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!!


Jana said...

Did you see the M. Night Shyamalan movie The Village? See it. I am shocked there was never a lawsuit.

Jenners said...

I was going to say just what Jana said ... it sounds very much like the movie "The Village."

Ms. Yingling said...

This is a constant favorite in my middle school, even though it is an older title. Haddix writes such a variety of good things!

Jan von Harz said...

I am a big fan of Haddix, but never heard of this one. I will have to see if our school library has it. Thanks for sharing.

Patricia J. Weaver said...

I've read this book and really enjoyed it and loved loved Found but didn't find the warm fuzzy place reading Sent.
If you've not read Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff you're missing a good 2009 release book. Of course I love horses but this really isn't a horse book, no horses are just part of the setting. I also loved -- Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur and Faith, Hope and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Hope y'all don't mind the suggestions

Unknown said...

My librarians book talked this to my class back in 6th grade. I was so enamored with their talk that I went out and bought it (something I did, and still do, rarely) and can still remember it vividly over a decade later! It might even be on a bookshelf in my parents' house still.

Paige Y. said...

I really liked this book but I've never been happy with my booktalk for it. You've done a great job with your review, one cannot help but want to read the book.

Haddix is very popular at my middle school. The Shadow Children series is always checked out.

teacherninja said...

My wife's 4th graders love it, but I think the ones they read have a newer cover. Great concept for a book, though.