Book Buying Footnote

The illustrated book cover for Running Out of Time.

Skip this post if you haven’t seen the movie The Village and hate spoilers….

We were assessing and filing new book acquisitions today for our Wall of Awesome when my wife discovered something surprising.

First, I’ll disclaim the book is for 9-to-12-year-olds, and yes we’re stockpiling for the future. If you have a Wall of Awesome, I highly recommend it.

Our ‘Friends of the Library’ group held a buck-a-bag sale when it moved to a smaller facility. Sometimes I grab stuff based on title and cover art, and if I don’t like it later, it gets donated. So, this item was a real surprise.

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Does this sound familiar? The book jacket reads:

“Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana in 1840 — or so she believes. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie’s mother reveals a shocking secret — it’s actually 1996, and they are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicine exists that can cure the dread disease, and Jessie’s mother is sending 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?”

The book was published in 1995. A certain film by M Night Shyamalan came out in 2004 for which he’s credited as the sole writer. A brief blurb on Wikipedia mentions the controversy, but no lawsuit was filed.

I suppose the key difference is that the film is a mystery-horror piece that virtually ends after the secret is revealed. This book seems focused more on the girl facing danger in an unfamiliar world (Wikipedia has a lengthier description). The book sounds better, oh, and original.


2 Responses to “Book Buying Footnote”

  1. Amber says:

    wow. This reminds me of the “Parts: The Clonus Horror”/”The Island” controversy, for which there WAS a lawsuit, and they settled out of court.

    For the record, for the 9-12 yo girls, I’d suggest “Stone Words” by Pam Conrad, which isn’t a movie but is an awesomely written book!

    May 3rd, 2009 at 8:13 am

  2. Lori says:

    In the movie, the only ones who “know” are the elders of the town. The female protagonist never realizes the truth …

    On the book note, please, please, please encourage your kids to read The Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix. Beginning with “Sabriel”, the series is enthralling. As a teacher, I recommend it to readers, non-readers, girls, boys, whomever. It always receives high praise!

    Oh, age-wise, I’d say 12 and up, but I know 10-year-old girls who are reading “Twilight” and 8 year olds who are reading “Harry Potter”. Here’s a thought. Read it first. Then be able to discuss it with your kids! :)

    May 3rd, 2009 at 11:15 am