Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review: Running Out of Time

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Recommended for: ages 8 and up

Rating: PG

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 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?

 After reading several of Haddix's other books, I decided to go read her first book. I also thought it was interesting that it was inspired by Conner Prairie in Indiana.

Writing: 4/5

The writing is good, but not as good as in some of her later books. In the story there are many things that are ordinary that Jessie thinks are strange. It is written well, showing that from Jessie's point of view, that the world is very strange to her. It is written as a good stand alone book, and it has a conclusive ending.

Setting: 5/5

The book starts out in Clifton village, a small town in 1840. There is not a lot in the story that actually takes place in Clifton village, but what is in the story does seem like a small village in 1840. The story mostly takes place in Indiana in 1996. I don't know what it was like in 1996, but since it was modern when it was written, it is probably accurate in the setting.

Plot: 4/5

The plot of the story is, when the children of Clifton village start getting sick, Jessie is sent to go get help for the people who are dying. Clifton village is a tourist attraction where people can see what it was like in the 1800s. The children don't know that it is not really 1840. The people who live in Clifton village are also not allowed to leave. The story follows Jessie, who tries to get help while not understanding 1996.

Character Development: 4/5

The story focuses on Jessie who is well developed. There is a lot about 1996 that she doesn't understand, and it is written from the view of someone who grew up like she was living in 1840. Jessie struggles with what to do and how to act without giving away where she is from. There are several other characters, but none of them are in it very long or have much focus on them. While the character development is well done, it is not as good as the character development in her later books.

I enjoyed reading this book, even though it is not as good as her later books, and would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure stories.

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