Breakout by Kate Messner


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...

Details Breakout

Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury Children's Books
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction

Reviews Breakout

  • Donalyn
    Engaging and thought provoking. One of my favorite Kate Messner books, yet!
  • Jillian Heise
    There was more to this than I expected from the teasers and knowing some of the background of the story from Kate's posts. I was drawn in by the different layers to the story, the multi-genre method of telling it, and the characters authenticity. And Messner allows the characters and circumstances to delve into deeper issues of racism and systemic oppression, in a way that is engaging and developmentally appropriate for the targeted age level, ma...
  • Rachel Harder
    This was one of the most captivating and brilliant books I’ve read in a long time.
  • Rebecca Sofferman
    I just finished Breakout and I hardly know what to say except please do yourself a favor and read it! I’ve been a fan of Kate Messner’s books for years but this is by far her best and perhaps most important work yet. I thought I was going to be reading a book based on the true story of a prison breakout that happened near my home, which had me intrigued from the start. But the book also takes on the issue of white privilege in the context of ...
  • Lorie Barber
    So I cry a lot when I'm reading books. That wasn't true for this one. But as I reflect on what I've just read and write my review, I am in tears.Breakout is unequivocally in my top 3 for best books ever written for middle-grade readers. In an effort to educate myself on racism and oppression in the United States, I have read a lot of YA fiction (Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, Jason Reynolds are a few that spring to mind) that has tackled the tough topi...
  • Wendy Garland
    When two inmates escape from the local jail, an extended manhunt causes Nora to think twice about her small, safe and friendly town. Nora and her journalist buddy Lizzie set out to listen and report on the situation which we read about via letters, texts, and transcripts for the town time capsule. What they learn is that people are more than the choices they make. They also discover that their quiet little town was more racially biased than they ...
  • Rachel Polacek
    4.5 -- LOVED this story and the different pieces of writing used to tell it. This also got me down a rabbit hole researching the actual prison outbreak from 2015 and those from Alcatraz!
  • Rebecca Donnelly
    I'm really looking forward to introducing my library kids & the adults in their lives to BREAKOUT. First, because it’s Kate & it’s got all the hallmarks of one of her beloved middle grade books: a North Country setting, relatable kids and families, & an accessible route into a difficult topic. On the surface, BREAKOUT is about a northern NY community affected by the escape of two inmates from the local correctional facility one summer—a thi...
  • Beth Honeycutt
    Definitely 4.5 stars! I like the varied format of text in the book and I LOVED the references to Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Jaqueline Woodson, and Nikki Grimes.
  • Linda Owen
    Upstate New York small town; state prison a major employer. Middle school, winding down the school year. English teacher assigns 5 letters to future residents to be put in a community time capsule. Nora Tucker, the prison superintendent's daughter, and her best friend, Lizzie Bruno, are planning end-of-school and summer activities. Elidee Jones, whose brother is a new inmate in the prison, moves to town with her mom. Shortly before the end of sch...
  • Sarah
    I read an ARC (thank you, Bloomsbury and NCTE) of this latest Kate Messner story and wow- she has done it again! This author has such a talent for writing middle grade books that tell captivating stories while weaving in serious content (Seventh Wish and Exact Location of Home, for example). And even better, the back matter tells how this book started with a real-life event, was created with research/interviews, and it provides additional sources...
  • Stacey
    "I'm guessing that once you're the kind of person who thinks about all this stuff, you don't go back to being the kind of person who doesn't."Written in prose, poetry, text, photos and graphic art, this book will grab every reader. Complex perspectives are shared through a story told by three unique female characters. The sad truths of privilege and racism are exposed as a small town deals with their fear and uncertainty during a prison break.The...
  • Laurie
    Interest Level: 5-8What if your quiet, uneventful, dull town was one day turned upside down and what once felts safe, not so much anymore? What if that same town that you grew up in all of your life was known for being a welcoming, friendly town, but not so much anymore? This is what is happening in Wolf Creek, a town that lives in the shadows of the Wolf Creek Correctional Facility. It is the end of the school year and all Nora can think about i...
  • Ms. Yingling
    ARC provided by publisher at ALA MidwinterNora and Lizzie are enjoying the end of the school year in their small, east coast town, waiting for field day and all of the leisure of summer. When two prisoners break out of the local prison (for which most of the local residents work), things become tense. Nora's young brother becomes obsessed with trying to catch the "bad guys" before his birthday party, and reporters and search teams take over the t...
  • Kristin
    I had the privilege of receiving an ARC of this book from a friend who attended ALA Midwinter. It did not disappoint! I'm so happy to tell my students and colleagues about this book so they can get their hands on it when it releases in June!First off, the craft of this book grabbed my attention. Because it's told through a collection of documents for a community time capsule project, the reader learns the story through letters, text messages, dra...
