The Missing Girl

The Missing Girl

by Norma Fox Mazer


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This is the story of five sisters—Beauty, Mim, Stevie, Fancy, and Autumn—and the man who watches men.

He could be any ordinary man . . . but he's not. Unaware of his scrutiny and his increasingly forbidden thoughts about them, the sisters go on with their ordinary lives—planning, arguing, laughing, and crying—as if nothing bad could ever breach the security of their family.

In alternating points of view, Norma Fox Mazer manages to interweave the lives of predator and prey in this unforgettable psychological thriller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064473651
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/19/2010
Pages: 284
Sales rank: 1,241,408
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Norma Fox Mazer, who lives in Montpelier, Vermont, has written nearly thirty novels and short-story collections for young adults. Her novels, including Missing Pieces, Out of Control, Girlhearts, and the Newbery Honor Book After the Rain, are critically acclaimed and popular among young readers for their portrayal of teens.

Read an Excerpt

The Missing Girl MOB

Chapter One

A Flock of Birds

If the man is lucky, in the morning on his way to work, he sees the girls. A flock of them, like birds. March is a dismal month, and the man's spirits often fall during this month of wet clouds and short gray days. He is hard put to remember that soon spring will return, but the sight of a cardinal or a chickadee...or the girls...reminds him of this. He is not one of those strange people who watch birds through binoculars, but the twittering and calls of even the jays, who are abominably noisy, is refreshing to him. As is the twittering and chatter of the girls.

One, two, three, four, five. Five of them. Five. A gratifying outcome of changing his route to work. Without being unduly self-congratulatory, because he is a modest man, he can take credit for this, as a result of his intelligence and careful planning. When his job description changed, he knew immediately that this meant he should no longer walk the same streets from his house to the bus stop to the store office. And though the route he had used for the past year was decidedly efficient, he changed it, proving once again that he was...he is...highly adaptable. It is the adaptable who survive in this beastly world.

It takes him seven minutes longer to walk the new way, but if one thing changes, then something else must change as well. This is a rule, the only way to maintain balance and order. The proof of the fundamental rightness of this rule is clear: changing the streets he walks to the bus stop each morning brought the girls into his life. An unexpected gift.

A reward, because he has been good for solong.

He has always liked schoolgirls, their open faces, their laughter, their innocence. Despite the fact that he has now seen these particular girls, his flock of birds, nearly a dozen times, not one of them has noticed him. Not one of them has flicked him so much as a glance. This is good. It's the way he wants it. He doesn't want to be noticed. It is safer to be, as he knows he is, unremarkable.

Slight of build, stoop shouldered, wearing a gray coat, a gray scarf around his neck against the cold, his wire-rimmed glasses set firmly on his nose, minding his own business, he could be any man, any respectable, ordinary man.

The Missing Girl MOB. Copyright © by Norma Mazer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Marion Dane Bauer

“The story is stunning! It is tender, touching, horrifying . . . and brilliantly executed. The characters leap off the page.”

