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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