aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

BCCB says Girl, Stolen is “impeccable” and “powerfully realistic and compelling"

Okay, I'll admit I have bragged on Girl, Stolen before.

But this book nearly didn't see the light of day, at least not the way it's currently configured. I was told by someone I thought was knowledgable that books about kidnapped blind girls were "overdone." And that I should rewrite the whole thing from the guy - Griffin's - POV. And I almost listened!.

But then I looked deep inside myself and said, "No." Said, "This books feels right the way it is." And found an editor who agreed.

Anyway, here's what BCCB (Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books) thinks: "Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, waiting in the car outside the pharmacy, has pneumonia, and she just wants her stepmother to come out with her meds and drive her home. Unfortunately, Griffin, who gets in the car thinks he is stealing an unattended vehicle, doesn't see the passenger curled up in the back seat until it is too late. The two teens, both shocked at the turn of events, end up at Griffin's home, where his father, upon realizing that Cheyenne is the daughter of an extraordinarily wealthy man, turns this error into a ransom opportunity. Cheyenne, slowed by her illness, is nevertheless constantly calculating ways she can get Griffin, the only decent person out in the wilderness where she is being kept, on her side in order to escape from a situation that is unlikely to end well. Henry ably presents Cheyenne's blindness as an aspect that is no more relevant than, for example, her pneumonia as an obstacle in her current horrific situation. She willingly shares details of her blindness with Griffin, first as a manipulation tool and then as part of the shaky bond they form, but otherwise, she simply focuses on escape, using her wits, daring, and strong will to get her home. The pace is impeccable, becoming rapidly more frantic as Cheyenne realizes her chances for success are dwindling. In addition, the premise itself is powerfully realistic and compelling, with one small incident (Griffin's jumping into a car that had the keys in the ignition) snowballing into a nightmare series of events that will change everyone. Readers will likely recognize such pivotal—but hopefully far less dramatic—moments in their own lives."

Moral of the story: if it feels wrong, maybe it is. Or conversely: if it feels right, then maybe it is.

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