Reviews for Running Out of Time


The Book Report Reviews 1996 May-June
Jessie's world changes quickly when her mother tells her it is not 1840 but 1995 and her family is part of a Utopian experiment. Millionaire businessman Miles Clifton recruited the Keysers and 24 other families to recreate a 19th-century community with"viewing centers" for tourists. Although the families eschew modern conveniences, they are assured their children will have modern medicines. When diphtheria breaks out and medication is withheld, the adults realize something has gone wrong. Jessie's mother quickly tells her daughter about such things as cars and telephones. Her plan is for Jessie to escape from the compound by blending in with one of the touring school groups. once she is off the grounds,Jessie is to telephone one of the project's most vocal critics. Unfortunately, Clifton's agents capture her. Knowing that lives depend upon her,Jessie escapes again and manages to get the attention of a television crew, who skeptically listen to her story. once the media begin investigating, they discover that the reconstructed village was intended all along for medical experiments by unethical researchers. Jesse and her siblings face a long period of adjustment to a technological society. This impressive first novel works because the author creates a believable scenario. Recommended. By Charlotte Decker © 1996 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1996
In an intriguing and fast-paced first novel, Haddix tells the story of Jessie, a child growing up in 1840 in a small town. When children begin dying of diptheria, Jessie learns that it is not 1840; it is 1996, and she is an exhibit in a living history museum controlled by scientists. In a tense, satisfying narrative, Jessie escapes, retrieving medicine for the children and drawing public attention to the cruelty of the exhibit. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1995 October
Gr 5-8?This absorbing novel develops an unusual premise into the gripping story of a young girl's efforts to save her family and friends from a deadly disease. Jessie Keyser, 13, believes that the year is 1840. In truth, she and her family, along with a small group of others, live in a reconstructed village viewed by unseen modern tourists and used as an experimental site by unethical scientists. Jessie discovers the truth when her mother asks her to leave the village and seek medical help for the diptheria epidemic that has struck the children of the community. Jessie must cope with the shock of her discovery; her unfamiliarity with everyday phenomena such as cars, telephones, and television; and the unscrupulous men who are manipulating the villagers. The action moves swiftly, with plenty of suspense, and readers will be eager to discover how Jessie overcomes the obstacles that stand in her way. While she is ultimately successful, the ending is not entirely a happy one, for several children have died and others are placed in foster care to await resolution of the complex situation. This realistically ambiguous ending reflects the author's overall success in making her story, however far-fetched, convincing and compelling. Haddix also handles characterization well; even secondary characters who are somewhat sketchily drawn never descend into stereotype. This book will appeal to fans of time-travel or historical novels as well as those who prefer realistic contemporary fiction, all of whom will look forward to more stories from this intriguing new author.?Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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