Running Out of Time Novel Study

I am linking up with Jivey for her "Wednesday Workshop" linky:
Today's theme is books to use during reading groups.

Here is a book my kiddos are reading - and LOVING!

Running Out of Time
by Margaret Peterson Haddix (my favorite author!)

It's a historical fiction-meets adventure book about a 12-year-old girl named Jessie. 
Jessie and her family live in Clifton, Indiana in 1840.

In the beginning of the book, we are introduced to life in 1840: sleeping four to a room, attending one-room school houses, using outhouses, and cooking over a wood stove. Jessie's mom is the midwife of the town and is often called out during the night on medical emergencies. One night Jessie accompanies her on an outing and they find three girls very ill. Her mom is panicked and starts acting very uncharacteristically. She puts a "Quarantine" sign on the door and tells Jessie to meet her in the woods the next day.

When Jessie arrives, her mom is frightened and anxious. 
Jessie's mom quickly explains that she has a task for Jessie to do.
A dangerous task.

And then she drops the bombshell...

It isn't 1840.
It is 1996.
Jessie's family lives in a historical preserve.
Their lives are being constantly viewed by tourists who visit "Cliften Village" to see what life was like in the mid-1800s. 

And Miles Clifton, the owner of the village, wants everything to be 100% authentic. If anyone dares leave the village, they will be hunted.
And perhaps killed.

But Jessie must leave - because a diptheria epidemic has struck and many will die.
Unless she can find help.
And modern-medicine.

The fate of her home, her family, and her friends is in her hands.

And that's how the adventure to the outside world begins...


My students LOVE this book - they always scream when the truth is revealed and start to recall all of the hints and foreshadowing that Haddix skillfully places in the first couple of chapters.

Then they experience life with Jessie as she tries new things (like wearing jeans, walking through traffic, and chewing bubble gum). Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger that will have your students begging for more!

This is a must-read. If you don't have it in your classroom library, order it. You won't be sorry!

Back to Top