Running Out of Time

Running Out of Time

4.6 187
by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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Believing herself to be a frontier child in 1840, Jessie is shocked when her mother reveals a secret--it's really 1996. After a diphtheria outbreak strikes the village children, Jessie must venture out into the modern world where she faces a wealth of confusing 20th century innovations and the sinister man who will stop at nothing to make sure the village residents


Believing herself to be a frontier child in 1840, Jessie is shocked when her mother reveals a secret--it's really 1996. After a diphtheria outbreak strikes the village children, Jessie must venture out into the modern world where she faces a wealth of confusing 20th century innovations and the sinister man who will stop at nothing to make sure the village residents remain locked in their 19th century world.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
In an isolated village in 1840, the children are dying of diphtheria when Jessie's mother entrusts her with an important secret. The village is really an experiment, and it's really 1996. But something has gone terribly wrong, and if Jessie doesn't succeed, the villagers will die of diseases that were conquered over one hundred years ago. Haddix has made the experiment seem very real and very terrible. Without modern experiences, Jessie must try to save the only home she has ever known. A gripping story.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This absorbing novel develops an unusual premise into the gripping story of a young girl's efforts to save her family and friends from a deadly disease. Jessie Keyser, 13, believes that the year is 1840. In truth, she and her family, along with a small group of others, live in a reconstructed village viewed by unseen modern tourists and used as an experimental site by unethical scientists. Jessie discovers the truth when her mother asks her to leave the village and seek medical help for the diptheria epidemic that has struck the children of the community. Jessie must cope with the shock of her discovery; her unfamiliarity with everyday phenomena such as cars, telephones, and television; and the unscrupulous men who are manipulating the villagers. The action moves swiftly, with plenty of suspense, and readers will be eager to discover how Jessie overcomes the obstacles that stand in her way. While she is ultimately successful, the ending is not entirely a happy one, for several children have died and others are placed in foster care to await resolution of the complex situation. This realistically ambiguous ending reflects the author's overall success in making her story, however far-fetched, convincing and compelling. Haddix also handles characterization well; even secondary characters who are somewhat sketchily drawn never descend into stereotype. This book will appeal to fans of time-travel or historical novels as well as those who prefer realistic contemporary fiction, all of whom will look forward to more stories from this intriguing new author.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
From the Publisher
Joan Lowery Nixon Running Out of Time is a highly imaginative, absolutely terrific first novel.

School Library Journal (starred review) Absorbing...gripping...convincing and compelling. Fans of time-travel or historical novels...will look forward to more stories from this intriguing new author.

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including The Missing series and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at

