A Description & Summary of "Wanted!" by Caroline B. Cooney

by Scott Cornell

"Wanted!" is a fictional action, thriller and suspense book that was published in 1997 by Scholastic, Inc. The 192-page paperback is intended for a young adult audience. It's authored by Caroline B. Cooney, who also penned other well-known books such as "The Face on the Milk Carton." An intriguing plot, interesting main character and surprise twists make "Wanted!" a popular choice for teen readers.


"Wanted!" begins with teenager Alice Robie going to visit her father for the weekend. When she arrives at his home, however, she finds someone rummaging through her father's apartment and overhears this person speaking about how he killed her father. She later discovers not only that her father has been murdered, but that she's a suspect in the case. To prove her innocence, Alice sets out to find the true killer on her own.

Alice Robie

The book is primarily written in a first-person narrative through the voice of its main character Alice Robie. She's an average 15-year-old girl who must venture out of her comfort zone as she's being chased by both the police and her father's true murderer in order to solve the crime; to do this, at times she's forced to be deceitful.

Murder Mystery

Although "Wanted!" is a murder mystery, Caroline B. Cooney also presents the reader with the topic the wrongfully accused. Alice Robie was framed for the murder of her father; initially, not even her mother believes her side of the story, as the true murderer sent an e-mail in Alice's name to the police confessing what she had done. It was a case of Alice Robie vs. everyone else, with finding the true killer the only way to prove her innocence.


The book is intended for children ages 11 and up due to its subject matter, the topic of murder and various descriptions of violence and action sequences. According to All Readers, the text contains an equal amount of description and dialogue, which keeps the book moving in an intriguing and informative manner to its conclusion. According to Barnes & Noble, paperback copies of the book can be purchased for $6.99.