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Breakout

by Kate Messner

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25714103,575 (3.65)1
From multiple perspectives, tells of a time capsule project and the middle schoolers who contribute, including future journalist Nora Tucker and newcomer Elidee Jones, whose brother is in the local prison.
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I read this author’s other book, All the answers, so I know she can write a good book. So what went wrong here?
Honestly, I got close to saying this is a 2.5 star read, but I think that’s a little harsh. This isn’t a terrible book. It’s kind of okay. To be quite frank, I just found it really boring. I literally could not have cared less about the characters in this book. I think the only one I liked was Elidee, but other than that, everyone one else was just… there. It was pretty boring, and I regret having read it in the first place. If I were you, I’d pass on reading it.
But hey, if this is the kind of book you’d like, and you end up enjoying it, that’s great for you, but I guess this just wasn’t the book for me. ( )
  That_Crazy_Fangirl | Jan 3, 2024 |
As a younger-middle-grade book, this lacked some of the fast-paced storytelling that many authors rely on. Owen's drawings were unnecessary and did not provide more depth to Nora or Sean's character, and the story dragged in the middle. However, there are many positives, such as the setting the story in a town that is primarily employed by the local prison, showing multiple perspectives on racial bias and minor moments of reflection for the adult characters, and having a joy factor (running/cross country). ( )
  ACLopez6 | Feb 25, 2023 |
My read today:Wow!The creativity of the writing including letters, texts, news articles, comics, etc.A town with middle schoolers uniting during a prison escape, researching, and realizing racism within their town.The young people use their writing to promote change. #MGReadathon ( )
  lflareads | Jun 27, 2020 |
I wanted to love it, and I think I would if it had been half as long. The premise -- escaped prisoners! -- sounds like something is going to happen at some point, but nope. I appreciate what it's doing about white suburbanites wrestling with race, but it just does so waaaaay too slowly for most kids (and me). Read Alex Gino's You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! instead. ( )
  SamMusher | Feb 20, 2020 |
Breakout presents a realistic story about three girls who live in a town where a prison looms large.

Nora wants to be a journalist when she grows up. Two events happen that enable her to practice her skills. The town creates a time capsule and the students have to input five entries for future residents of the Wolf Creek. Meanwhile two inmates escape from the prison. Nora writes way more than five entries, but she details what happens as the search begins and eventually ends. Nora's father is in charge of the prison, so he's always at work. Everyone locks their doors and events must be cancelled for safety, which annoys Nora because she wants to participate in field day at the end of the school year. It may be cancelled if the inmates aren't found. A new girl, Elidee, runs faster than Nora. Nora feels nervous about competing against her--Nora wants to win because the winner throws a water balloon at the principal. Nora moves around town telling what everyone is doing and trying to figure out where the criminals could be hiding.

Lizzie, Nora's best friend, hangs out with Nora most of the time. Her grandmother has been having problems, so her mother has been helping her. Lizzie's interests differ from Nora. She submits her thoughts by using a recorder. The conversations are "transcripts" in the book. She does not enjoy running like Elidee and Nora do nor does she harbor ideas about being a journalist, but she helps them by doing entries and running.

Elidee represents the newcomer. She and her mother have moved to Wolf Creek to live close to Elidee's brother, who is now incarcerated in the prison. Elidee misses New York. Wolf Creek seems boring in comparison. Elidee is also black, so she is often treated differently than Lizzie and Nora, which shows a new side of the town to them. She also participates in writing entries for the time capsule.

Several people have told me they loved this book. I didn't. It does teach you a lot--about what it's like to be a minority in a white town, the demographics of inmate vs. general population, what types poetry one can write, etc. I found the book repetitive. Nora would write her article, then Lizzie might have a comment about the same event. I felt like I was reading the story multiple times before the plot advanced. It's definitely written for a younger audience, but I do think the meaning behind the book resonates with truth. It's worth reading just to learn about part of our society. ( )
  acargile | Sep 12, 2019 |
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From multiple perspectives, tells of a time capsule project and the middle schoolers who contribute, including future journalist Nora Tucker and newcomer Elidee Jones, whose brother is in the local prison.

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