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Running Out of Time 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 187 reviews.
tytyreadbook More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. There are many lessons you can learn in this book.Thrilling. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. Read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thirteen year-old Jesse Keyser is your average teenage girl. She lives in 1840 in a small village in the dense forest of Indiana, but her life suddenly changes when she discovers a secret that will change her life. Young Jesse is told a secret that will change her life. Secretly, her mother tells her it is truly 1996 and that this young girl must get help. Her village is suffering when diphtheria strikes. As she leaves the village, she is fascinated and a little scared by the outside world. She uses the number her mother gave her to call for help. The man she meets is going to save the village, or does he have other plans? What is Jesse going to do now? In this exciting read, you will follow a young girl through her transition from her everyday life to the real world outside. Once you pick up this book, you will never be able to put it down. I could never put it down, it was so consuming. This book shows that anyone can do anything. I would say that this book is easiest to read for people ages ten and sixteen. Plus, anyone could enjoy this easy and exciting read. If you like to read adventurous books, this is the one for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There was a comment on here about someone reading this book and they still remember it as a freshman and i knew i had to write a review. I also read this book as a fifth grader because it was recommended to me by my teacher. I couldn't put it down back then and it can still hold my interest now that I'm a sophomore. This is a book that I still recommend to my friends. This continues to be one of the best books I have ever picked up! My advice is to read it!
Avid_Reader101 More than 1 year ago
All of my friends read this book and i thought 'If this book is that good, i have to run to get it off the shelves!' I ran to barnes and noble to get it there was only 5 copies left on the shelves. Jessie Keyser is a girl that every girl can relate too. She lives in 1840 in Clifton village. But when the dipheria epidemic hits her village, her mom tells her to go on a dangerous mission to find help in the outside world. Problem is, it's really 1996. Can Jessie hurry and get help in an unknown world, before time runs out?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for summer reading. At first i thought i wouldnt enjoy this, even though i love Haddix's books. In the begining it was a little boring. But overtime it got really interesting. I recommend this book for 10 to 14 year olds. I loved it
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
In 1996, one of the top vacation and "school-trip" attractions in the US is Clifton Village, hidden away in forests outside Indianapolis. A well-made road carries yellow school busses to the entrance station, and barbed wire fences keep the "wild animals" of an authentic 1840s environment safely separate from local farmers. They also make it hard for young Jessie, wild human rather than wild animal, to escape on her quest to find help and medicine for her family and friends. Running out of Time, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, tells the story of a young teenager with a very big quest. When Jessie learns that her parents have lived a lie, and forced her to live one too, for most of her life, she struggles to decide who to trust. But she knows who she loves and cares for and bravely sets forth on their behalf. The mysteries of 1996 America are viewed delightfully through Jessie's 1840s eyes. Braving the phone to call for help, Jessie wonders why a stranger's voice asks for money but refuses to wait for an answer. Radios make sounds out of thin air. Cars move like magic carriages propelled without horses. A naturally brave and adventurous girl, Jessie conquers numerous obstacles in her quest to both save her friends and find the truth about her home. The result is a fast-paced story, with convincing characters, fascinating ethical dilemmas, and realistic excitement, making a really good read for middle-grade students and adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it one day!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Running Out of Time is a creative book about a young teenage girl who escapes her culture into the outside world. This book is exciting, different, unique, and possibly for some readers it may be addictive. Although this book is enjoyed by many, it could us a few modiffcations in my opinion. The words are not descriptive enough and sometimes you wish that they would just cut to the point. Besides these few minor problems, the book was well thought out and fairly interesting. Jessie lives in a small town in what she thinks is in the 1800's, where many children are starting to die. Her mother notices this, and decides to let Jessie in on a little secret: it's the late 1900's, and she is living in what's a recreation for tourists. Her mother sends her out into reality to fetch a doctor. She gets dressed in modern day clothes and sends her off with some cash. Along the way, Jessie discovers what happens every day in the real world, and meets a few little"friends" while she's at it..... So what happens next? Does Jessie get the doctor back in time to save her people? Or is this tourist attraction also the graveyard of innocent farmers and families? Find out in Running Out of Time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You get sucked in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Running out of time!!it was an action packed book. Margret Peterson Haddix is amazing!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:}
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book i have EVER READ! You should TOTALLY read this book! I read it in fourth grade. Friggin' loved it! Now that i read it again, i still friggin' love it! READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, Running Out Of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddox, is a phenomenal book. Once you start reading this book, you don't want to put it down until you have finished it! This book is about a family that is living in an 1840¿s village. Only the adults know that it really is no 1840¿s village, but instead it is 1990¿s and the village is just a tourist site. The tourist can watch the village from mirrors and cameras underneath the village. A disease has come about in the village and the people are getting sick. They need the medicine to stop the disease, but the workers won¿t provide the medicine. Jessie a 13-year-old girl in the family is sent to the ¿ outside¿ world to find help to stop the disease. To adventure with Jessie into a world that she knows nothing about, you have to read this book! This is one of the best books yet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I don't know How Margaret Patterson Haddix does it. You become the main charecter. I recomend this book to everyone, even if your not in the recomended age area.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Couldn't keep my eyes off of the screen! Must read!??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books ever! My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Defreze, read this book to us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The concept was pretty well thought out, and executed beautifully (for the most part). But this book was far from perfect. Character development? Meh. Vocabulary use? Meh. The word scared, and variations of the word, were overused tremendously and it seemed as if after a while the word had no meaning anymore. Strong start, weak ending. Everything instantly becomes happy ever after, after some time passes? Cliche ending; not very memorable. 3.5/5 starts. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I happened across this book when I was in third grade at kasson elementary. I found it by randomly browsing the library, and still remember not being able to put it down once I started reading. I am now 21 years old, and have been googling the little that i could remember of the plot in hopes of finding this book! It goes without saying that this is a very good book, seeing as I have searched for it for nearly 10 years! (We didnt have high speed internet until I was 11 ;) ) so excited to be able to read this once more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Prrrrfect :3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You guys should really read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this good cuase i think it is but you know just making sure;) No hard feelings!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I had to read this book for school I really didn't want to but as I started to read I got attatched to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...........:-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was great didnt want to put it down. Totally recommend it. Get it! The best seriously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing! Full of mystery and suspense. I highly reccomend it.