So, I remember being read a book in elementary school (so it was at least written by 97-98). It was about a girl in the 1700-1800's who found out she was actually part of an exhibit in a history museum - The entire younger generation thought they were actually in the time period, while all the adults were in on it. Could someone help me identify this story?

  • Please try to add anything that may help identification. What language was it in? What was the cover like? Anything at all? Feel free to edit any additional details into the question.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 17:15
  • Sounds like The Prisoner in reverse.
    – smci
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 21:51
  • I'm happy to see you got the answer you were looking for, but was there anything about the story that made it SF or Fantasy?
    – SQB
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 14:10
  • @Paulie_D Sorry, my elementary school teacher read the book to us as a class so I wracked my brain to come up with all I could about it. I'm pretty sure that Monica's answer is correct though
    – Sidney
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


I believe you're looking for Running Out of Time, by Margaret Peterson Haddix (1996). From Wikipedia:

Jessie Keyser 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 a historical village. Her mother asks her to retrieve a cure for now her own sister Katie has taken ill; the owners of the attraction ceased to provide modern medical care to the villagers in order to preserve its authenticity. She tells Jessie to get the cure from a man named 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.

  • 4
    This has been on my to-read list for years.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 18:41
  • 22
    So based on that description, did M. Night Shyamalan use this as the starting point for The Village? Those are strikingly close parallels between the two stories.
    – Mike Clark
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 18:41
  • 6
    @MikeClark That's been alleged but there was never a lawsuit. books.google.com/… Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 18:43
  • Thanks for the link @MissMonicaE. I will definitely have to check this book out now.
    – Mike Clark
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 18:48

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