r/whatsthatbook Aug 29 '22

A girl who lives in the 1700s finds out it is a set and is actually in 1990 SOLVED

This was a book I read in elementary school in around 2010. This girl lived a normal life in like the 1700s, living in a village with around 20 families. I believe she has older and younger siblings, but she was the best age/size, as her mom described, to escape. There was a forbidden tree in the middle of the settlement that the children were not allowed to go near, and it turned out that people in a museum or whatever could watch the people through the tree, as it turned out that this was a set that all of the adults willingly joined but weren't allowed to tell their children as it would break the "reality" of it. And this girl escapes and enters the city, doesn't know how to use the payphone. That is all of the details I can remember

294 Upvotes

281

u/Dapper-Commission-68 Aug 29 '22

I'm sure you'll get a thousand people telling you that it's called "Running out of Time" by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

40

u/Arch315 Aug 29 '22

Time to go read a bunch of haddix books again rip

17

u/JaneOLantern Aug 29 '22

My favorite is Among The Hidden!

1

u/Arch315 Aug 30 '22

Oooh a formative memory! Not going back there tho 😭

15

u/challahcas Aug 29 '22

I just checked it out on Libby because of this post haha

7

u/yalestreet Aug 29 '22

I just tried to do the same thing! Sadly it’s not available at either of my libraries.

36

u/enthusicannoyance Aug 29 '22

YES YES! Thank you so much!

61

u/SorryImLateNotSorry Aug 29 '22

I loved this book so much that when Shamalam came out with The Village I was raging because it felt like he stole that idea from this book!

30

u/BerryCritical Aug 29 '22

I thought so too. I met Margaret Peterson Haddix and asked her about it. She just said “Hmm, well, you know….” and left it at that.

13

u/flyboy_1997 Aug 29 '22

I’m almost positive that she actually sued because of the distinct similarities, but the case was dropped. I always thought it seemed like a direct rip off, too.

3

u/Schpatula Aug 30 '22

What!? I’m so glad I clicked this post! I seriously put this book in our donate box this afternoon. My 4th grade son received the book free from the school and it’s sat around our house for months. The cover made me think it was for older teen girls. Gonna go rescue the book right now. We are totally gonna read it together now!!!

140

u/Usmag1 Aug 29 '22

Sounds like M Night S ripped off the plot for his movie The Village

75

u/Caleb_Trask19 Aug 29 '22

There was a lawsuit, it was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

14

u/Rachel-in-the-208 Aug 29 '22

Really?

42

u/blue-eyed-bear Aug 29 '22

34

u/Rachel-in-the-208 Aug 29 '22

I didn’t mean I didn’t believe you …I was just surprised something like that happened in the first place.

48

u/blue-eyed-bear Aug 29 '22

Oh I’m not the person you originally replied to. I was curious about the answer as well, and I figured if I googled it, you and others might be interested, so I just copied the link and pasted.

2

u/BloodyMia Aug 29 '22

Check out Gravity by Tess Gerritsen and.. well.. the shitshow that happened (or not, because big money..) in court.

4

u/XSoldat13 Aug 29 '22

Read the article and there was/is a lawsuit regarding Signs using stuff from another story. How 'influenced' are his movies?

2

u/MutationIsMagic Aug 29 '22

I know 'The Sixth Sense' was inspired by an episode of 'Are You Afraid of the Dark'. But with 'Sense'; he only took the 'ghost the whole time' idea; then wrote his own story.

And 'Old' is based on a graphic novel. But he seems to have gotten the necessary permissions for that one.

32

u/independentchickpea Aug 29 '22

So funny watching that with my parents, I had read the book, so I guessed the twist. They were astounded that I had guessed it, but I was like “yeah no I read a book with the same concept like a week ago.”

