Among the Hidden (Shadow Children Series #1)

Among the Hidden (Shadow Children Series #1)

4.5 882
by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm in this start to the Shadow Children series from Margaret Peterson Haddix.Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend's house

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In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm in this start to the Shadow Children series from Margaret Peterson Haddix.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. Luke 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 to?

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Editorial Reviews

Christine Heppermann
Among the Hidden packages a thought-provoking premise in a rapid-fire adventure story. Readers can be carried along by the sheer adrenaline of it all.
Riverbank Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This futuristic novel focuses on a totalitarian regime and the Internet. PW noted, "The plot development is sometimes implausible and the characterizations a bit brittle, but the unsettling, thought-provoking premise should suffice to keep readers hooked." Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
The ALAN Review - Betty Carter
Returning to the younger middle school audience she addressed in Running Out of Time, Haddix thrusts readers into a world of too many people, not enough food. The Population Police dictate two children per family. Luke is an illegal "third," forced to stay hidden in the shadows of his family farm. When rich government employees build a housing development on adjacent land, Luke's parents confine him to an attic room. Bored, he spends his days watching the neighborhood. He soon discovers an odd pattern in one house: the family leaves, but activity continues. Luke sneaks over and meets Jen, another "third." Luke, mirroring his disenfranchised family, fears the totalitarian government; Jen using all the resources of her privileged background, challenges it. Although the denouement is swift and tidy, the fully realized setting, honest characters, and fast paced plot combine for a suspenseful tale of two youngsters fighting for their very existence.
VOYA - Debbie Earl
Luke is the youngest of three brothers. When his parents married, they dreamed of having four children: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, to labor on the family farm. That was before the government enacted the Population Law, which allowed families only two children. Before the penalties became severe, Luke's mother found she was unexpectedly pregnant and decided to keep the baby. Now the family is trapped: the government has purchased the woodlands surrounding the farm and is cutting down trees to make room for houses. To keep from being seen, Luke is forced to hide in the attic where he becomes a pale, depressed recluse. Luke views the outside world through a small attic air vent, and one day detects another "shadow child" in a neighboring house. He breaks into the seemingly deserted home and meets Jen, who acts tough and fearless and introduces Luke to a chat room of hidden children on the Internet. When Luke and Jen discover a rally planned to protest the Population Law, Jen is determined to attend but Luke is afraid, and stays home. Luke breaks into Jen's house again and learns she was killed in the protest. Jen's father then offers Luke a fake ID, and this bleak allegorical tale ends with Luke leaving to attend school, then rejoin the outside world. This is an easily understood, younger reader's 1984 or Brave New World, presenting a chilling vision of a possibly not-too-distant future. Haddix's other books include Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey (Simon & Schuster, 1996/VOYA December 1996). VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Children's Literature - Christopher Moning
If anyone should catch sight of 12-year-old Luke Garner, he's as good as dead. Luke is a Shadow child, the third child of the family in a futuristic society where the Population Law states that families are allowed no more than two offspring. When the government decides to take the woodlands around Luke's house to make way for a housing development, Luke wonders if he will ever be allowed to go outside again. One day, Luke sees someone stirring at a neighbor's supposedly empty house. He risks being caught and befriends Jen, another shadow child. Together, the illegal children discuss their yearning to be free. Jen introduces Luke to other third children, and they converse over the Internet. Luke is not as zealous as his wealthy friend is; Jen's courage costs her her life. Luke forges his own courage, and ultimately sets out to change the world, a little at a time. A fine imaginative and instructive cautionary tale.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-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 captivated by Luke's predicament and his reactions to it.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
Kirkus Reviews
In a chilling and intelligent novel, Haddix (Leaving Fishers, 1997, etc.) envisions a near future where a totalitarian US limits families to only two children. Luke, 12, the third boy in his farming family, has been hidden since birth, mostly in the attic, safe for the time being from the Population Police, who eradicate such "shadow children." Although he is protected, Luke is unhappy in his radical isolation, rereading a few books for entertainment and eating in a stairwell so he won't be seen through the windows. When Luke spies a child's face in the window of a newly constructed home, he realizes that he's found a comrade. Risking discovery, Luke sneaks over to the house and meets Jen, a spirited girl devoted to bringing the shadow children's plight center-stage, through a march on the White House. Luke is afraid to join her and later learns from Jen's father, a mole within the Population Police, that Jen and her compatriots were shot and killed, and that their murder was covered up. Jen's father also gets a fake identity card and a new life for Luke, who finally believes himself capable of acting to change the world. Haddix offers much for discussion here, by presenting a world not too different from America right now. The seizing of farmlands, untenable food regulations, and other scenarios that have come to fruition in these pages will give readers a new appreciation for their own world after a visit to Luke's. (Fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Shadow Children Series , #1
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Sales rank:
800L (what's this?)
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Among the Hidden 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 882 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Best book. I really want to read all the books. I loved it. But the ending is so sad. It made me cry. But really good book. I recomend it to any fifth or sixth grader!
LAPROJECTDUDE More than 1 year ago
Among the Hidden by Margaret Haddix created a wonderful reflection on the future. Not only will this book want you to read more of the book, after the ending, you will want to read more and more of this epic series called, The Shadow Children. This book is for kids who want a quick easy read and someone who is looking for and on going series (eight books).
In this capturing book, Haddix makes the future seem even darker then it already seems by enforcing the Poplulation Law which limits each family to a meager two children. Usually a family follows the law, but some of the daring have an illegal third child. these illegal third children are called shadow children. Luke, the main character is known as one of these shadow children. In Among the Hidden, Luke has to hide out in his house by himself, avoiding contact with windows light, or anything that could seem suspicious. After a few days of looking out of his vent (no one could see him there) he notices a flickering light in one of his neighbor's window knowing that all the family was gone. This new possiblity of a shadow child living next door gives Luke new hope. This new hope inspires him to brake into his neighbors new home and meet his new friend Jen. These two shadow children struggle to find what is actually right. Staying in or fighting for their right.
