Running Out of Time

Written By: Margaret Peterson Haddix

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?

Summary from the back cover, provided by Aladdin.

I read this many years ago and then again recently. The power of this story remains the same. Whether you are navigating a new world that seems as foreign as the one Jessie finds herself in, or a much more familiar one, seeing things from a new perspective teaches you as much about your own life as the new one you can find yourself thrown into. This is a very unique story told by an amazing author!

Discussion/Project Ideas:

1. Pretend you are Mr. Clifton and write a persuasive speech to convince people to come and live in the village.

2. Make a list of at least 20 things that are typical of life in the village and another one of things that are typical of your life. Put them into a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast them.

3. Write a letter to Mr. Clifton to convince him to let the people have the choice to leave the village.

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