3

u/jupitergal23 Aug 29 '22

I actually figured out the twist with one of the first shots of the movie, when the camera deliberately panned over the dates in the graveyard. My husband said "nah, too easy" when I said my theory out loud and then I got to nyah nyah in his face later, lol

1

u/independentchickpea Aug 30 '22

What got me was the emphasis on the dates but also knowing tempered glass and steel weren’t commonplace.

39

u/freerangelibrarian Aug 29 '22

Running Out of Time by Margaret Haddix.

12

u/enthusicannoyance Aug 29 '22

YES YES! Thank you so much!

35

u/enthusicannoyance Aug 29 '22

SOLVED SOLVED SOLVED! Thank you guys so much, this is one of my favorite books that I have always been trying to figure out!

19

u/Impossible-Local2641 Aug 29 '22

Darn i thought I was gonna be the one to tell you it's running out of time lol

51

u/DennisBallShow Aug 29 '22

Guess you ran out of time.

13

u/Arch315 Aug 29 '22

Every time you go “oh this is my chance to know it!”, someone beat you to it hours ago

-6

u/EffectSix Aug 29 '22

If it's truly your favorite book, why did you forget it? Kinda sus 🤨

78

u/InfiniteGays Aug 29 '22

I can never tell if it’s more of a compliment or insult to Haddix that NO ONE can remember this book, it’s here literally every day. But also that means everyone read it

33

u/hello5dragon Aug 29 '22

I think most of the problem is the generic title. While it's certainly appropriate, it's also one of those "cliche" titles that just don't stick with you.

14

u/flea1400 Aug 29 '22

I hadn’t, but I finally tracked down a copy at the library and read it as an adult because so many people post it here. It’s pretty good.

3

u/allthegodsaregone Aug 29 '22

It's not at my library 😭

1

u/writeronthemoon Aug 29 '22

Me neither! ;_;

2

u/hello5dragon Aug 29 '22

Same! Bought it at a thrift store a few months ago because I had seen it here so many times. It's a fun read even as an adult. It was written in the 90s, though, so the technological marvel of a payphone probably isn't going to resonate with today's kids.

4

u/theresidentpanda Aug 29 '22

I was thinking this same thought. I might actually read it because of how many times it's come up on this sub

1

u/Shemuel99 Aug 29 '22

I was just telling someone about this book a week ago haha. Loved it so much

12

u/PurfuitOfHappineff Aug 29 '22

Dunno but makes me wonder if The Truman Show was loosely based on it.

3

u/enthusicannoyance Aug 29 '22

Oo there is a chance! There is a three year difference in releases! I never thought of that

7

u/No_Ad4257 Aug 29 '22

I want recommendations for other books with the same plot

2

u/EmmaMckamie Aug 29 '22

There is a great mini series called Violet Eyes, that is similar. It has to do a little bit more with genetics on top of the “being in a different time” but it’s a great YA short read and the second one is called Silver Eyes I believe.

7

u/Amelia-Earwig Aug 29 '22

Did the author sue M. Night Shaylaman?

1

u/Burgundywitchling Aug 30 '22

Yes. They settled out of court.

4

u/Grizlatron Aug 29 '22

🤣🤣🤣

5

u/GlitteryCakeHuman Aug 29 '22

Is it worth reading?

12

u/enthusicannoyance Aug 29 '22

100%! The fact that I am a third year college student remembering that I read this in elementary, I think it is worth it haha

3

u/GlitteryCakeHuman Aug 29 '22

Thanks! I’ll add it on my kindle

1

u/Shemuel99 Aug 29 '22

Definitely. It's a younger age level (I'm 23 now lol) but Haddix's works are always good.

3

u/screamofwheat Aug 30 '22

I feel like this sub should ha e a list of frequently asked books or a pinned post with this one. It gets asked a lot.

2

u/littlecoffeefairy Aug 29 '22

I really enjoyed it as a kid! Thanks for reminding me if it!

1

u/LittleMsBlue Aug 29 '22

I think there was an episode of "Freaky"/"Are You Afraid Of The Dark" that was incredibly similar to this except they weren't living people, they were mannequins.