Other books from this grabbing-of-a series include Among the Imposters (book number two) and Among the Betrayed (book number three). Again, this book is a quick easy read and might not be that great for someone who wants to get into a big book, but for those of that kind, there is the on-going series this book is a part of.In this breath- catching, suprise-ending, epic novel Haddix gives the reader a dark, murky reflection of the not-so-far-away future. And does it triumphuntly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book in the whole wide world. If you like the hunger games this book is for you. You will be biting your nails near the middle and the end. The ending is also very suprising. It is about the population law that you can not have over two kids. If you do they will be killed. So allthe third children have to hide from everyone so the population police will not find out. I reccomend this book to fourth firth and sixth graders. I hope this helped!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An awesome book,couldn' t put it down till i finished it"!!!!!!!!!!! Read it!"!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would reccomend this book to anyone who loved the hunger games or little house on the prairie! You will fall in love with Luke and feel his emotions as he tells you his story. I cried and laughed and overall loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am reading the book with my class and i luv it! I will start to read it, and then when class is over, Ill forget what im even doing! Im to focused on the book because its so full of mysteries and I just cant describe how good it is! I hate the population police, the government only lets you have two children or they take away your third. SO WRONG! To even have a third you have to hide him away. Here's a short summery of the book. Luke is a third child who is growing up hidden because of the population law. The woods around his familys farm is being cut down and alot of barons(rich people) move in around there. Luke risks his life to go to another family's house where he thinks he saw another third child. Luke meets the third child and she wants to stand up against the government to get the same rights as legal people. Read the book to see if the do or dont get their rights.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was in middleschool, and reread it again since my students never heard of the series. I cried my eyes out, and its definitely one of my favorites. Best for a quickread, those who like adventure, suspense, and a tug at your heartstrings. Definitely give this a try!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My fifth grade class enjoyed this book. It took a while to get into the "meat" of the story and they got bogged down with it but the story and premise were good.
GracieLou-MCReading More than 1 year ago
"Among the Hidden', Written by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a science fiction novel from The Shadow Children Series. It is filled with solutions and adventures that you think are working out in one way, but in reality are working just the opposite. It describes the characters feelings and what the author is telling you. Reading "Among the Hidden" produces so many thoughts that made you want to read more. Luke, an average teenager, has been stuck in his attic hiding from what they called Population Police. The Population Police have forbidden parents to have a third child. Luke always wanted to be free, but while sitting on his bed in the attic, he saw this face in the neighbor's house where he knew nobody should be home. Later in the book, while Luke's parents are out, he goes over and finds that he is not the only child hiding, and there is a girl who lives next door. Problems come along and in the end Luke moves and gets a fake i.d. The Shadow Children Series has a sequel of books that just get better as you add on more problems. I recommend this book to a variety of children from ages 11 to 18. For those parents who do not like their children to be reading about somebody just being killed, then I do not recommend it. The way Margaret keeps adding problems, it makes you not want to stop reading. I read half the book in one day. In the begging it is a little hard to get into, but it was an awesome book after about a quarter of the way through. Before I read this book, I didn't really like reading, and now at home I am getting in trouble for doing nothing but reading. If you are a teacher and have a student that doesn't like reading, I would definitely recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book out of all the books I have read is the most descriptive, hard griping, enjoyment book yet! (and forever)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best bok ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :~)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are so many twists and turns in this book. You feel like you are on a super crazy rollercoaster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The whole series is amazing! U should all read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im reading this book at school so fare really good book. I hope that the little secret changes read this book you WONT put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great but i do have a warning-it is sad and i couldnt fall asleep after i read it and i am a sixth grader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loveed it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im still reading but so far this book is amazing! I believe that this book is a good suspense book because the relationship betweeb Jen and Luke is remarkable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book!!!!!! I give it thumbs up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book out of the libray not knowing this book. But as soon as i started reading i got sucked in. I lllllooooovvvvveeee this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recomend this thrilling series. I couldnt stop reading it. Theres so much suspence through the series you are sad when youve completed it. Haddix has many other great books like the found series. These series are must reads!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love to read! This book has so much suspense and action in it that most people that can say they read this will say they were sliding off the edge of their seats the entire time while reading this book! It is about the population law where you are only legally aloud to give birth to 2 children because at the time people were afraid there wouldn't be enough food, drink, and clothing to nourish and support all the people so they had to make restrictions. Only in some families were there third and fourth children and they call these shadow children. These children have to hide their whole life and are unable to see the outside world! This is such a great book I would recommend this book to people of all ages!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible. I read it several times and never once got sick of it. We were also required to read this book in language arts this year, and I don't know of anyone in my class who didn't enjoy it. It's very suspensful and definatley one of my favorites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Among the Hidden was a great story to see what might happen in the future. In the future a family is only allowed to have two childen in a family if a family had three kids the third kid would be killed if they are found by the police. There is an 11 year old third child who0 had never been outside for a long time because the forrest behind his house and turn down and new houses were built. One day he was bored of being in his house 24/7. He would keep track of the people how live in the houses. One day all the parents and two childen left and he saw someone in one of the houses. The next day he got the guts to go see who was in the house. He heard someone on a computer typing away and peeked in and saw a girl. He got to know her and she was also a third child.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like books that has an ending of a chapter saying somthing that makes you want to go on to the next chapter, than this is the book to read. This book has so many twists to it that you want to keep reading it. Hope you like it.