Eleven-year-old Jackie and her dad are enjoying a driving trip through Italy when suddenly her dad collapses and dies at the wheel of their rental car. After signaling for help, Jackie is picked up by two men who don't speak English. At first she is relieved, but as the miles go by, she suddenly realizes that they aren't headed for help. The end of their journey is a house in the Italian countryside far away from anything that is familiar. As a motherly woman there tries to feed Jackie and make her comfortable, the girl struggles to understand who these three people are, and why they want to keep her. Donna Jo Napoli is an award-winning author of many popular books for children, including Zel. Her works range from colorful fantasies to gripping suspense. In Three Days, Napoli has created a page-turner that builds intense psychological conflicts in an exotic, foreign setting.
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by Joan Lowery Nixon
by Donna Jo Napoli
"Imagine the agony of watching your father collapse and die at the wheel of a rental car, while stranded in a remote area of a foreign country. When two men finally stop to give her a ride, 11-year-old Jackie is thinking only of getting help for her dad. Only when the men drive past all towns does she begin to realize... Julie Dretzin's narration is low-key and consistently paced, building the suspense to the unexpected twists at the end. Dretzin's vocal characterizations are there but subtle as most of the story is told inside Jackie's head; we hear softness and pain in Claudia's voice, a gruff quality for the old man. But Jackie lacks the emotion and terror one would expect of an 11-year-old girl in her situation--her calm, rational demeanor didn't click. A good choice for discussion of how people react to stressful situations. W.L.S. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine"
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