Thursday, April 7, 2016

F: Norma Fox Mazer & TAKING TERRI MUELLER

"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?

14 comments:

betty said...

Another interesting plot! Now curious what Terri's final decision was on who she decided to stay with!

betty

Stephanie Faris said...

It's always funny reading books that were before the Internet and cell phones. I always find myself automatically thinking, "Why doesn't she just Google it?!"

Pat Hatt said...

I can remember a few book reports that would have been easier had the internet existed haha

Doree Weller said...

I think about that stuff all the time! How different my favorite books would be in pre- and post-internet & cell phone worlds. How different books were then! And how different the problems and solutions people came up with. Don't get me wrong; I love my technology tools, and how communication and information gathering are much more efficient, but I do think that it's affected problem solving.

Good pick! I don't remember this book specifically, but I'm pretty sure I read books by this author when I was growing up.
@DoreeWeller from
Doree Weller’s Blog

Cathy Kennedy said...

Cynthia,

I remember when I was a young girl, my second cousin was kidnapped by his father and swept him away to NYC. I don't recall the details other than thinking how horrible that was for my great-aunt to lose her son that way and to think about my cousin who was confused and missed his mommy. In the end, he was returned to my aunt. However, I think my cousin did spend time with his dad after that. I wish I knew more about the story. Thanks for sharing and for the visit!

~Curious as a Cathy
All Things Vintage: Flapper era #AprilA2z

Melanie Schulz said...

I love dated books like that--reminds me of a simpler time.

JEN Garrett said...

That book is going on my TBR list! The internet sure has changed the way we view things.

The Silver Fox said...

This looks like a great read, regardless of the age of its target audience.

Random Musings said...

I haven't read this. It sounds like a good, emotional story
Debbie

Jo said...

That is a potential for a lot of angst.

Stepheny Houghtlin said...

Stopping by during the #Challenge. Nice to find another writer. What would be do without our books! If you have time or interest in hotels and inns, join me for some arm chair travel.

Liz A. said...

One I did not read. Of course, in this day and age, the father'd be in big trouble no matter what.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Great question you ask. I'm sure there are many older stories that would have been solved that way, but at the moment I can't think of one. I've been rewriting a story from almost 30 years ago and it's odd how much I have to edit so it makes sense. It's a YA story and there are students in the Mall. Back when I initially wrote it, they had to make plans in advance to meet their friends at the mall. When I edit it now, I simply mention they call each other. Such a drastic change.

Elizabeth said...

I love that quote from Norma Fox Mazer, I could use it to describe myself! This sounds like an interesting story. I recently read Even Now by Karen Kingsbury, which tells of a girl who used the internet to try to find her mom, but her mom had changed her name.

Post a Comment