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Running Out of Time

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Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother sends 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 Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother sends 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?


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Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother sends 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 Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother sends 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?

30 review for Running Out of Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    I can't believe I forgot this book existed. I remember this from my childhood. Remembering books from that time period always gives me the happiest nostalgic feeling. I can't believe I forgot this book existed. I remember this from my childhood. Remembering books from that time period always gives me the happiest nostalgic feeling.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Valynne Maetani

    This book reminded me a lot of an M. Night Shyamalan movie which I won't name, just in case someone thinks I would be giving away too much of the book's plot. The storylines are kind of similar, but I think that I like the plot twist in this book better than the movie. This book reminded me a lot of an M. Night Shyamalan movie which I won't name, just in case someone thinks I would be giving away too much of the book's plot. The storylines are kind of similar, but I think that I like the plot twist in this book better than the movie.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lars Guthrie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. M. Shyamalan’s ‘The Village’ has a plotline suspiciously close to Margaret Peterson Haddix’s ‘Running Out of Time.’ A nineteenth century backwoods settlement is completely artificial; we’re actually in the present. When a medical emergency prompts residents to seek a twentieth century cure, a young girl is asked to escape the guarded perimeter of her make-believe world. Despite the striking resemblances, the film’s producers called charges of plagiarism ‘meritless.’ Haddix and her publishers con M. Shyamalan’s ‘The Village’ has a plotline suspiciously close to Margaret Peterson Haddix’s ‘Running Out of Time.’ A nineteenth century backwoods settlement is completely artificial; we’re actually in the present. When a medical emergency prompts residents to seek a twentieth century cure, a young girl is asked to escape the guarded perimeter of her make-believe world. Despite the striking resemblances, the film’s producers called charges of plagiarism ‘meritless.’ Haddix and her publishers considered litigation, then didn’t bother suing, probably because ‘The Village’ was less than wildly successful, to put it charitably. All a fascinating sidelight, but not one that really matters when you’re reading Haddix’s debut novel. The author of the fabulous ‘Shadow Children’ series has written a novel far superior, not to mention slightly more plausible, than Shyamalan’s humorless clunker of a movie. Since ‘Running Out of Time’ is written for an audience that is willing to suspend disbelief, readers might excuse the lack of planes flying overhead. Or the children of the ersatz 1840s Clifton, Indiana, not wondering about the cameras in the trees. Unlike ‘The Village,’ the town in ‘Running Out of Time’ is not a thought-control experiment. Instead it’s a tourist attraction that’s morphed into a study of immunology. The conspiracy, and conspirators, behind the artifice are more down-to-earth and realistic. What really distinguishes ‘Running Out of Time,’ as in the ‘Shadow Children’ books, is its utterly true and finely drawn child protagonist. Jessie Keyser is a resourceful, yet vulnerable, kid, with the same sources of strength, and the same insecurities, as seventh and eighth graders in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her encounters with adults and other children carry a straightforward verisimilitude. Jessie runs into all kinds of suspenseful action as she, like all children coming of age, searches for truth in an untruthful society imperfectly managed by its elders. And, like all childhood heroes should do, she saves the day. Recommended for fifth graders on up.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma Louise

