Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Will Jessie Run Out of Time?

Jessie is growing up in 1840 in Clifton, Indiana. She spends her days like all the other kids in the frontier village; she goes to school and does chores. Lately a lot of kids have been missing from school because of illness. One night, Jessie's mother takes her along to help a nearby child who is sick. Her mom seems distressed when they leave, and she asks Jessie to meet her in the woods the next day after school and not to say anything about the meeting. To Jessie’s surprise, her mother tells her that although she thinks it's 1840, it's really 1996. She quickly explains that the adults in the village agreed to live like it's the 1840s, and people come from all over to watch their town through special mirrors and viewing stations. None of this makes sense to Jessie, but she listens carefully as questions fill her brain. Her mom explains that a terrible illness is making the children of Clifton Village sick, and they need medicine from the outside world. Jessie is sent from the village on a dangerous mission to get the medicine, and she must hurry. There will be many obstacles on the way, and her mom doesn’t have time to tell her everything. Although it will be extremely risky, Jessie agrees to try to find help. How different will life be in 1996 from the life she has known? How will she find the man her mom asked her to contact? She can’t let anyone know that she's from Clifton Village, but will she be able to blend in with the jeans and t-shirt her mother gave her? You will have to read this thriller to find out what awaits Jessie outside the Clifton Village Tourist Center and how she deals with a world where everything is foreign and most definitely frightening. 


I have long been a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix and her books. I was excited to read Running Out of Time, which came out in 1994. My heart went out to Jessie as she came to the conclusion that she had been living a lie. I could not even imagine finding out that I was living in a world in which tourists were paying to watch me! All the times she thought she was alone and she wasn’t! Plus, it would be hard to adjust to a world that was over 100 years away from the life you are currently living. The book really got me thinking about the past, the present, and the future. Jessie is definitely someone that I would want to be friends with because she is caring and brave. I think this is a great book for kids who enjoy stories that take them by surprise, because Jessie has a lot to learn when she enters the 1990s. I recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up, especially those who have an interest in either historical fiction for dystopian books because it is a mix of both. This book will have you hoping for more time!

Has anyone else read Running Out of Time? Or have you read another book by Margaret Peterson Haddix? We would love to hear your thoughts! Check out our interview with the author to learn more about this fascinating storyteller.      

Happy Reading!
~L 

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38 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of Haddix's books yet, I from what I hear, they're good.

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    1. Kelly- I hope you get to check them out soon. She is a fantastic writer! :) ~L

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  2. What a head trip for a teenager. Sounds really intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. SA- I know! Right? Definitely a great read. :) ~L

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  3. I love novels that make you think like this.

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  4. I haven't read this one, but I did have the pleasure of hearing Margaret Peterson Haddix speak and answer questions at a local bookstore back in October!

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    1. Barbara- I hope you get to read something by her soon. I have enjoyed all of the books that I have read by her so far. How exciting that you were able to hear her speak and answer questions at a local bookstore. I am jealous (but happy for you). :) ~L

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  5. Oh wow that's kinda crazy. I've not read her books but that definitely sounds like a fun one to explore. Thanks for the heads up!

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    1. Herding Cats- Definitely a crazy situation for the main character, Jessie (and the rest of the characters too). Thanks for visiting. :) ~L

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  6. What a brilliant idea for a story. I would think anyone jumping straight from 1840 to 1996 would be terrified.

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    1. Barbara- It would be terrifying! So much has changed that everything would be scary. Cars, phones, tvs, cameras, so many more people, etc. The list goes on! It really got me thinking about life 100 years from now... :) ~L

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  7. Huh. Haven't read this one, but now I want to. I remember The Village, and how most people didn't like that movie, but I really did--just for the same reason this book appeals to me.

