Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Posted December 18, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson HaddixRunning Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Published by Scholastic Press on 2004
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 184
Format: Paperback
Source: Owned
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four-stars

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?

Main Points
Writing Style:
Because this is a middle grade book, the writing is plain and simple. Also because it is from the POV of Jessie who is only about 13.
Plot:
 I loved the historical aspect of this book. It was straight inspiration for me to go and read other older middle grade historical fiction books. It was so easy and familiar to read about life in the 1800s. Honestly it was harder reading about 1996, mostly because it was scary from Jessie’s POV.
Jessie was a little bit naive, but she was surprisingly good at adapting and figuring things out. I think she got lucky only a little bit of the time.
The whole concept was a really cool one. A private village that believes itself to be in the past? I want to live there! I know I was born a few centuries too late. Not only was that part cool, but add the mystery and the ability to see the world we know through a time traveler’s eyes and we’ve got a really neat story. The ending was not without misfortune, but mostly it was happy.
Setting
The setting was well done! It was cool to see how accurately she could paint a picture of the past in just a few words (Jessie’s POV wasn’t prone to description).
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • setting
  • plot
  • characters
  • writing
  • ending
Less than perfect:
  • length (could have been longer)
Bottom Line
This was a really neat concept and a well-written (if simple) story. Jessie was naive but good at figuring things out and the ending was happy. Would I read more by this author? Yes. Would I recommend this to others? Yes.

About Margaret Peterson Haddix

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 Danville, Illinois.

Rating
Plot
four-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
four-stars
Setting
four-half-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars
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