    This is probably one of my favourite books ever. I love the innovative idea behind it, the pace (which is FAST), and the drama. Basically, it's the story of a girl who lives in a village in the 1800s. Only it's not really the 1800s. It's a kind of living museum and none of the children know that. Except something's gone wrong and they're all trapped. Jesse escapes and on her own and has to move through this strange modern world to find help for her village. The only thing I can think of to complai This is probably one of my favourite books ever. I love the innovative idea behind it, the pace (which is FAST), and the drama. Basically, it's the story of a girl who lives in a village in the 1800s. Only it's not really the 1800s. It's a kind of living museum and none of the children know that. Except something's gone wrong and they're all trapped. Jesse escapes and on her own and has to move through this strange modern world to find help for her village. The only thing I can think of to complain about is that it's sorted as a "science fiction- dystopia". It's really not. For those who don't know, dystopia means a society that looks utopian, or perfect, but isn't. Famous examples are 1984 by George Orwell or the Hunger Games series. Guys, Jesse is running about in our own society, which the author is absolutely not going out of her way to criticise. Eventually, only a few people are responsible for the tragedies in Clifton, Indiana. I think one thing that I like about it as a teenager is that it's NOT a dystopian book but still manages to create that high-tension atmosphere. It also has elements of historical fiction, which is my favourite genre, adventure, and mystery. I like that the book is short. The author keeps the pace very brisk but there's still time to develop Jesse and really have her observe our world. It's easy to read being in the 9-12 category but it's still very enjoyable for adults and teenagers. I read a lot of books when I was a kid. This is one of the ones that I keep going back to again and again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    Riveting story about a world within a world. My in-laws live near Conner Prairie, Indiana which is an outdoor living history museum; we had just returned from visiting there when we read this book. The frontier village of Clifton, Indiana which Haddix describes seems much like the tourist attraction, Conner Prairie, a mid-American country town frozen in 1836. But what if there were real people in the living history museum? Wouldn't that make it much more interesting? And what if those people did Riveting story about a world within a world. My in-laws live near Conner Prairie, Indiana which is an outdoor living history museum; we had just returned from visiting there when we read this book. The frontier village of Clifton, Indiana which Haddix describes seems much like the tourist attraction, Conner Prairie, a mid-American country town frozen in 1836. But what if there were real people in the living history museum? Wouldn't that make it much more interesting? And what if those people didn't know they were being used? And not just as live models for the museum... How can such a sinister-sounding story be so good? The secret about the town's true identity and purpose is revealed to one of the youngsters when a diphtheria epidemic threatens to wipe out the town's residents who are still coping with 19th century medical care. Haddix uses the unconventional features of her story's environment, time and circumstances to raise important questions about life, health care, death and who has the right to make critical decisions. An excellent story! Not for very young children due to mature theme.

  6. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    If you've seen the movie the Village and think the plot of this book seems familiar, keep in mind, this book was written first. The book also has a much better idea/backstory (and ending!!!) than that movie, and though this is only my second book from this author, I can see why she's so well-regarded. Definitely worth a read. If you've seen the movie the Village and think the plot of this book seems familiar, keep in mind, this book was written first. The book also has a much better idea/backstory (and ending!!!) than that movie, and though this is only my second book from this author, I can see why she's so well-regarded. Definitely worth a read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jude

    I really enjoyed this novel, it’s quite an interesting idea, well worth a read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wade WDM