  • Barb
    What an amazing book! Kate Messner has a gift with words. How was she able to express the feelings of these middle school students and share how they come to the realization of the racial inequalities of their world? This book is not written judgmentally or inauthentically. I believe this is an example of how people can change their biases, it’s done one at a time, friend to friend. It’s done with family visits and school talks. I also enjoye...
  • Sarah Ackerman
    I LOVED this book. Not just a little. A LOT. Messner delves into such delicate, tricky subject matter with so much heart, compassion, and insight. I live in a small, mostly white town. We are really similar to Wolf Creek (we even have a subdivision and elementary school named Wolf Creek). My daughter could have been Lizzie or Nora - 2 of the main characters. I feel like this book should just be required reading. It’s so smart, and so spot on......
  • Michelle Simpson
    The entire story of prejudice and race is written through a series of letters, essays, articles, texts, and poetry. It allows us to examine different points of view from multiple perspectives. Kate Messner handled an important subject in an outstanding manner. This book is thought provoking and will cause readers to take a step back and reflect, while still being written to appeal to middle grade readers. I look forward to sharing it with student...
  • Amber Webb
    WOW! This book is a 2018 standout and a must read for everyone! The way Messner set this book up was ground breaking and the best way to write this story. A prison break out in a small town is recorded from multiple perspectives through letters, texts, notes, articles and transcriptions. Very interesting.The way Messner is able to talk about the big issues such as white privilege and inequity was profound. This book has power and should be read t...
  • Heather
    Outstanding contemporary middle-grade novel inspired by real events. I loved that the story is told through the use of documents that are submitted to a time-capsule project. I was fascinated by the different perspectives of the various narrators (especially Elidee, whose last few letters brought tears to my eyes, but also Nora who really begins to learn and grow over the course of the story.) I appreciate the novel's focus on issues of racial bi...
  • Cassie Thomas
    What an amazing story. The authors note at the end helped to understand why a prison break, which is helpful! There is so much to be discussed in the story with children that I am real excited to bring into my classroom. As a teacher, I love all of the different styles of writing. A favorite of Kate’s for sure! Must have 2018 story!
  • Ann
    I can’t even express how important (and brilliant) this book is.
  • Michele Knott
    Finally, a book for middle graders that gets the conversation about race and perception and privilege going. Oh yeah, and the writing and crafting of this novel is OUTSTANDING.
  • Mrs. Porter
    Multi-format mystery, stoked with coming of age realizations. Fantastic character development. Already placed it in the hands of another teacher and have ordered it for our library.
  • Renee Johnson
    I really enjoyed this book. it's thought provoking without being too preachy. I love that it's pro-libraries and I love the use of poetry. It's written in letters, text messages, and overheard conversations which made the book a quick read, but yet it deals with very complex issues. I love it's emphasis on seeing people, especially prisoners, as individuals with stories and people who love them, and the fact that we all make mistakes.I plan to gi...
  • Jen Petro-Roy
    Ambitious and beautifully done. I love the Hamilton-inspired raps!
  • Lesley
    It takes a village to build a town and maintain a town and its citizens, and Kate Messner, all by herself, is that village as she provides all the voices, drawings, and artifacts of a town.Breakout is the story of Wolf Creek and three weeks in the life of its citizens: 7th grader Nora Tucker and her best friend Lizzie Bruno, Elidee Jones who moves to this almost-all-white town (except for one family) for the last two weeks of the school year, Nor...
  • Kathy Iwanicki
    Anyone that reads my blog on a regular basis knows that I love the new crop of books 16CEC2CB-E553-400A-81FD-D02E19FEB1B3being written by middle grade and young adult writers. I am a HUGE fan of the author Kate Messner. Marty Maguire is a must read aloud first book of the school year for me. In my classroom library, she has her own book bin, with many of her novels. Not only does Kate write with much variety; her books are all very different; but...
  • Sam
    3.5Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!Breakout wasn't what I thought it would be for a middle grade novel. It is a mixed media novel filled with comics, letters, text messages, and documents that are collected. It's also based on a jail breakout that occurred in 2015 and the grinding halt it put a town into.This book took me awhile to read. The first half moved so quickly, to the point where I was pretty swept up in the story. Then I hit th...
  • Laura Gardner
    @kidlitexchange #partner ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for BREAKOUT by @KateMessner. Thank you to @bloomsburypublishing for sharing this ARC with #kidlitexchange. All opinions are my own._*_*_*_*_*Swipe for the summary from the back of the book!_*_*_*_*_*I could not put this book down even though it clocks in at over 400 pages. I love epistolary novels, but this one is truly special. Comprised of letters, poems, text messages, photographs and news reports, B...