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Running Out of Time

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  23,363 ratings  ·  1,535 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published 2004 by Scholastic (first published October 1st 1995)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  23,363 ratings  ·  1,535 reviews

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Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Valynne Maetani
Jan 19, 2008 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Lars Guthrie
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Louise
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, favorites
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
Candace Robinson
Loved this one! And I swear this is where the idea for The Village came from! I loved that movie too!
Aug 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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. ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel, it’s quite an interesting idea, well worth a read.
Wade WDM
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
”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
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 ...more
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
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 ...more
Jason McIntire
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
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
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. ...more
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Julianne (Outlandish Lit)
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was DOOOOPE if I remember correctly from childhood.
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
“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
Kristine Hansen
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
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. ...more
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.
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
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,
A fun, quick read. I enjoyed visiting Jessie’s world for the first time since 5th grade \o/
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this so many times in junior high, so you know that means it is good!
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, 3-4-5
Meh. Ok-ish, but wouldn’t recommend it for kids bc the main character spends the entire book looking for pay phones.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: day-reads
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 ...more
C.B. Cook
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nostalgia, mg, dystopia
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.
Hanna Stuerzl
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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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Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danvil ...more

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