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My friend is a, well, a kind of guru of the young adult sci-fi genre. She has excellent taste in books. When I saw her review of this one, I knew I had to read it. If you've seen "The Village" you know what this story is about. Except that this book was published in 1995 and "The Village" was released in 2004. Basically the same plot. The book takes place in a village where all the children think it's 1860 or so. They have no memories of what is beyond their village of Clifton. Then the children My friend is a, well, a kind of guru of the young adult sci-fi genre. She has excellent taste in books. When I saw her review of this one, I knew I had to read it. If you've seen "The Village" you know what this story is about. Except that this book was published in 1995 and "The Village" was released in 2004. Basically the same plot. The book takes place in a village where all the children think it's 1860 or so. They have no memories of what is beyond their village of Clifton. Then the children start getting sick. Our protagonist is a very brave 13-year-old who will do anything to prove her bravery to the other kids in Clifton. So when her mother figures out that the children in town have diphtheria she has to send Jessie out to get help. But first she has to tell Jessie that Clifton is a tourist attraction and that the real year is 1996. Stop me when this starts to sound familiar. While Running out of Time does not have the man-made monster that "The Village" had to keep the people within the town's borders, it does has it's own share of human monsters. The owner of Clifton is a rich old guy who hired people to live like it was authentically the 1800s. Raise their children, work, live and play like it was the 1800s. It would be the most authentic flashback to history for tourist possible. Cameras are hidden in trees and children are punished if they find them and try to examine them. There is a large rock that we later find out is the entrance to the "offices" of the Clifton Village incorporated. It's the way that Jessie gets to escape to find help. The story is pretty good. I enjoyed and I know my 13-year-old self would have LOVED this book. When I lived in Virginia, my parents took me to Williamsburg, Jamestown, and every other historical site they could find in VA. I loved being there and seeing everybody in their old fashioned garb. As an adult I liked the book. Haddix does a good job of understanding the voice of the children, who are the prominent people in the book. I think that's what distinguishes a good young adult author from a bad one: can the author write realistically in the voice of children and teenagers? And Haddix did a good job. Now let's get back to M. Night Shyamalan and the possibility that he just might have plagiarized his movie "The Village" from this book. Seeing as M. Night is one of my favorite directors and writers (I know his movies all follow the same pattern, I don't mind, he reminds me of a couple of pals from college who were trying really hard to start an improv group, however, I digress), I wanted to make sure that his movie wasn't linked to Running Out of Time. Shame on me for doing some digging. From Wikipedia: Simon & Schuster, publishers of the 1995 young adults' book Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix, claimed that the film had stolen ideas from the book.[19] The book had a plot which features a village whose inhabitants are secretly forced to live in the 1830s when the year is actually 1996. The plot of Shyamalan's movie had several similarities to the book. They both involve an 1800s village which is actually a park in the present day, have young heroines on a search for medical supplies, and both have adult leaders bent on keeping the children in their village from discovering the truth.[citation needed] I dug further into that citation 19 and found this: M Night Shyamalan, the writer-director of The Sixth Sense, is facing possible legal action for his latest hit, The Village, from publishers of a children's book. Reuters reports that publisher Simon & Schuster is "reviewing" its legal options against Walt Disney and Shyamalan over perceived similarities between the movie and the plot of one of its books. Reports say the story of the Village, and its surprise ending, are similar to Margaret Peterson Haddix's first book, Running Out of Time, which was published in 1995. It sold more than half a million copies. Haddix told Reuters that fans and journalists had emailed and called her to ask if she'd sold the book to Shyamalan. She said she had never spoken to him, or to Disney. "It's certainly an interesting situation," said Haddix. "I'm just examining what my options are." Shyamalan's Blinding Edge Pictures, and Disney, have dismissed the claims as "meritless". (http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2004/a...) According to the info on M. Night's wiki page (which we all know is truth!) Simon & Schuster did not follow up on their threat to sue. Sadly this isn't the first time he's been threatened with plagarism: In recent years, Shyamalan has been accused of plagiarism. Robert McIlhinney, a Pennsylvania screenwriter, sued Shyamalan over the similarity of Signs to his unpublished script Lord of the Barrens: The Jersey Devil.[62][63] Margaret Peterson Haddix noted that The Village has numerous elements found in her children's novel Running Out of Time,[64] and publisher Simon & Schuster had talked about filing a lawsuit;[63] it was never filed. I really hate to think that M. Night stole the idea from the book. This is one of my favorite movies of his. I thought the movie was so genius. *sigh* I mean, if he did read Running Out of Time, and liked it, and wanted to make it a movie, why couldn't he have just contacted the author and Simon and Schuster and worked out a deal? Jeez, that would be better than having your fans and critics think you were a story thief!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    ”Jessie wanted to ask so many questions, she couldn’t think where to begin. She wanted to know about the ‘something dangerous,’ but she wanted to understand everything else Ma had told her first. She wanted to watch Pa and Mr. Smyth and the Ruddles and all the other adults in Clifton and see what they were hiding.” I’m not one to begin rampant speculation on a theory. In the end, there’s usually a logical explanation for everything. But in this instance, there are just too many examples to ig ”Jessie wanted to ask so many questions, she couldn’t think where to begin. She wanted to know about the ‘something dangerous,’ but she wanted to understand everything else Ma had told her first. She wanted to watch Pa and Mr. Smyth and the Ruddles and all the other adults in Clifton and see what they were hiding.” I’m not one to begin rampant speculation on a theory. In the end, there’s usually a logical explanation for everything. But in this instance, there are just too many examples to ignore. Why do I say this? Because a certain movie’s premise sounds an awful like this book. I enter into evidence these examples. Running Out of Time A girl and her family live in a small, isolated village in the 1800s. The girl has several siblings. The Village (2005) A woman and her family live in a small, isolated village in the 1800s. The woman has several siblings. Running Out of Time There’s some sort of secret that the elders of the village are hiding that they don’t want the younger