Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix

After enjoying Haddix's new Missing series I was determined to read more of her collection.  The Shadow Children was a great series but after that I didn't pick up anything else this prolific writer had written. 

Running Out Of Time (1995) is  her first book and proved to me Haddix's early ability to craft other worlds.  In this instance, the "other" world is Clifton, Indiana, a historical village set in 1840 as a tourist attraction, except the children living there don't know their being watched.  The parents do as they signed up just because they liked the idea of living in a simplier time.   What they didn't sign up for is being lab rats in a large research experiment. 

When Jessie's mother realizes too many children have diptheria within the village she has to trust her middle daughter with the secret of the century.  Jessie learns from her mother, a nurse at one time, that the year is not 1840 but 1996 and her  mother expects her to travel outside the confines of the village, through an underground tunnel system, past guards who may kill her to find one man who might be able to save the sick children.   Jessie's journey, her confusion and delight of the world we take for granted is exciting to read.  If you are a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix or haven't discovered her yet then begin your journey with this book.  Personally, I'm not a fan of reality tv but this book reminded me of that general idea-being watched in your world.  I'm amazed how she created this concept before reality television became such a hit!  Click here for Haddix's website.
Reading this book means I have now read 2 books for Reading from my own shelves challenge.  (cheer from massive crowd...)
I look forward to reading other Haddix books, filling in the years between her two major series titles.
Click here for my thoughts on Haddix's Found and Sent.
P.S. Since this is from Reading from my shelves challenge hosted by Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea I must tell you how I passed this book on...happily, I put it back in my school library shelves.  I plan to book talk it to 4th and 5th grade students next week!  Yeah, it is off my shelf!!!

Happy Reading!!