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, Fiction, Young Adult

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...
  • 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 ...
  • Rachel Harder
    This was one of the most captivating and brilliant books I’ve read in a long time.
  • 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...
  • Christie Allred
    The premise drew me in and I love the cover. But I struggled to connect with the characters and the dialog did not seem natural in many places. It was very slow paced and repetitive as well. It didn't help that I'm not into poetry, rap, or political hot topics in children's books either—the racism message was very heavy handed. Had I known ahead of time, I would not have read it. Obviously there are many who enjoy this story, so you'll have to ...
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    It's two weeks before the end of school and the kids in Wolf Creek Middle School in upstate New York are looking forward to summer vacation. This year, however, they have a summer assignment to submit at least 5 items to be put into the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule to be opened in fifty years. For best friends and lifetime residents of Wolf Creek Nora Tucker and Lizzie Bruno, the assignment is pretty interesting. Nora's father is the superin...
  • 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 ...
  • nicole
  • Kari
    I was so impressed with this! It’s huge but easy to read (the texts and cartoons helped it stay fast-paced) and it is a great introduction (especially for white kids) to some big ideas about injustice. Give this to your little activists and watch them fall crazy in love with this book.
  • 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...
  • Clare Lund
    Just finished reading this again with a 7th & 8th grade book club. Excellent material for discussions about racism and unfair assumptions, and the kids really enjoyed the unique format.——-I really enjoyed this story of what happens to a small town when two inmates from a local prison escape. Fear can help a community come together, but it can also bring out the worst in people. Told through multiple narrators' artifacts for a time capsule, th...
  • Jennifer
    Just my opinion, and I mean no disrespect. I’m a big fan of Kate’s books and I know she worked hard on this one and did a lot of research but it just didn’t work for me. I think this would’ve worked better as narrative non-fiction or even historical fiction since the story did closely mirror the breakout event. I thought the racism pieces were very didactic and felt like a forced lesson for readers, rather than a natural unfolding of the ...
  • Katie Zarzour
    Breakout by Kate Messner “You know what I’m tired of? Living with all of these rules. I’m tired of not having freedom.” This quote stood out to me as I read Breakout by Kate Messner. Nora Tucker and Lizzie Bruno immediately introduce Wolf Creek as a happy, friendly, and welcoming little town, but so many rules are put into place when two inmates break out of Wolf Creek Correctional Facility. Does Elidee Jones see Wolf Creek as the happy a...
  • Rana
    I love a good epistolary, but I haven't come across many in the middle-grade level. This one is told 100% through letters, text messages, newspaper articles, etc. with no prose to tie them together. The letters really serve as the prose to tell the main story. This is, I think, the only downfall of the story. I'd like to have seen fewer of the letters and more narrative, but I appreciate the effort of the letters and the relevance of the text mes...
  • Wendi Lee
    There are a lot of interesting middle grade books out there about prisons - All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is one of them - that takes a hard look at the issue and how it affects kids. Breakout is slightly different. There is a main character, Elidee, who moves to Wolf Creek to be closer to her incarcerated older brother. But for the most part, this is a book about a small town where most of the income comes from the prison, and what ha...
  • Joanne Kelleher
    Forget about a coming-of-age story, this was a becoming “woke” story. When you see the words “white privilege” and “racial profiling” in a middle grade book, you know that lessons are in the making. Messner presents important and provocative issues in a way that invites reflection and discussion at a level appropriate for younger readers.When two prisoners, one black and one white, break out of the local prison, the small town of Wolf...
  • Mrs. Krajewski
    Nora Tucker lives in Upstate New York in a small town called Wolf Creak. The town isn’t known for much, except for its maximum security prison that her father is the superintendent of. Summer vacation is about to begin, and Nora can’t wait for it. Things change when two inmates escape from the prison. Police and state troopers are everywhere, townspeople begin to show their true colors, and kids like Nora aren’t allowed to do much of anythi...
  • Dylan Boyle
    “Breakout” by Kate Messner, is a very unique book compared to almost every other book. It is so special in the way it is written. Kate Messner does a great job or writing the book in the form of letters, newspapers, and poems. There are a few main characters who the letters and poems are written by which gives the book many perspectives on the issues in it. In the book, for the first time in history, in the town of Wolf Creek, 2 convicts ha...
  • Paula
    Loved the way the story unfolded with the style of writing - texts, articles, letters. Knowing the real events this story was based on was interesting. I can’t imagine the truth depth of those who lived it.
  • Sarah Bodnar
    4.5 genius middle grade.
  • 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.
  • Kathy Mathey
    Looking forward to book-talking this one. Lots of discussion points: multiple perspectives, variety of text types, fast-paced plot, thought-provoking focus on current issues.
  • DaNae
    First, this is a fun book about a small town dealing with consuming disruption in their idyllic community, when two convicts escape from the nearby prison, AKA, the town business. The characters are strong and likable. (I do wish it had been shorter)In a year where many books are dealing with issues of race and including Own-voices, BREAKOUT is a nice inclusion. Simply because it shows the white perspective of observing and questioning microaggre...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
    Thank you to Bloomsbury for my free copy!Breakout is on the top of my list for middle grade books this year. The story follows three 7th grade girls in a tiny Adirondack town where a maximum security prison is located. In the last few weeks of the school year, there's a breakout at the prison. The town effectively shuts down, and the girls take it upon themselves to record all the happenings for the town's time capsule. One of the main characters...