members to find out. The Village (2005) There’s some sort of secret that the elders of the village are hiding that they don’t want the younger members to find out. Running Out of Time (view spoiler)[”’Here, everything’s like it was in the 1800s,’ Ma said slowly. ‘Outside it’s- Outside it’s 1996.’”That secret is that they aren’t really living in a village in the 1800s; they’re actually living in the present day pretending to live in the 1800s. (hide spoiler)] The Village (2005) (view spoiler)[That secret is that they aren’t really living in a village in the 1800s; they’re actually living in the present day pretending to live in the 1800s. (hide spoiler)] Running Out of Time (view spoiler)[A group of adults willing participated in the concept to live this way for various reasons, however the real reason the village was founded was kept secret from the adults. ”In spite of the sickness in Clifton and the mystery and danger Ma said she faced, Jessie felt a rising excitement. What more might she see? How could Ma and Pa have left such an amazing world?” (hide spoiler)] The Village (2005) (view spoiler)[A group of adults willing participated in the concept to live this way for various reasons, however the real reason the village was founded was kept secret from the adults. (hide spoiler)] Running Out of Time (view spoiler)[Villagers are getting sick and so it’s up to Jessie to bring back the help/medicine they need. (hide spoiler)] The Village (2005) (view spoiler)[The heroine’s beloved is sick and so it’s up to her to bring back the help/medicine he needs. (hide spoiler)] I rest my case. Does that not sound familiar to you? Oh, sure; they changed several of the plot points in the movie to make it just different enough that they wouldn’t get sued for plagiarism (though if you read the book and then watch the movie you’ll recognize the similarities almost immediately. But still, the premise is so gosh darn similar that’s it’s startling. But that’s beside the point. I’m here to review the actual book, not a big, giant conspiracy theory. I honestly think I would have enjoyed the book more if I hadn’t been so wrapped up in the fact said theory. On the whole, though, the book was OK. Jessie herself is a very spirited, resourceful girl, but I couldn’t help but think that most of the situations she would have found herself in on her adventures in the outside would be very unrealistic if it were set here today. The explanation of why she was the one chosen to get help was flimsy at best, laughable at worst. I also thought that she was too lucky in getting out of situations (aka not enough close calls for me to ever believe that she was in any real danger). However, I did find that her actions and reactions to being in the outside world were believable. The explanation of why the village was founded and set up was a little bit odd as well. It made sense in a certain way, but the way the author tried to explain and justify it made it seem like a bumbling mess. We’re led to believe that this village was a grand experiment by a mad scientist with an agenda so grand there was no possible way it would succeed (and he knew it too), Nah, I’m not buying it. A very uneven if solid middle grade read, but don’t read it if you’ve watched The Village (or vice cersa), the similarities may distract from the overall reading experience.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    When Jessie finds out that her 19th-century American town is actually in 1996, her world is flipped upside down. Her hometown is a staged historical reenactment of the 1840s made for tourists, who view the town from the outside using hidden cameras. Then, the town is struck by a diphtheria outbreak, and her mother sends her to sneak out of their isolated world to get modern medicine. Once again, Margaret Peterson Haddix has composed an outstanding read. With her trademark emphasis on the charact When Jessie finds out that her 19th-century American town is actually in 1996, her world is flipped upside down. Her hometown is a staged historical reenactment of the 1840s made for tourists, who view the town from the outside using hidden cameras. Then, the town is struck by a diphtheria outbreak, and her mother sends her to sneak out of their isolated world to get modern medicine. Once again, Margaret Peterson Haddix has composed an outstanding read. With her trademark emphasis on the character's emotions, she allows the reader to really put themselves into Jessie's shoes and feel anxious when she sneaks through secret passageways and confronts villains, feel excitement when she reaches the modern world and laugh along when she mocks the "modern" kids. And best of all, she accomplishes this without extremely long, rambling paragraphs describing the protagonist's thoughts, reactions, and emotions, a practice common in her Shadow Children and The Missing series. This amazing novel focuses on concerns about the survival of the fittest theory and genetic testing on humans and is great for kids 10+ or teens. -Meenal, SPL Teen Volunteer Jessie lives in an ordinary frontier town, Clifton, in the year 1840. At least, that’s all she’s known her whole life, but when an outbreak of diphtheria begins to infect more and more of her neighbors, her mother reveals a horrifying secret: Clifton is actually a historical tourist attraction town and the year is really 1996. Now, Jessie has to escape to the real world in order to receive the cure that will save her home from extinction. It’s a refreshing change to read a book with a female protagonist who doesn’t have mystical or magical abilities, or any specific special talents. This is simply a story of a girl wanting and needing to save her family, and using her wits and resources to do so. While the plot is serious, the author injects plenty of humorous situations as we see Jessie experience “modern” technology and amenities for the first time. This book is a good mix of suspense and historical fiction, and a great read for tweens. –Hannah V.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    This book, for about 10-14 year old girls, reads like a rebuttal to the pioneer-girl fantasies those same girls likely had a few years earlier if they read The Little House Collection or played Oregon Trail -- at any rate, those fantasies stand a chance of giving the young reader a better chance of understanding this surprisingly sophisticated and action-packed novel. The driving motivation behind the book's set-up is the lure of old-timey charm on tourists, which has been perverted in a twist b This book, for about 10-14 year old girls, reads like a rebuttal to the pioneer-girl fantasies those same girls likely had a few years earlier if they read The Little House Collection or played Oregon Trail -- at any rate, those fantasies stand a chance of giving the young reader a better chance of understanding this surprisingly sophisticated and action-packed novel. The driving motivation behind the book's set-up is the lure of old-timey charm on tourists, which has been perverted in a twist by an evil corporation (as I recall, one of my first introductions to that breed in literature (though Alex Mack, on Nick, had already introduced it in television.) If I had visited Colonial Williamsburg as a kid after reading this, I probably would have been terrified. As it was, I only wished I could believe that, thrown into the same situation, I would be as awesome as Jessie.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason McIntire

