During our SSR (silent, sustained reading) time, you can watch the hungry faces of my student readers as they devour each chapter in the Janie saga! Of course, they aren't the only ones! I am also lapping up the chapters and finding that I like the flavor of each book in the series, which continues to unfold the mystery of Janie's life and her family.
I finished The Voice on the Radio the other day and, so far, it is my favorite. There's a great deal of build up to suspense in this one. The story line in this one is like a train wreck you know is going to happen, you just don't know when and where it's going to happen. And when it does, you wonder who is going to be pulled from the wreckage and survive the emotional crash of Janie's life.
While I realize this is a middle school book, it really is a good ride. The books aren't very long, but they are interesting. I like how each book is a different part of Janie's life, but they all tie back to what happened with the milk carton. Her life has spun out of control in a direction she doesn't understand. She struggles to gain her footing and continue with her life, but life keeps kicking her in the shins. While she struggles, she doesn't even realize what incredible strength she has inside of her.
I have also noticed that as the books go on, Janie gains wisdom and insights into life she didn't have before. She's learning and growing as a character. As an adult, it makes you reflect on those choices you made when you were young, and you remember how sometimes we all have to learn things the hard way. For young adults, I think it's a good example of how to be strong and resilient, no matter what life throws at you. As Janie learns, I'm finding more and more good quotes to tab about life and love and trust.
I have started reading the fourth book, What Janie Found, and - once again - Cooney is giving us another phase in Janie's life. More secrets are revealed. Janie has some tough decisions to make. Will she make the right ones? Like most of us, I'm sure she'll make some mistakes along the way, but I like this girl. I believe in her strength. Every time she gets knocked down, I'm cheering her on to get back up, brush herself off, and encouraging her to make her life what she wants it to be.
Now that I've caught you all up, I'm going to go visit Janie for awhile and see how she's doing. :)