do people usually make better decisions as they mature?
Use your inferencing skills. What is Reeve most likely going to do with the tapes of the "janies"?
Before answering the next question, consider the following stanza from the poem When Time Runs Out: When time runs out and your heart needs to say so much more; But the heart that should hear it is gone now forever; And you are left with a raw nagging sore..." (author unknown) (This annotation contains an image)
Despite using a different _____ than the book, the poem relates to Reeve's situation because both of the texts explore ____.
Remember that Brian is a history enthusiast, so it makes sense that he makes this suggestion. You can see a modern photograph of the Old State House below. Keep in mind that this building's surroundings would have looked a LOT different when the Declaration of Independence was signed! (This annotation contains an image)
Remember that Barbie is being used as a symbol throughout the the text. Which character does Barbie represent and why?
Consider the highlighted line. A best friend who knows nothing is the opposite of what one would typically expect. For that reason, the line adds ____ to the story.
The highlighted line contains an allusion to some famous authors. Click the link below to learn more about allusions and how they are used in literature. (This annotation contains a link)
More allusions are being made. This time, there is an allusion to a historical figure as well as an allusion to a popular horror book. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this line reveal about Janie?
Consider: which theme do Janie's thoughts here relate to? An author addresses his or her themes several times during the course of a novel because themes are so central to stories.
Why does Brian have this thought?
Have you ever had a secret which you felt that you had to keep to yourself, even though it was hurting you? It is usually better to talk to someone than to try to deal with a huge problem by yourself. Do you think that Jodie and her brother will be able to keep their secret for much longer?
Jodie and Janie discuss whether Reeve is "a rattlesnake or a turkey." What do these metaphors most likely mean? What are the girls trying to decide about Reeve?
Consider how the weather relates to the mood of the scene.
Lately most of the people that Reeve knows, including the Springs and his coworkers,
Can you relate to Reeve? Have you ever struggled to make an ethical decision? Consider what you would do if you were in his place.
A shock jock is a radio deejay who makes offensive or controversial statements in order to gain attention from listeners.
List at least two instances in the text in which other people try to persuade Reeve to make a potentially harmful decision.
What does Janie's behavior foreshadow? Do you think she will be receptive to Reeve or do you think this situation will end badly?
Which selection of words contribute to the hostile mood of the scene, enhancing the conflict between Reeve and Janie?
Click the link below to review antagonists in literature. While Reeve clearly has some antagonistic qualities, does the author make it possible for you to sympathize with him as well? (This annotation contains a link)
What does Reeve mean by this?
Stephen associates the old house with painful memories. Sometimes, an object or a place can become a symbol in someone's real life, just like in literature. Is there an object or place in your life that you associate with negativity and bad feelings? Is there an object or a place in your life which gives you joyful thoughts?
During the first book in the series, The Face on the Milk Carton, the reader learns that Reeve's sister Lizzie is a lawyer. Lizzie helped Janie make some decisions when the kidnapping was first discovered.
Which central theme does this moment best relate to?
The highlighted text is a wonderful example of imagery. The video below will explain this literary device to you. Notice other examples of imagery as you continue to read. (This annotation contains a video)
Consider the irony in this situation. What does the reader know about Reeve's trustworthiness that Lizzie does not?
Janie is learning a powerful lesson about growing up: in order to do so, you must keep moving ahead. Are there any harmful people or bad situations that you have decided to leave in the past?
Which option best describes what Mrs. Spring wants Janie to learn from her experience with Reeve?
What a powerful statement! Consider how it relates to the main themes in the novel and ties them together. What does this statement have to do with family, making the right decisions, and growing up?
What is the meaning of the highlighted statement?
Do you think Janie will find forgiveness in her heart for Reeve? What do you think is the right choice?