Cover image for Whatever happened to Janie?
Whatever happened to Janie?
Cooney, Caroline B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, [1994]

Physical Description:
199 pages ; 18 cm.
The members of two families have their lives disrupted when a teenage girl who had been kidnapped twelve years earlier discovers that the people who raised her are not her biological parents. Sequel to "The Face on the Milk Carton."
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Delacorte Press, 1993.
Reading Level:

720 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.7 7.0 9996.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.3 12 Quiz: 12433 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Popular Materials-Reading List
Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

On Order



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?

Author Notes

Caroline Cooney was born in 1947 in Geneva, New York. She studied music, art, and English at various colleges, but never graduated. She began writing while in college. Her young adult books include The Face on the Milk Carton, Whatever Happened to Janie?, The Voice on the Radio, What Janie Found, No Such Person, and the Cheerleaders Series. She received an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults for Driver's Ed and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers for Twenty Pageants Later. Two of her titles, The Rear View Mirror and The Face on the Milk Cartoon, were made into television movies.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-11. In a gripping sequel to The Face on the Milk Carton (1990), Janie is a typical 15-year-old, except that she has two families. After discovering that she is the missing face on a milk carton, Janie returns to her birth family, which has been searching for her since her kidnapping at age three. This unusual story presents the struggles of Janie, her siblings, and both sets of parents in an engrossing fashion. Janie promises she will have no contact with her adoptive family for three months, but everyone underestimates how difficult this will be. Which woman deserves the title and affection reserved for "Mom"? What name does she write on her papers at school--Janie Johnson or Jennie Spring? The gut-wrenching circumstances in which the characters find themselves are honestly conveyed, and while most YAs won't be able to identify with the situation, all readers will be able to recognize the powerful emotions of love, hate, and anger that Cooney sensitively portrays. ~--Susan ~DeRonne

Publisher's Weekly Review

The sequel to The Face on the Milk Carton explores the trauma of a kidnapped adopted child returned to her birth parents. ``The power and nature of love is wrenchingly illustrated,'' wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)q (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-12-Whatever Happened to Janie? (Delacorte, 1993) is the sequel to Caroline B. Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton (Dell, 1991; SLJ Sept. 1998, p. 152), the fascinating story of a teenage girl who recognizes her own photo as a missing child on a school milk carton. In this continuation, the two families involved face the repercussions as Janie struggles with starting life all over again. Alyssa Bresnahan, a veteran Recorded Books narrator, speaks with a clear, even, well-paced voice that will engage the intended audience. Most public and high school libraries with books-on-tape collections will want to add this quality production.-Kathy Husband, Jefferson County Public Library, Golden, CO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.