    I've heard it said that you should avoid cultural references as a writer because they make your work seem dated. That's true of "Running out of Time," but also pretty much unavoidable: The point of the book is throwing a character from the 1800's into modern time, and the time described - in terms of fashion, entertainment, and technology - is very much 1996, and will never seem present-day again. This gives the story a "modern vintage" feel that readers may or may not appreciate. I picked up thi I've heard it said that you should avoid cultural references as a writer because they make your work seem dated. That's true of "Running out of Time," but also pretty much unavoidable: The point of the book is throwing a character from the 1800's into modern time, and the time described - in terms of fashion, entertainment, and technology - is very much 1996, and will never seem present-day again. This gives the story a "modern vintage" feel that readers may or may not appreciate. I picked up this book because it was free (or nearly free) at a bag sale, and I was thinking about giving it to a tween girl. It's a bit young for my taste - and a bit unrealistic and contrived - but I found it fairly entertaining nonetheless. Tweens and teens will likely enjoy it more.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shayne Bauer

    This book is a very quick read, as it is intended for a fairly young audience. With its simple characters and plot, it is not exactly captivating, but I did enjoy the protagonist's commentary on the elements of our time period, which were completely foreign to her. I also like the dual meaning of the title. Many of my students enjoy Haddix's books, and this is one that I will recommend to them. This book is a very quick read, as it is intended for a fairly young audience. With its simple characters and plot, it is not exactly captivating, but I did enjoy the protagonist's commentary on the elements of our time period, which were completely foreign to her. I also like the dual meaning of the title. Many of my students enjoy Haddix's books, and this is one that I will recommend to them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    M. Night Shyamalan owes Margaret Peterson Haddix a WHOLE bunch of money for plagiarizing "The Village" from this 1995 novel. I mean, it is just a blatant rip-off. And this one is better written. M. Night Shyamalan owes Margaret Peterson Haddix a WHOLE bunch of money for plagiarizing "The Village" from this 1995 novel. I mean, it is just a blatant rip-off. And this one is better written.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julianne (Outlandish Lit)

    This book was DOOOOPE if I remember correctly from childhood.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mikey

