by Kate Messner


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Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics—a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project—Breakout is a thrilling story that will leave readers thinking about who's really welcome in the places we call home.

Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek—two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town's maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.

A Mighty Girl Best Book of the Year

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681195384
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 16,928
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books that encourage kids to wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books like Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, and How to Read a Story; novels like Capture the Flag, All the Answers, and The Seventh Wish; the Fergus and Zeke easy reader series, and the Ranger in Time historical chapter book series. Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family and is trying to summit all forty-six Adirondack High Peaks in between book deadlines.


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Breakout 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
I was really blown away by the creative idea of having the story be told through letters, photographs, poems, interviews, text messages, and even some homemade comics being sent into a time capsule for the town – it really made the story shine. It adds an entire layer of depth to the book as we read the story through the time capsule. I like how we are only exposed to tidbits that somehow tell so much while revealing more questions. One thing I did like was how the story is less about the breakout and the convicts, and more about the emotional and mental stress of living during that time for the citizens. It also talked a little about racial injustices that occur in small conservative towns, as one of the girls recently moved to the area and is African American – a thing that may not have been an issue, if not for the unfortunate timing of the breakout and the citizens being on edge. The book is poignant, with humor laced deep within the terror of having escaped murderers running through your back woods. The characters still experience life as middle schoolers, having to deal with the breakout but with it still not always being the worst thing on their minds. I think kids will enjoy how normal every character is and will surely find someone to relate to. I am a fan of Messner, and I was thrilled to have a chance to read this book. I look forward to more books from Messner! Please note I received a free review copy of this book.
Readingjunky More than 1 year ago
What happens when you learn that not everyone is who you think they are? Nora Tucker is finishing her seventh grade year in Wolf Creek, New York. She has always lived in this small town with its quaint little stores, library, treehouses, and mountain view. She also knows that beyond the wall outside of town is the prison where her father is superintendent. When two inmates escape, Nora finds out in a few short weeks that things aren't always as they seem. Nora and her friend Lizzie are excited about the start of summer, but first they have two weeks left of school. It is a surprise when a new girl named Elidee arrives with so little left of the school year. Nora learns that Elidee's brother is one of the inmates in the prison so Elidee and her mother have moved to Wolf Creek to be closer to him. Everyone is looking forward to the end of the year traditions at the middle school. The most exciting event is Field Day and the Mad Mile. Relay teams run a cross country type course with the winning team earning the privilege of throwing water balloons at the school principal. Nora and Lizzie invite Elidee to be on their team since she has demonstrated her superior running ability in gym class. Unfortunately, when the two inmates escape from the prison, all town events are cancelled, and everyone is left hanging out indoors or greatly modifying their activities. Watching her family, friends, and neighbors in this time of crisis, opens Nora's eyes to the fact that even when you think you know someone, you rarely know their full story. BREAKOUT by Kate Messner is a unique tale told in a series of letters, recorded conversations, news articles, comics, poetry, and more. Readers will be amazed at how quickly they will come to like and even love some characters and dislike others. Messner also makes sure to let readers know that first impressions may lead to misinterpretations. BREAKOUT is perfect for middle grade readers, but older teens will find much to like as well.