Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
SHADOW CHILDREN Luke has
never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a
friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.
is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the
Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a
new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's farm,
he is no longer even allowed to go outside.
Then, one day Luke
sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other
children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself.
Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows -- does
Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford "not"
This is the first in an intriguing series that takes place in a dystopian future where it is illegal to have more than two children. The third children are called shadow children, and they and their families are at risk of being punished with death if they are found out.
This is an excellent start to this series. I really felt for Luke, the main character, as he was placed in moral dilemmas. His fear and frustration and confusion were palpable as he tried to figure out his life and the risks he could take without hurting his family.
I also like how the author is clearly setting up something bigger, as well as touching on interesting subjects such as power and control, food security, class structure, propaganda, and freedom.
The book is also quite short and fast paced, which will appeal to even reluctant readers, both boys and girls. I think the age range is pretty broad too, though some of the content could be scary; for example, just the idea that shadow children would be put to death by the government.
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