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Book Reviews - Running on Empty

Book line"This is possibly my favourite book by Clark to date! I loved the whole missing capsule because it instantly gave me a theory about what would happen in the story. I was kind of right too! Kasey is highly likable, with her inquisitive mind and her trusty friend Paula. I've read the first book of their adventures so it felt like I was coming home to friend. They take all the extraordinary occurrences in their strife, not freaking out too much and are determined to find out the truth.
"I liked how adults are woven into the storyline -by this I mean some have a positive influence on Kasey, they help her out in situations which in other books would lead to the main characters breaking the law a little to succeed. This is ok in fiction but isn't the best role model for readers, so Kasey having help continues the positive mentality towards adults in the tale. Not all hand out cookies, a couple are distinctly troublesome, but Kasey and her friends find a way to deal with those individuals.
"I loved the supernatural element of the tale, it's a clever concept, works well and I hope will feature in another book in the series! It would be so cool to have extra help like that, although it does come with great responsibility. As with all of Clark's other books there's a happy ending!

~  Nayuleska of Nayu's Reading Corner

Book line"With logic, thought, curiosity and a perfect dash of magic, this mystery grabs from page one and keeps kids guessing until the very end.
"Kasey has her camera ready to catch one of the town's most important events - the opening of the time capsule. But when the bolts are removed, nothing's inside. Curious, Kasey attends the town meeting to see what happened, but instead of answers, she accidentally films a mysterious woman who can only be seen through Kasey's camera.
"I've read this author's works before and again, wasn't disappointed. What I love about Running On Empty is the 'Nancy Drew' feel. The plot is built on thought, facts and good old clue hunting, but with a tiny bit of fantasy thrown in. Kasey is a very average girl, who is simply curious. With her best friend, she tries to figure out what is going on, not through any amazing methods, but by every day information gathering, paying attention to details and a sharp sense of logic.
"Kasey delves through quiet a bit of historical facts, but the information doesn't really get boring. Subtle clues are peppered here and there, keeping the pace flowing even in slightly 'dryer' areas. There are many layers behind the secrets, which makes it difficult to guess what will happen next or where the mystery is headed. The addition of a little fantasy creates a nice touch without disturbing the realistic setting and gives the whole thing just the right amount off magical flare.
"Summed up, this is an intriguing mystery for middle graders. Especially girls will enjoy following Kasey as she uncovers the many secrets, and at 150 pages, it's not the kind of book which will scare more reluctant readers away."

~  T. Drecker of Bookworm for Kids

Book line"I have enjoyed Clark's work in the past and jumped at the chance to read more. I must admit that I am a little obsessed with time capsules, I love the idea of digging something up years later and getting a peek back in time. I love how this book reminded me of an updated Nancy Drew. There was a lot of fun and mystery involved, a little danger and for the updated part some magic and time travel too. Even the two main characters are girls, I think even young male readers will enjoy the suspense and thought that takes place in the book. It was a little slower moving than I expected but there were a lot of pieces in play throughout the plot. I think this is a great book to introduce young readers to the world of mystery or continue to expand upon their interest.
"This is a great book for middle grade readers but can be enjoyed by anyone. A little action, a little magic, a little mystery, a little history and a lot of entertainment. I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag."

~  Angela Stroud of Eastern Sunset Reads

Book line"A long-celebrated tradition and an empty time capsule. What could be worse for the small town of Chepstow?
This shouldn’t be a big deal for 14-year old Kasey, but yet she can’t help but wonder what happened to her mother’s letter. Things get even stranger when she sees an apparition in her camera view finder. What the? Who was this lady?
"'This whole time capsule/historian thing was the weirdest, by far.' (40)
"'It is not a matter of where they are, but when.' (49)
"Enchanting from the start, story was full of mystery and history. There were a few dry areas here and there, especially as we get knee-deep into the historical facts, but, overall, this was a well-rounded and thoroughly researched story. Kasey was a precocious and inquisitive kid—a suitable hero for today’s YA readers. She was like a combo of Indiana Jones and Marty McFly.
"Audiences will cheer on as the heroes trek through clues and “voyage” through time to find the missing memory box.
"History, conspiracies, time warps, and ghosts—that’s what you’ll get in this compelling, clever, little tale."

~  Sandra's Book Reviews

Book line"Everyone has been waiting 30 years to find out what the previous generation wanted to share with them about life in the 1980s. Sadly, their wait isn’t over quite yet.
"My favorite sections of this book were the ones that described who the town historians were and how they travelled through time. Marion’s strange illness made me wonder what happened to her and what she would have told Kasey about the time capsule if she were able to speak. It was also interesting to find out how new historians are chosen in this community. All of these details helped me to imagine what it would be like to live in Chepstow as I was reading.
"I would have liked to see more clues about the mystery of what happened to the missing items in the time capsule. It look a while for Kasey to find the first one, and the rest of the clues lagged behind that one as well. This made the pacing of the story feel much slower than it actually was because of how long it took to find out anything about what was going on with the main part of the plot.
"Kasey and Paula were such a great team. It was cool to see how well they worked together on this case. They were such good friends that they could often guess what the other one was thinking without having to speak their thoughts out loud. Not only did this show how just close they were to each other, it also made it easy for them to keep going when they reached points in the storyline where there wasn’t a lot of room for conversation.
"Running on Empty is a good choice for anyone who is in the mood for a slow-burning mystery.."

~  LAS Reviewer