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Among the Hidden (book)

Futuristic Tale by Margaret Peterson Haddix as the Government Hunts "extra" children

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Chilling Tale Parallels the Nazi Hunts for "Undesirables"

  • Dec 18, 2009
  • by

Interesting near future tale where the government has limited the amount of children that families have to two.  Luke is the third of three children who has been “hidden” from birth because if the government finds out that he exists, they will kill him.   Luke has never left the farmhouse grounds where he was born.   Little by little, the land around the house becomes cleared for building new houses and it reaches a point where Luke can no longer leave the house, for fear of being spotted.


One day Luke is watching the house next door from a vent in his attic and notes that after the family leaves in the morning, there is still someone there.  Little by little, Luke figures out that this someone must also be a third child that must remain hidden from society. 


Luke ponders this for days until he decides to sneak over there and find out who is there.  Luke’s hunch is right for there is a girl (Jen) about Luke’s age, who must always be in hiding too.  Luke befriends the girl and finds out that her family is with the government so she may have ways of avoiding the “population police” and has actually been out on occasion.


Jen is Internet savvy and starts teaching Luke about the world he has never known.  Jen and a bunch of her “hidden” friends from the Internet are plotting to be the population law overturned so she can come out into the open and lead a normal life.


The book is reminiscent of The Diary of Anne Frank and other such books where Jewish people were hidden in friends’ homes away from the eyes of the murdering Nazis.  It is a frightening tale that will make you stop and think because it could happen here.


The book is listed for young adults, however it can be enjoyed by anyone.  This is the first book of a series called The Shadow Children.

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More Among the Hidden (book) reviews
Quick Tip by . November 06, 2010
Great start to the series. Sets up a lot of interesting factors in the world building.
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
interesting plot belivable
review by . June 12, 2010
I had an after-school book club for tweens at my library for a while, and there were some hits and some misses.  This one was a big hit.  It was sometimes hard to find books that would appeal to sixth-grade boys and eighth-grade girls alike, but EVERYONE liked this one.  And it sparked probably the most interesting conversation we had all year.      It's a typical teen dystopian futuristic adventure, but really well written- even I enjoyed it, and I don't …
Quick Tip by . June 12, 2010
Great book, especially for young teen boys.
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About this book


Born third at a time when having more than two children per family is illegal and subject to seizure and punishment by the Population Police, Luke has spent all of his 12 years in hiding. His parents disobeyed once by having him and are determined not to do anything unlawful again. At first the woods around his family's farm are thick enough to conceal him when he plays and works outdoors, but when the government develops some of that land for housing, his world narrows to just the attic. Gazing through an air vent at new homes, he spies a child's face at a window after the family of four has already left for the day. Is it possible that he is not the only hidden child? Answering this question brings Luke greater danger than he has ever faced before, but also greater possibilities for some kind of life outside of the attic. This is a near future of shortages and deprivation where widespread famines have led to a totalitarian government that controls all aspects of its citizens' lives. When the boy secretly ventures outside the attic and meets the girl in the neighboring house, he learns that expressing divergent opinions openly can lead to tragedy. To what extent is he willing to defy the government in order to have a life worth living? As in Haddix's Running Out of Time (S & S, 1995), the loss of free will is the fundamental theme of an exciting and compelling story of one young person defying authority and the odds to make a difference. Readers will be ...
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ISBN-10: 0689824750
ISBN-13: 978-0689824753

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