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!


  1. Haddix is one of my favorite authors too. A few of my kids are in the middle of her Found series. My copy of Running Out of Time walked away...I'm going to need to pick another one up this summer.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Oh my god! Now I have to get a copy after that introduction. I want to know what happens! Thanks for sharing!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  3. Wow! This sounds like a super fun book!! Thanks for linking up!
    ideas by jivey
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  4. I still remember when I read this book in fifth grade. I loved it then and still do now! Just found you on Jivey's linky!

    Eclectic Educating

  5. That book really does sound good! Thanks for linking up. It's on my list now, Heather

  6. Margaret Peterson Haddix is the master of suspense in youth fiction. Have you read her book, "Among the Hidden"? It got many of my students hooked on the series.

    Mrs. Laffin’s Laughings

  7. Oh wow! You have me hooked!! I want to read it right now! I will put it on my list! How awesome!

    Collaboration Cuties

  8. Haddix has always and will always be one of my favorite authors!! The Shadow Children Series is a huge favorite in my classroom, and the books there is always a waiting list to check out (and I have 3 copies of the entire series!) I remember when I first read the first book and I was INSTANTLY hooked. I am definitely going to have to read this one now :) Thanks for sharing!!


  9. I have never heard of the book! I need to read it over the summer. Thanks so much for your great review:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  10. This book is new to me, but sounds like a winner. I can always use more historical fiction in my classroom library. Thanks for sharing.

    Foreman Teaches


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