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    1. Crystal- I never saw The Village, but if you liked it you will probably like this books, as I have heard that many people thought the idea for the movie was actually stolen from this book. The book came out in 1994 and the movie in 2004. I love the people can read or see the same thing and have such different reactions to it. This was a fascinating book for me. :) ~L

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  8. +JMJ+

    I don't care that the plot is almost exactly like that of a movie I saw a decade ago: for some reason, I really want to read this book! Thanks for featuring it, L! =)

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    1. JMJ- I can see you doing a fascinating blog post on this topic. I haven't see the movie, but since many people said it was a copycat of this book, I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the book vs movie once you read it. I am also curious to watch the movie now to see if they are similar! :) Thanks for visiting! ~L

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  9. This sounds like the movie The Village. very interesting premise. I would like to check this out.

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    1. Heidi- I am going to have to watch The Village. A friend saw the movie and thought they were similar and then I went online and did some research. Many people are saying The Village idea came from this book because it was out ten years earlier. I have no idea, but I am curious! :) ~L

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  10. I was just thinking of The Village apparently like Heidi :) It does remind me of that. That concept really stuck with me from the film and I've wondered about titles that tackle the same kind of situation--this is one I'll have to check out!

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    1. Meradeth- If you get to read this one Meradeth- I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie vs book. This story really got me thinking about the past, present, and future. I love when books make me think like that! :) ~L

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  11. Interesting! I was thinking I had heard of something like this before, probably the movie everyone is talking about. What a mind bobbling thing for a kid to experience.

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    1. Janet- I agree that this would be a mind bobbling thing to experience. I kept thinking about is someone told me it was really 2168 and my whole life had just been a giant movie set for aliens or some other culture. I would be petrified to venture into the other world and get help- especially when most things I would encounter would be completely foreign to me! :) ~L

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  12. Sounds very intriguing...full of adventure...thanks for sharing it..so wonderfully written..I love the book cover too...beautiful.
    Wishing you a magical day..
    Victoria

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    1. Victoria- It is definitely and intriguing and adventures book. The cover is very appealing. I like the colors and the different things that are going on. Wishing you a magical day, too! :) ~L

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  13. Wow, that sounds awful! Living a lie and being watched by tourists...that's scary!! But the book sounds very interesting, it reminded me the movie 'The Truman Show'. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Gaby- I know- it would be awful to be watched without knowing it. Great connection to The Truman Show! :) ~L

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  14. I love Haddix's writing! This one sounds like another winner! Thanks for the recommendation :)

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    1. Jemi- She writes very captivating stories and this is another excellent one. :) ~L

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  15. I got to read a book by Haddix. This is the second book you've recommended by her that I like the premise to. I would be really angry if I knew my whole life was a lie AND people were watching me. As soon as I got the medicine to the kids I would leave. Interested to see how this all works out.

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    1. Adriana- Her books are very fascinating and make me think. I like that the ideas are different, but sound like they could happen. I would be so upset to find out my life had been a lie and everything would seem so scary! My heart went out to Jessie and I agree with you that I would not want to stay in that type of environment. Thanks for visiting! :) ~L

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  16. I haven't read this, but it sounds interesting. I love the idea of mixing the past, present, and future. It offers so much potential for a great plot and characters!

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    1. Karen- I liked the mixing of the past, present, and future too because there was so much to think about! :) ~L

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  17. Thanks for featuring this book. I've been meaning to read this author.

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    1. Medeia- You are welcome! I hope you get to read one of her books soon. :) ~L

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  18. The story review here reminds me of a Night Shyamalan movie, and I think Margaret Haddix sounds familiar. I'll need to get to her books soon. Maybe I'll start with this one!

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    1. Claudine- I have never heard of a Night Shyamalan movie- but I will have to look it up. Margaret Person Haddix knows how to craft a wonderful story! I hope you get to read something by her soon. :) ~L

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  19. This sounds so interesting and reminds me of a horror movie called the Village, interesting premises, and I love the sound of the heroine.

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    1. Kimba- Jessie is an easy to relate to heroine and I think The Village has a similar storyline, but I haven't seen it. :) ~L

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