Sunday, January 13, 2008

Running Out Of Time

By Reviewer Sonya

Title: Running Out of Time
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Primary Audience/Age Group: 8-12 year olds
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
# of Pages: 184 pages
Year of Release: 1995
Part of A Series: No
Rating: 5
Description:(From book jacket) "Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana, in 1840 -- or so she believes. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother reveals a shocking secret -- it's actually 1996, and they are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicine exists that can cure the dread disease, and Jessie's mother is sending 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?"

Review: I really enjoyed this book. The story was very interesting. Margaret Peterson Haddix did an excellent job making this story believable. I could relate to almost all of the characters in some way and found myself rooting for their village to remain a secret and be successful.

Positive: Jessie is the main character in this story and a very brave, 13 year old girl. She is obedient and helpful to her mother, who serves as midwife in the village. Jessie’s mission is a dangerous one. It is a mission she must complete in order to help save the children of her village. Jessie displays courage and determination and never gives up; even after being kidnapped by someone on the outside she thinks is a friend.

Spiritual Elements:
The people of the village are very dependent on one another and do a wonderful job at loving their neighbor. The villager’s work together to make sure the community runs smoothly. They look out for one another and each has their own gift, which contributes for good to everyone else. They have reconstructed this village so that they might bring their children up in a world less corrupt than what they found 1996 to be.

Mr. Neely is another character in the book that is deceptive. He pretends to be helpful and a friend to Jessie when all the time he views her as a threat that he may have to eliminate.

There is mild violence in the book. The violence occurs when Jessie is kidnapped. She is hit in the head, drugged, and locked in a room. Jessie also overhears Mr. Neely speaking to someone over the phone about the possibility of having to murder her. This adds suspense and helps to develop the story and I feel that it is appropriate for the targeted age group.

I do not remember any language in this book.

Sexual Content: No sexual content is contained in this book.


I would recommend this book because I think the story is very interesting and totally engrossing. When I read it, I did not want to put the book down because the story had so many great developments. I think everything presented in the book helps to make the story such a good read. The book is targeted to children ages 8 to 12 and I think most children in that age category would find the book interesting and enjoy it. I think it is age appropriate and I also think many adults will find the book to be a very good read.

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