Dear Jo: The Story of Losing Leah ... and Searching for Hope

 
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Dear Jo: The Story of Losing Leah ... and Searching for Hope
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
May 25, 2007
ISBN
978-1897073513
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Maxine and Leah used to have so much fun chatting with boys online. Their other friends were jealous of their new relationships, and their parents were oblivious to the love notes being emailed back and forth. So what if Max and Leah lied about their ages and where they lived ... it was just a website ... just for fun. But when Leah disappeared, Max realized that they weren't the only ones telling lies online. Through her daily journal entries, Max shares the horrible feeling of betrayal, the crushing loss of Leah, and the struggle to move on after all that has happened. A list of internet safety tips for readers (and parents and teachers) is included in the final pages of the book.

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A not-so-subtle warning for plugged-in preteens
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Allison Fraclose

When Maxine received Jo, her journal, as a present for her birthday, she never imagined that she would use it to chronicle the most terrifying of events&

Since her own parents refused to install the internet in their home, Max spens a lot of time over at her best friend, Leahs. How dangerous could it be, especially if they never used their real names or told anyone where they lived? Together, the two girls create a fake online persona to flirt with folks they met on their favorite music forum.

Caught by her mother, Maxs fun on the internet ends, but Leahs spins out of control. Max is aware that Leahs online relationship is getting serious, but shes as powerless as everyone else when Leah disappears.

Maxs entries in Jo follow her as she learns to deal with Leahs abduction, and the knowledge that she could have just as easily been the one taken. Although this book manages to be rather preachy at times, I still found it to be an interesting look at survivors guilt and depression, and stayed on the edge of my seat until the books conclusion.
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