Running Out of Time

Running Out of Time

Book - 1997
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When a diphtheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, thirteen-year-old Jessie discovers it is actually a 1996 tourist site under unseen observation by heartless scientists, and it's up to Jessie to escape the village and save the lives of the dying children.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Children's Pub., 1997, c1995
Edition: 1st Aladdin Paperbacks ed. --
ISBN: 9780689812361
0689812361
Branch Call Number: J FIC Haddi 3558jv 1
Characteristics: 184 p. --

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RebelBelle13
May 02, 2019

This is how a middle-grade book is written. There's an interesting story, engaging characters, and the readers aren't treated like babies- needing everything spelled out for them. My son chose this to read for a school project involving the Hero's Journey trope, and I decided I'd read it along with him. I'm not sure how I missed reading this growing up, because I was about the same age as Jessie when this came out and I would have devoured this book.
If you've seen the movie The Village, you've got the basic plot down- a small secluded village which seems to be set in the 1800's is actually in the present, and the children of the village have no idea. Someone gets sick, and one of the children needs to leave to find help in the outside world. However, Haddix did it first, and she did it better. Clifton is actually a tourist destination, and folks can pay to visit and observe the town residents. Some of the children start becoming sick with dyptheria, and the outside medicine that they are supposed to get doesn't come- so one of the moms sends her daughter out into the real world for help. Jessie has over 100 years of inventions and innovations to catch up on very quickly, and does as well as can be expected for a child who grew up in the 1840's trying to cope with the real world of 1996.
The only drawback here is that the book is way too short. I realize it's written for middle school aged kids, but there could have been so much more added to the story. It moves way too quickly and it left me wanting. It would have been great to see Jessie discover more things and talk to more folks- really learn about the present and what had happened in the 100 plus years she had missed. I realize she was on a time crunch, but I still would have liked to have seen more of her discoveries. All in all, a good, quick page-turner if you're looking for a middle-grade novel.

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queensthief
Feb 12, 2019

This is an old favorite, which I listened to via audiobook. We found what was most interesting *now* was the idea that the "present" in the book is 1996, effectively making it a period piece whether we're in the tourist attraction or the real world. Imagine if Jessie's mom had told her about phones in the 80's, but Jessie walks out into 2018! With an adult perspective we also had a fuller understanding of the darker implications of certain aspects of the book (ethics, mental health), which we didn't notice as children. Seems like it would be a good book to read aloud with kids since it's entertaining for all ages and gives you lots to talk about.

Engaging, suspenseful, thought-provoking, middle-grade.

WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

While this book was one of my childhood favorites, I think it’s a gripping story for all ages. The story features an unusual premise: the main character believes that she lives in an 1840s village, only to discover that she is living in a re-enactment village for tourists when a diphtheria epidemic hits. This book puts a fun spin on time travel fiction and its fast-paced plot will keep you engaged.

v
violet_dog_5952
Jul 11, 2018

I have always been sick of the stories where some unsuspecting kid goes down into their basement and somehow gets sucked into a 'magic' portal where they 'must' reshape the past to save the future or something like that. This book is nothing like that. This book is so utterly captivating, it left me breathless. After having my teacher read this to my class and I, as a head start for the Battle of the Books, I was hungry for more. The plot is so well shaped and the ending is marvelous. Thank you Mrs. Haddix!

violet_dog_5952

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KateCCL
Feb 19, 2017

I read this as a kid when it first came out, and re-reading it as an adult was such a fun experience. I was as caught up in Jessie's adventure and escape now as I was then, and it was nice to read something about 1840's small-town America... But with a twist. A story in which nothing is as it seems, and you can't always believe your eyes...

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ilovecats2003
Jun 30, 2016

This book by Haddix is great. I read it in 6th grade near the end of the year and I loved it. I loved the plot, the characters, I found it all interesting. There were twists left and right, and even if you don't like Haddix for the way she normally writes, I would recommend giving her a chance on this book.

a
AlleeC
Feb 04, 2016

I loved this book so much when I read it when I was in middle school. It is very well written. Plus it was so great M. Night Shyamalan stole its main plot line for the basis of The Village.

t
tomysshadow
Apr 12, 2014

Wow! I read this in grade 5 and frankly, now, I find it hard to believe this was written by Haddix. I mean, she really specializes in creating horrific scenes with her writing, but none of that is here. But for me that is actually a good thing, since horror stories, well, freak me out. This story, rather, is about ethics. I don't want to go into too much detail, because I don't want to give away the story's big plot twist - but it is a good read, definitely not a waste of time.

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izzyblakemore
Jul 06, 2013

Such a awesome book, I could read it defiantly more than once! I couldn't put this book down. I was introduced to Haddix in grade 4 and just loved it great for probably 8 and above. Haddix wowed me again.

Also read Haddix's Shadow Children Serious Just as good. WOW WOW WOW!!!

our teacher last year in third grade read this book it is a very good book remarkable i love the book its to good i just gotta read it again =D

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black_panda_532
Nov 21, 2016

black_panda_532 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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animeneko8
Sep 19, 2014

animeneko8 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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bnhkr
Aug 15, 2014

bnhkr thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Red_Cat_1422 May 20, 2012

Red_Cat_1422 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Blue_Butterfly_137
May 07, 2012

Blue_Butterfly_137 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Olive_Camel_3
Jan 24, 2012

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hpmuggle
Dec 14, 2011

hpmuggle thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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izzyblakemore
Jul 06, 2013

When diphtheria starts raging through her village, Jessie's mother informs her that it is actually 1995--not 1840--and her village is actually a world-known tourist attraction. Her mother sends her to the outside world of 1995 to seek medical help for the dying children. Jessie wants nothing more than to help her neighbors back in her village, but what happens when everything in 1995 is too confusing and unfamiliar for Jessie to take? Will she be able to get the medical help she needs in time? Or will she get lost in the maze of futuristic technology? What about this Mr. Nelson? How will she absorb all of this so quickly?

h
hpmuggle
Dec 14, 2011

When diphtheria starts raging through her village, Jessie's mother informs her that it is actually 1995--not 1840--and her village is actually a world-known tourist attraction. Her mother sends her to the outside world of 1995 to seek medical help for the dying children. Jessie wants nothing more than to help her neighbors back in her village, but what happens when everything in 1995 is too confusing and unfamiliar for Jessie to take? Will she be able to get the medical help she needs in time? Or will she get lost in the maze of futuristic technology?

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