Running Out of Time

Running Out of Time

4.6 186
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
     
 

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Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana, in 1840...or so she believes.

When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother reveals a shocking secret -- it's actually 1996, and they are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicineSee more details below

Overview

Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana, in 1840...or so she believes.

When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother reveals a shocking secret -- it's actually 1996, and they are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicine exists that can cure the dread disease, and Jessie's mother is sending her on a dangerous mission to bring back help.
     But beyond the walls of Clifton, Jessie discovers a world even more alien and threatening than she could have imagined, and soon she finds her own life in jeopardy. Can she get help before the children of Clifton, and Jessie herself, run out of time?

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
Mary Harris Veeder
What if the costumed workers at historical sites really lived there, and tourists watched them through hidden cameras rather than from pathways? What if those workers and families were not allowed to leave, ever? Jessie lives in the 1840s, or so she believes until her mother sends her on an escape mission outside the fence, where it's 1996. The suspense and the cataloging of differences as they appear to Jessie are the best parts here. The resolution of the plot, which includes the revelation that the inhabitants have been used for scientific experimentation, comes too fast, but the quirky twist on time-travel fiction will keep the attention of readers.
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442461291
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
50,555
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 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 HaddixBooks.com.

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