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Haddix, Margaret Peterson.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1995.
IL 5-8 RL 6.4
ISBN 0689800843

(4 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Life in Indiana in 1840 is difficult; the country is in a depression, and Jessie's family can't afford to build a new house.  Instead they live in a log cabin that Pa first built when the family came to Indiana from Pennsylvania.  Jessie and Ma and Pa and Hannah had traveled down the river, although Jessie can't remember that trip, back in 1828-she'd been too little.  But now she was thirteen, in eighth grade, and helping Ma do the midwifing, even though the town of Clifton has a doctor.  Especially now, since there's a sickness in town.  The doctor can't even cure it, and Jessie's classmates are getting sicker and sicker.  Jesssie isn't too worried until little sister Katie gets sick.  "You'll be okay," Jessie tells her-but they aren't supposed to use words like okay, or shut up. But it's not okay, and Ma tells Jessie that the sickness Katie has is diphtheria, a bad disease-lots of kids die from it.  Ma has to trust Jessie with the biggest secret in her lifetime.  It's not really 1840, it's-well, you'll have to read the book to find out what year it really is. (Stacy Charlesbois,  Adult & Young Adult Services Librarian,,  Farmington Community Library, Farmington, Michigan)

Booktalk #2

Jessie Kayser lives in Clifton Village in 1840... or so she thinks. Outside this historical reserve, it's really 1996. When diphtheria strikes, Jessie's mom sends her on a dangerous mission; outside to Clifton to get help. If anybody finds out that Jessie escaped, they could possibly kill her. She calls a man named Issac Neely that her mother said would help. He picks her up and brings her to his apartment. She decided to eavesdrop on his phone calls an heard him say he was going to lock her in her room and then later kill her. She found out that he was one of Mr. Clifton's bad men. The next morning she escapes and calls a news conference. She faints after she explains she can't see her parents because of some law and no one will tell her anything. Her brother and sister tell her the horror she missed. To find out what happened, read RUNNING OUT OF TIME. (Julia W., 8th grade student, Rundlett Middle School, Concord, New Hampshire)

Booktalk #3

Imagine living in a World where you think it is in the 1800's, but the time period is actually 1996. The people in your tourist village are dying from a deadly disease called dyptheria. Your mom sends you into the real world to get medicine. While on her mission the girl encounters people who want to murder her. Will the girl  survive and save her town?  Read this exciting page turner to find out.  (MM,  student Haddonfield Middle, Haddonfield NJ USA)

Booktalk #4

Jesse has lived in Clifton Village her entire remembering life.  It's a typical 1840's life:  she goes to school, helps her mom (who is a midwife), and does her chores.  But then Jesse's friends start to fall ill with a deadly sickness called diphtheria. Everyone is at risk from this deadly disease. The only way to save them is for Jesse to learn a secret... a secret that could lead Jesse to be their savior.  The year is actually 1996 and she and her family live in a "tourist site."  Now Jesse must leave Clifton and risk her life to try and find the cure, in the real world, to save her friends...

I liked this book because I am interested in what life was like a long time ago. I also wanted to know what Jesse has to say about 1996. I recommend it for people who like history, but don't like the "and then and then and then" kind.  (Alex N.,  student-age 11)

SUBJECTS:     Mystery and detective stories
                        Indiana -- Fiction
                        Diphtheria -- Fiction
                        Eugenics -- Fiction
                        Experiments -- Fiction
                        United States -- Social conditionss -- Fiction


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