Note to Readers

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Twisted Window - Lois Duncan

Released August 2012 (Ebook reissue)

Lois Duncan
Open Road

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I have such a long history with Lois Duncan's books. Years, well decades ago, I volunteered at my hometown's small library. Most of their books were borrowed from the regional library on a monthly basis. The librarian would bring me along to choose teen books for their rotating selection. It was through that volunteer experience that I encountered Lois Duncan's teen novels. I couldn't get enough of them.

In seventh grade, we had to find our favorite author's mailing address (pre-Internet, so research took hours if not days) and handwrite a formal business letter. Lois Duncan was my choice, and she wrote the sweetest letter back that was two pages long. I was one of the only kids in my class to get an actual handwritten note, many got a simple typed out form letter with a stamped signature. She probably has no idea how much she impacted my love of books and writing, but she did.

I'm delighted to see some of Duncan's books released as e-books for new generations. The Twisted Window is one of those books.

After her mother's murder, Tracy Lloyd is sent to live in Texas with her aunt and uncle. She's not happy that her Hollywood dad wouldn't take her in, but it's not like she has much of a choice. She is shocked with a new kid in school, Brad Johnson, turns his eyes to her. She can't imagine why he finds her appealing when she's not the best looking, but she's happy to get the attention.

When Brad tells her his story, she's heartbroken for him. Brad's baby sister, Mindy, was kidnapped by his former step-father. Police aren't actively following clues, so Brad's come to Texas to see if he can't find his sister by himself. The thing is his step-father would easily recognize Brad and go on the run again, so Brad needs help and that's where Tracy comes in. The plan is to get her lined up as Mindy's new babysitter and then Brad will sneak in and steal her back. The plan seems fool-proof, but then nothing ever goes to plan.

I'm pretty sure I'd read The Twisted Window before, as I knew part of the story. It's pretty impressive, however, that I would remember the details 25 years after it came out. But, Lois Duncan does have a way of creating stories that make you think and keep you on your toes. I've always loved the twists she throws into her books, and I'm pretty sure today's teen readers will find it just as appealing.

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