Missing Girls

Missing GirlsMissing Girls
By Lois Metzger

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It’s 1967, and Manhattan is full of “missing girls”—runaways looking for freedom. In nearby Queens, Carrie Schmidt feels like she’s missing, too—missing from her own life. Ever since her mother died four years ago, it’s as if she’s been sleepwalking. Then Carrie meets Mona, who knows the secret of “lucid dreaming,” being awake inside your dreams. Their friendship is Carrie’s chance to find her mother—and wake up to her future.

From the author:

This book is fiction but much of it is true. Like Carrie, the main character, I envied my best friend’s all-American family while my family was full of immigrants. Like Carrie, I found it odd to have a grandmother and no mother. Like Carrie, I felt the presence of a war I never had to live through.

All the war stories in the book are real, told to me by my grandmother and by my uncle, William Stern, who allowed me to interview him once a week for two years. His complete story was later videotaped by Steven Spielberg’s “Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.”

Selected for The New York Times Parent’s Guide to the Best Books for Children
Edited by Eden Ross Lipson

Junior Library Guild Book Selection


Starred Review, School Library Journal:

Like Metzger’s Barry’s Sister and Ellen’s Case, this novel is intense and complex, and it is as satisfying as finding a misplaced treasure.

From The New York Times Sunday Book Review:

The gap between the ideal and real behavior can be so acute that it bends the mind. Carrie Schmidt, the protagonist of Lois Metzger’s rich and moving third novel, “Missing Girls,” has a strategy to handle the pressure. “Not on the map, not American, not foreign, not home on the earth,” Carrie keeps the world at arm’s length…. Metzger’s admiration of young women, evident in her previous novels, “Barry’s Sister” and “Ellen’s Case,” is taken to new heights in the character of Carrie Schmidt. Carrie is a genuine eighth grader: self-effacing, sometimes dishonest, generous with her friends, dramatically moody, irresistibly sympathetic…. Metzger builds “Missing Girls” on the skeleton of dialogue. Her conversations pump the story rich with oxygenated warmth.

From Kirkus Reviews:

This uncommon novel from Metzger steps out of the genre of historical fiction to tell a story as significant to contemporary readers as to the inhabitants of the era it evokes.

From The Horn Book:

Metzger’s affecting novel draws readers directly inside the experiences of thirteen-year-old Carrie Schmidt… Most exceptional, however, is the full realization of Carrie’s emotional life, from her initial sleepwalking haze to the emerging brilliant colors and sense of contentment in both her waking and dreaming life.

“Dreams, memories, and haunting tales of the past surge through the pages of this story and bring the reader deep into Carrie Schmidt’s awakening heart. In strong, fresh language, Lois Metzger has written a unique story, remarkable for its insights and original in its characterizations of teenage girls, who are surprising and yet completely recognizable. We know these girls, we know their fears, angers, and desires, and under Lois Metzger’s sure hand we want to know more.” —Norma Fox Mazer