45 pages 1 hour read

Peg Kehret


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2004

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Important Quotes

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“The final bell rang at two thirty-six. Bonnie could never figure out why it wasn’t two-thirty or two forty-five. An example of adults setting rules that don’t make sense.”

(Chapter 4, Page 25)

Bonnie’s comment that rules sometimes don’t make sense alludes to the consensus that children often don’t understand the reasons behind the rules they’re taught until they’ve matured and gained more life experience. The idea of adults’ information not always making sense to children sets the stage for why Matt might follow a stranger, who also happens to be his father, into his car despite being taught to do the opposite his entire life.

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“Bonnie could easily have disputed each of Mr. Quinn’s theories. Matt never got in trouble at school, and he wasn’t allowed to go anywhere with a friend unless Mom had arranged it. Certainly he wouldn’t have boarded the wrong bus; they had ridden bus number two all year. She didn’t argue with the principal, though. It was Mr. Quinn’s first year at this school, so he didn’t know Bonnie. She knew he was only trying to make everyone feel more optimistic.”

(Chapter 4, Page 28)

As much as Bonnie knows her brother, she is certain he could not have done the things he truly did that lead to his abduction. In contrast, Mr. Quinn is a new principal who doesn’t know Bonnie or her brother well, so his theories seem outlandish and unlikely to her. Though her perspective is biased, this moment demonstrates that there are disadvantages to both their perspectives: Bonnie’s belief that she knows Matt well blinds her to certain possibilities (such as Matt’s leaving with a stranger) while Mr. Quinn’s lack of knowledge about Matt blinds him to potential leads.

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“Even worse, Celia always tried to change Denny’s lifestyle. Once she had dragged him to a doctor, and now she nagged him constantly to take the medication the doctor had prescribed. She didn’t know the doctor had also recommended Denny start counseling and take an anger-management class. Well, forget that. Denny didn’t need some stuffed shirt with a string of medical degrees messing with his head. He’d thrown the pills away and refused to see the doctor again.”

(Chapter 5, Page 35)

From early on, Denny’s diagnosed personality issues (anger management problems and untreated antisocial personality disorder) present an immediate danger to Matt. Though his family and his physician have help him become better, Denny refuses to take prescribed medication or attend counseling.