The Book vs the Movie: The Face on the Milk Carton



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The Face on the Milk Carton

Book written by Caroline B. Cooney, 1990

Movie directed by Waris Hussein, 1995

Synopsis from

The face on the milk carton looks like an ordinary little girl: hair in tight pigtails, a dress with a narrow white collar, a three-year-old who was kidnapped more than twelve years ago from a shopping mall in New Jersey.

As fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson stares at the milk carton, she feels overcome with shock. She knows that little girl is she. But how could it be true?

Janie can’t believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, until she begins to piece together clues that don’t make sense. Why are there no pictures of Janie before she was four? Her parents have always said they didn’t have a camera. Now that explanation sounds feeble. Something is terribly wrong, and Janie is afraid to find out what happened more than twelve years ago.

In this gripping page-turner, the reader will unravel — as Janie does — the twisted events that changed the lives of two families forever.



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Which I Viewed First: The book.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The book.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 3 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: More character development.

Things the Movie Did Better: Was neat to see the story in action.

Verdict?: The book.

Why?: The character development was better in the book. Janie came across as more complicated and easier to sympathize with where in the movie she seemed like more of a brat. I also felt that the parents were less likable in the movie as well. Plus some of the characters–like the twins–were omitted and that also seemed to take away from the story.

Should the movie be re-made?: Maybe.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!



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