Sunday, November 21, 2010

Girl, Stolen - April Henry

So my ARC of this great little book kept telling me I needed to read it, so I did.
And yes, this book was worth the read.  It's about a blind girl with pneumonia who accidentally gets kidnapped because a guy came to steal her stepmother's car, and oops!  Cheyenne was lying in the backseat!
This book reminded me of the Caroline B. Cooney books I read as a teenager, since it had the thriller angle, and a teenage girl caught in the middle of something bigger than her, and also it was very adept at telling me to read it.
The difference is that Cheyenne is a better heroine than anyone I ever read in Cooney's books.
For instance, Cheyenne is sick and blind, but she isn't stupid.  She figures out ways to improve her situation that a lot of 16-year-old girls wouldn't figure out.  I don't think Janie Johnson was anywhere near as clever.
I also liked that you could hear the 'bad guys' part of the story.  Griffin, the one who accidentally kidnapped her, is not just some hardened criminal stereotype.  He's an actual character with flaws and  conflicts and circumstances that made him who he is.  The other 'bad guys' weren't as complex, but Cheyenne had less contact with them, so it makes it harder to convey their full personalities.
This is the kind of book lots of reluctant readers would enjoy.  It's not too long, exciting things happen, and it has a few twists. It would be interesting for both girls and boys.
Once I finished, my thought was, 'Dogs are the greatest things ever! That's the moral of the story!' which of course makes me happy since I love dogs.  There were only two canine characters, but they were good.  And the book showed that even mistreated mean dogs can still be wonderful if you treat them right. It also illuminated how a guide dog can improve the life of a blind person.
In my opinion, a book that has thrills, smart heroines, and an inspiring message about dogs is definitely a good read.

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