Three Days by Donna Jo Napoli

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What if you were riding along a highway at night in a foreign country with your father, and he suffered a heart attack? What if no one stopped as you desperately tried to flag down help? And what if, instead of going to the police, the two men in the car that finally picked you up kept on driving?

These are the happenings that open Donna Jo Napoli's thrilling new book. Taking us to present-day Italy, she tells the story of eleven-year-old Jackie from Minnesota. After bringing the girl to a house in remote hilly country, the men disappear, and Jackie is left alone with a lovely woman who reminds her a little of her own mother back in the U.S. Over the three days the book takes place, Jackie realizes that something terrible has happened to these three people, and she must find out what, because that holds the key to her release.

Alternating terse, compelling prose to track the action with sensual descriptions of the Italian scenes, the award-winning novelist brings to life the world in which Jackie finds herself for three days. During their short time together, she comes to understand that although she and the woman, Claudia, share no language, what they do share is a deep humanity.

About Donna Jo Napoli

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Donna Jo Napoli was born in 1948. She has earned three degrees from Harvard University: a B.A. in Mathematics, an M.A. in Italian Literature, and a Ph.D. in General and Romance Linguistics. She has taught on the university level since 1970, is widely published in scholarly journals and has received numerous grants and fellowships in the area of linguistics. She teaches linguistics and was chair of the linguistics program at Swarthmore College. She is a published poet and coeditor of four poetry volumes. Napoli was introduced to Dutton by Lloyd Alexander. Dutton promptly published her first middle grade novel, Soccer Shock, in 1991 to critical and popular acclaim. In 1993, Napoli's versatility became evident with the publication of The Prince of the Pond which won the New Jersey Reading Association's M. Jerry Weiss Book Award in 1997. Napoli has also won a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly Choice of the Years Best books for her novel Zel. Napoli's Stones in Water won the Golden Kite Award in 1997. She has written many young adult novels including The Wager in 2010.
Published September 10, 2001 by Dutton Juvenile. 151 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Jackie’s situation is highly compelling, but the narrative motor that drives it is just as highly contrived: it turns out that Claudia has recently lost her own daughter, and the two men, her father and brother, have decided to kidnap Jackie as a replacement.

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