Sep 8, 2008

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Running Out of Time

Know who else read this book? M Night Shyamalan. Because if this ain't the uncredited first draft of the movie "The Village", I'm an illiterate 19th century peasant. But no one ever accused Shyamalan of an overabundance of creativity, so there you go.

Anyway, this is one of several young adult level books on my list. It wasn't bad - an entertaining idea, set out fairly well - but it's no Swiftly Tilting Planet. I like giving dystopian fiction to children and teens. I say, teach 'em young that what authority tells you may be a big, fat lie, that it's important to find out for yourself, and that bucking the system's not necessarily a bad thing. Anyone who takes on a healthy helping of dystopia along with their Blume and Rowling is forearmed against just accepting bullshit like secret US prisons on foreign soil being none of our business and good for our society.

The book itself? Not bad. The action flows just a little too obviously, but shit - kid's book. It's apt to be simplistic. Haddix does well not simply taking the easy way out - people do die, after all - though of course our spunky heroine wins out in the end. I'd have liked to know more about the father and his attempts to rejoin society after going whole hog with the "old days" lifestyle, but you can't always get what you want.

final thought: Young adult fiction is perfect for a brain that's mushy after 24 hours on a Greyhound bus.

2 comments:

Olman Feelyus said...

Nice bust on M. Night!

Agreed on every other paragraph, except that I'm struggling through this young adult cat fantasy fiction. I love cats and was psyched about this, but man sometimes the geeky YA fiction just has way too many characters and tribes and details.

downtown guy said...

Ha, I know what you mean. But I guess it's good training for when kids move from that to Tolkien and so on.