Customer Reviews

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The Missing Girl 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very slow starting out and a bit boring. I did not like how the story was written. The author jumped around a lot. Not what I was expecting. I would not recommend.
Cassandra_JahLove More than 1 year ago
Though I did like the book, I felt like I didn't get to know the characters very well. There were just too many characters throughout the story, and I didn't feel very emotionally attached to the sister who got kidnapped, the book seemed to focus more on Beauty, the older sister, rather than Autumn, the kidnapped one. And then it seemed her escape happened too quickly, there was no building up to it, no suspense it just kind of happened. I did enjoy reading it though, and i still recommend it.
Mikayla Barrett More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I suggest that every one read it. A predator and prey. If you love the adventury escape kidnappy books this is a mix of all 3
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi. I thought this book was pretty good. Of course the beginning was a little boring but it got good. I wish the story would have had a better ending to it but overall it was good. The characters had so much personality. But overall, a must read =]
librariankristin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Five sisters, aged eleven to seventeen, are watched by a man who is tring to determine which of them to abduct. Told in six alternating perspectives (including that of the plotting abductor), this is an intriguing and disturbing psychological thriller from Newbery honor author Norma Fox Mazer.
connlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Someone is watching the Herbert sisters. The girls don¿t notice because they are busy with their own problems. . . self-esteem, boys, sexual orientation, their parents fighting, school work, etc. Each chapter is told from a different point of view. We see the watching man¿s thoughts become more disturbing. All the while the girls don¿t know what¿s in store for them. As usual, Mazer does an excellent job in getting you to turn the page. The short chapters make this a quick and exciting read. She writes the ¿sad character¿ so well. A good choice for any library collection geared towards junior high and high school students.
welkinscheek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beauty is the oldest of 5 sisters: Mim, Stevie (Faithful), Fancy, and Autum. She is responsible for bringing extra money in the house, looking after her sisters, and helping out her mother. Her father injured himself falling off a roof and hasn¿t been able to work, so money is tight. The story is told from the very different POVs and unique voices of Beauty, Fancy, Autum, and a creepy man who has changes his daily walking route so that he can see some or all of the girls on their way to school. He debates with himself over their positive and negative qualities, trying to pick a favorite. When Autum gets lost in a strange neighborhood and arrives and his house, he takes the opportunity to kidnap her and keep her as his ¿girlfriend.¿ The story is creepy and suspenseful without being too explicit, and the girl¿s narrative voices are authentic and charmingly awkward. The POV of Beauty and the man is 3rd person omnipotent, Fancy is first person, and Autum is second person. I was fascinated by these choices and their jarring though not unpleasant effect on me as the reader. Autum's second person brought me right into her experience with her kidnapper, and the effect is terrifying.
aangela1010 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty disturbing, but it was well written. I really like the different narrators; that added a lot of dimension to the story.
JuleeHuang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First, the book starts by introducing all the sisters (Autumn, Fancy, Beauty, Mim, and Stevie) and we see what happens in their everyday lives. Then it starts describing the man, a man that is watching them. The man thinks he is normal, and its alright to keep an eye on them, but soon he becomes out of control and obsessed with them.(rising action) One of the conflicts is when the parents decide that Stevie should go to live with her aunt because the family is low on money. Stevie is furious with their decision and the whole family is gloomy and depressed. The climax happens when the man decide to lure Autumn into his house, lock her in, and pretend that she is his daughter. Autumn waits for him to leave. Then she smashes the window and jumps out, rolling down the roof and crash-landing into the ravine in pain, but alive.(falling action) Later, a kind samaritan finds her and drives her home. Months later, the man is found dead in a river.(resolution)
mjsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mazer attacks the ticklish subject of pedophilia in a sensitive way. A man has been watching Autumn and her sisters without their knowing it. When she makes the mistake of trusting him, she is abducted to his house. Mazer keeps the drama from becoming too intense for young readers by sifting the point of view between the man, Autumn, and the other sisters.
ealaindraoi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very Creepy but Compelling!This book is told in alternating viewpoints of 5 sisters and one very creepy unnamed man. The man is watching the sisters and we ¿hear¿ his thoughts about each of them. The 5 sisters; Beauty, Mim, Stevie, Fancy and Autumn are completely unaware of the man watching them. The author pulls you right into the girl¿s lives and they each become real to you. That¿s why the man¿s stalking of them is increasing disturbing, because we care about these girls. I really wanted to shout at them to Be Careful! several times. A good quick thriller with no blood nor gore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read thr printed book and it was the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book isn’t as long , I feel like it's the right amount of pages for me. This book consists of short chapters, in each of the chapters we get to meet the different sisters. I love how in the book each of the sisters are very different, and we get an image of each of the sisters. You may be able to relate to any of the sisters in this book in a way. This book describes most of the characters with depht. However, I didn’t like how the book was unrealistic at times like when Autumn escaped. I would like if the moment of tension, which was when Autumn got kidnapped lasted longer, and that her escape were to be more complicated and more realistic. I would of also liked if there were a better, and longer ending. I would recommend this book to teens who love to read mystery, and drama. This book keeps you interested to see what's going to happen next. It gets you asking so many question what action is the creepy weird man going to take? Would the girls ever find out he is stalking to them?How? Would their parents ever change? How would Autumn escape?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is non reading when I first started to read this book it was somewhat boring. When I got deeper into the book she was bouncing off the walls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Missions will be given out here
Tiffany1 More than 1 year ago
I thought the was a very good book, and it kept on getting better as you read the book. There was a lot of parts in the book that got very intense, and it kept on making you want to read. And when I read a book that's what I like. Most of the things that happened in the book, it actually could happen in real life. If you like mysterious books, then I think you should read this book! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was gripping and completely unpredictable (which i love). The alternate protagonists adds even more to a gut wrenching story about our worst fears.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot seemed underdeveloped, and I lost my interest quickly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm about 20 pages into this book when it started to come to me, ' I recognize these characters!'. It takes me a little while but it's the poem on page 35 that helps me remember. See, I'm an avid reader so it's often that coincidences like this happen. But I have to know, did anyone else notice that Beauty is the star of another story? In the anthology, ' Such a Pretty Face', Norma Fox Mazer writes a story called 'how to survive a name.' This of course features one of the main charaters from this book, Beauty Herbert, and her being ugly. This is kinda funny because how I have to see which came first! Both 'the missing girl' and Norma Fox Mazer's short story are amazing:)
dancer543 More than 1 year ago
There are four sister just going about their normal lives while the entire time there is a man stalking them trying to figure out which one to take. It's pretty creepy, but it's really interesting how the author writes the book from the two different perspectives of the girls lives.
Susan Quirk More than 1 year ago
Honestly it lead it up to be something way better. Waste of time. Seemed like there was no p oint or plot to the thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
becccr_boo More than 1 year ago
it goes from different perspectives, which makes it more of a thriller and you cant stop reading. it also never had a part that made me want to stop reading; never dull. its around a 7th grade reading level but honestly i think its good for any teen to read. the author did a fantastic job creating "The Missing Girl"