    “Running out of Time” by Margaret Peterson Haddix was a very interesting quick-read. Due to the outrageous turns of events and the in-depth character developments, this book was a “page turner”, in the truest sense of the word. To begin, the plot and turn of events easily caught me by surprise. For example, the book started out with a fairly normal family who obviously lived in the past. In fact, it later states that the year was currently 1840. I actually read the back of the book before I start “Running out of Time” by Margaret Peterson Haddix was a very interesting quick-read. Due to the outrageous turns of events and the in-depth character developments, this book was a “page turner”, in the truest sense of the word. To begin, the plot and turn of events easily caught me by surprise. For example, the book started out with a fairly normal family who obviously lived in the past. In fact, it later states that the year was currently 1840. I actually read the back of the book before I started reading so I knew it was going to be something about a diphtheria epidemic. Before reading, I fully intended this book to be a novel set in the 1800s. However, when the epidemic is actually discovered, the main character, Jessie Keyser, has a meeting with her mom who is a local doctor. Her mom quietly spoke to her and, out of the blue, mentions that the year is actually 1996. When I read this line in the book, I was honestly caught off guard. Like a natural human, I began formulating a plot according to this one line. I couldn’t manage to do so because this turn of events was so outrageous. I am not exaggerating by saying that this was probably the largest turn of events in any book I have ever read. I started to get very interested in how the story would pan out. This was one of the many turn of events in the book, but it was definitely the largest. The other thing that made this book interesting was the highly developed characters, mainly Jessie. The start of the book is really an explanation of the daily life of people in the 1800s. Jessie would wake up and get out of her bunk bed in her family’s log cabin house. To start off the day, Jessie would do her chores, which seemed to be rotated between all of the children. Then she went to school where her teacher, Mr. Smythe, would often physically harm the students if they didn’t do something correctly. When Jessie got home, they would eat a family dinner and she would help her mom find herbs to heal local sick people. Jessie’s personality in the beginning of the book was very conservative and innocent. When the plot really started picking up, Jessie’s personality really changed. She became a determined girl trying to learn about the outside world while also looking for a cure to her siblings’ disease. Her conservative personality started changing into aggressiveness, as would anyone’s if their siblings were about to die. This interested me because I was constantly wondering what I would do if I were in her situation. However, this comparison didn’t work very well since Jessie knew nothing about the world in 1996 and I obviously do. Overall, this well-developed personality change made the book that much more interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a quick read and would like to read something totally different. It didn’t necessarily pique my interest, but I am glad I read it because it was totally unique. The interesting plot and well-developed characters really do propel this book to be one of the most unique books I have read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katt Hansen

    I liked the premise of this book more than I did the execution. The set up was great, and I felt like I understood the world very well. But the book seemed to fall apart a bit at the end, where things got rushed. I wanted to see a bit more deeper characterization overall. I think that for what it is, it's a solid and enjoyable read though, and would recommend it if you're looking for light entertainment. I liked the premise of this book more than I did the execution. The set up was great, and I felt like I understood the world very well. But the book seemed to fall apart a bit at the end, where things got rushed. I wanted to see a bit more deeper characterization overall. I think that for what it is, it's a solid and enjoyable read though, and would recommend it if you're looking for light entertainment.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sam (Hissing Potatoes)

    3.5 stars. I think a younger reader would appreciate it more than I did, though I did find parts compelling. Also I hope M. Night Shyamalan has acknowledged that his movie The Village clearly drew inspiration from this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This was Haddix' debut?! I'm going to have to read more by her. Even though I've never liked adventures, I have always liked SF, the What If aspect of it especially, and I would have given this five stars when I was 10. Now I can see the imperfections, and I can see that today's children need to read it more like Historical Fiction because 1996 had phone booths that accepted coins from which you could dial landlines! Entertaining and thought-provoking. I appreciated all the different characters, This was Haddix' debut?! I'm going to have to read more by her. Even though I've never liked adventures, I have always liked SF, the What If aspect of it especially, and I would have given this five stars when I was 10. Now I can see the imperfections, and I can see that today's children need to read it more like Historical Fiction because 1996 had phone booths that accepted coins from which you could dial landlines! Entertaining and thought-provoking. I appreciated all the different characters, especially the parents, but even the truck-driver and security guards.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    A fun, quick read. I enjoyed visiting Jessie’s world for the first time since 5th grade \o/

