"Ideas come in every possible way you could imagine. I've had ideas come to me from dreams, from memories, conversations, news articles, letters, and certainly from plain old garden variety daydreams or fantasies." -Norma Fox Mazer
Norma Fox Mazer's TAKING TERRI MUELLER (William Morrow, YA) is about a girl named Terri, who has moved around quite a bit with her father. Now 13 years-old and living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she is finding herself more curious about her mother who, says her father, died in a car accident when Terri was four. Otherwise, her father doesn't like discussing her mother. One day Terri goes through her father's things and finds out that her parents divorced a year after her mother had supposedly died. The truth comes out: Years ago, Terri's father kidnapped her and her mother is still alive and has been waiting on her return for the past eight years. Terri locates her mother, now living in Oakland, California and the two reunite, but after Terri makes her mother promise that her father won't get in trouble. At the end of the story, Terri must decide whether she should stay with her mother and get to know her family or return to her father, now waiting on her to return.
This book was published in 1981. If Terri's story actually occurred today, Terri and her mother could've found each other online, since neither Terri or her father have changed their names. Nonetheless, it's gratifying to read a good book, such as this one, showing how characters could problem solve before the Internet existed. But that said, now that we have the Internet, I do hope it can be a valuable resource for children to locate and connect with a parent and loved ones if they are in Terri's situation.
Have you read TAKING TERRI MUELLER? Can you name any pre-Internet books you've read where the problem solving would have been simplified if the Internet existed then?