Running Out of Time (novel)

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Running Out of Time
RunningOutofTime.jpg
Author Margaret Peterson Haddix
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult novel
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
1996
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 184 pp
ISBN 0-689-80084-3
OCLC 32313823
LC Class PZ7.H1164 Ru 1995

Running Out of Time is a novel by Margaret Peterson Haddix, published in 1996.

Plot summary[edit]

Jessie is a 13-year-old girl from the village of Clifton, Indiana, in the 1840s. During a village-wide outbreak of diphtheria, Jessie's mother reveals it is actually 1996, and Clifton Village is a tourist attraction, a replica of an historical village. She secretly sends Jessie out of the village to retrieve a cure for the disease from a man, Isaac Neeley, who did not think Clifton should be a tourist attraction. Jessie's escape will be difficult, because Clifton is guarded to ensure that none of the villagers leaves or finds out it is actually 1996.

As Jessie escapes underground, she is almost caught by guards and almost loses the package of food and money her mother gave her. She stays overnight in a restroom until she is able to leave the tourist area. Once she makes it to town, Jessie is frequently confused by the technological advancements of the modern world. After meeting with Neeley at a KFC, she returns with him to his apartment, where he attempts to drug her so he can kill her. She overhears a conversation in which he says she knows too much about the outside world. Jessie wakes up the next day and manages to escape his apartment through a window.

Jessie convinces local newspapers and radio stations to attend a press conference on the steps of the Capitol building. When the media arrives, Jessie begins to explain the situation but faints due to diphtheria, which infected her before she left Clifton. At the press conference, she learns the man she thought was Isaac Neeley is actually Frank Lyle, a scientist and business partner of Miles Clifton, the founder of Clifton Village; the real Isaac Neeley is dead. After it is revealed that Clifton had allowed Lyle and others to use his village to try to create a stronger human gene pool that would be able to resist disease without the aid of medicine, Clifton Village is closed.

When Jessie wakes up, she leaves her bedroom and finds him[who?] talking about the diphtheria outbreak in Clifton Village. She discovers that several other members of the Clifton Village have been brought to the hospital. Her parents are not among those who were arrested, but they will have to convince the authorities that they didn't put any of their six children in danger. Jessie's mother is allowed to visit Jessie in the hospital, and she explains that Jessie's father still rejects life in the 20th century. After Clifton Village closes, Jessie lives in the year 1996.

Plagiarism allegation[edit]

Simon & Schuster, who published Running Out of Time, claimed that the film The Village (2004) had stolen ideas from the book.[1] The film's plot also features a village whose inhabitants choose to live in a manner reminiscent of the 1800s, when the year is actually 2004. The film also includes a young female protagonist who escapes the village in order to acquire medical supplies.[citation needed]

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