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I read this so many times in junior high, so you know that means it is good!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cindy • leavemetomybooks•

    Meh. Ok-ish, but wouldn’t recommend it for kids bc the main character spends the entire book looking for pay phones.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    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 di 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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pen&Quill Read

    I've had this on my want to read list for YEARS and I finally got to read it in 2020, I know,how ironic. But that aside it was a really good read. I enjoyed the setting, both the 1840's village and 1990's worlds were fully developed and engaging. The pacing was a bit slow for my taste at the beginning but soon I was enthralled by the mystery and peril. Our 13 yr old heroine Jessie (short for Jessica) leads a pretty normal life in her frontier village in 1840 but that summer the children of Clifto I've had this on my want to read list for YEARS and I finally got to read it in 2020, I know,how ironic. But that aside it was a really good read. I enjoyed the setting, both the 1840's village and 1990's worlds were fully developed and engaging. The pacing was a bit slow for my taste at the beginning but soon I was enthralled by the mystery and peril. Our 13 yr old heroine Jessie (short for Jessica) leads a pretty normal life in her frontier village in 1840 but that summer the children of Clifton began to come down with a terrible and mysterious illness, including Jessie's little sister (and favorite sibling) Katie. Jessie's mother, the midnight midwife, and towns last chance at actual medical care, tells her that the children will die with out a cure and the only way to get it is for Jessie flee to the world outside Clifton and bring back help. Oh yeah, and its actually 1996. Now armed with only some strange paper money and instructions to look for a phone, what ever that is, and call the one person can help Jessie sets off into a truly alian landscape filled with terrifying bread trucks and strange cold making boxes. But shes being watched and only time will tell if she can trust those around her, unfortunately time is not something she has. I really liked Jessie. She was brave(borderline cocky at the start) but also had lots of real fears. She got scared, tired, even a bit defeated at times but she pushed through whatever challenges she faced. Not always with a smile and heroic pose but with sheer determination and the knowledge that her family and community counted on her. She also relied on her faith and God to help her along the road, which I thought was nice seeing as a lot of MG novels shy away from that these days. Now to those of you now wanting to not read this book because you think its some religious novel don't because its really isn't. Overall a great historical fiction, both for the 1840's bit but also because its a great look back at the 1990's. The hair, the clothes, the catch phrases. And that little thing we used to call a mall:-)

  25. 5 out of 5

    C.B. Cook

    This book was really interesting! The idea of a colony of people who thought (for the most part) that they lived in the 1800s was really cool, and Jessie's experiences after escaping were really neat. Everything worked out differently than I thought it might, and there was some untapped potential in the story, but it was a really enjoyable read! The only part I didn't like was Pa's trouble adjusting and psychological problems. But otherwise, a great book! This book was really interesting! The idea of a colony of people who thought (for the most part) that they lived in the 1800s was really cool, and Jessie's experiences after escaping were really neat. Everything worked out differently than I thought it might, and there was some untapped potential in the story, but it was a really enjoyable read! The only part I didn't like was Pa's trouble adjusting and psychological problems. But otherwise, a great book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eleni

    I like this book because its about a girl who is in New York and she was exploring the city and one day she gets lost and her mom calls her to come home and she gets lost in the city and she has a minimum time to get home so she starts her time and by the time she gets to were she wants to go shes running out of time this is why i like this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    One of my faves as a kid. I wonder where my copy went? Anyway, supposedly MPH got super pissed when The Village came out, and she accused M. Night Shamalamadingdong of stealing her story. I have no idea about this. I have never seen The Village. The End.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mariah

    I remember the first time I read this, I was thirteen and read this book in one day sitting in a hammock during summer. I loved the characters and all the plot twists. This was my first fearful social utopia book and it sparked my interest that I still have today.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I was really into historical fiction as a kid, and this was my gateway into dystopia and worlds where the entire society was not to be trusted (instead of just random evil adults). I should probably reread it to see how it holds up.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hanna Stuerzl

    This is a really enthralling book that keeps you on the edge of your seat:P I absolutely love it and I have read it several times:D

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