Margaret Peterson Haddix continues her Shadow Children series with this harrowing tale about a boy in hiding, and his sudden catapult into upper-crust Baron life. In absorbing scenes that change direction with each page turn, Haddix tells the story of Luke Garner, a "third child" at the Hendricks School for Boys who is told that his identity has suddenly become "Lee Grant." Now the son of a wealthy Baron family, Luke ("Lee") is confused until his brother comes to Hendricks, after which the two get taken back to the Grant mansion, and he learns that the real Lee (who is dead) was killed in "illegal" activity meant to undermine his own parents. Sure to keep Shadow Children fans salivating for more, Among the Barons is an eerily riveting read you won't want to put down.
Luke Garner, using the identity of Lee Grant (who died), is shocked when Lee's younger brother suddenly arrives at his school. "Fans of the Shadow Children series will welcome this fourth title," said PW. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
In this fourth book in Haddix's "Shadow Children" series, Luke must navigate the dangers that come with being who and what he is. Luke is a "third child" in a society whose laws forbid having more than two children. Feeling relatively happy and safe, Luke is enrolled at the Hendricks School for Boys under the name of Lee Grant, a Baron child whose identity was donated at his death to help third children like Luke. Trouble comes to the school in the form of Smits Grant, the real Lee's younger brother, and Smits' bodyguard, Oscar. Luke must be a brother to a boy lost in grief but unable to publicly grieve. When both boys are recalled from school, Luke meets "his" parents and wonders just why the Grants would want him in their home. What is the Grants' plan for Luke? How does Smits really feel about Luke/Lee? How did the real Lee die, and what role does Oscar play in this twisted family reunion? Readers will love this sequel to Among the Hidden, Among the Imposters, and Among the Betrayed, and will anxiously await another installment from master storyteller Haddix. 2003, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,
In a badly overpopulated world, it is illegal for parents to have more than two babies, and the Population Police seek out and execute hidden third children. Nonetheless, the corrupt ruling class, the Barons, live in palatial splendor. In this, the fourth installment in Haddix's Shadow Children series, Luke Garner, one of these third children, attends a boarding school under the assumed name of a dead Baron teenager, Lee Grant. Unbeknownst to the outside world, all of the boys at this school are third children who have taken on other identities. Rescued from cellars and attics, they have lived safely for some time, but when a new child enters the school, he turns everything upside down. Smits Grant is the deeply disturbed younger son of the rich Barons whose name Luke has assumed, and it is unclear whether Smits is stable enough to keep up the charade that Luke is his brother. After a fire is set in Smits's room, the Grants unaccountably insist that both of their supposed children return home to their mansion. Meeting the people whose name he bears for the first time while still pretending to be their son, Luke immediately finds himself up to his ears in a complex plot to overthrow the corrupt government of the Barons. As with the earlier books in the series, Haddix manages to generate a fair amount of suspense and mystery, but her world never becomes believable and her character development remains on the thin side. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2003, Simon & Schuster, 182p,
Gr 5-8-In this fourth installment of a series about a society that allows only two children per family, Luke Garner is finally adjusting to his new life at Hendricks School as Lee Grant. While the Grants belong to the highest class of society called the Barons, Luke avoids snobbish affectations and befriends his classmates, who are also illegal thirds. When the real Lee Grant's younger brother arrives at the school, along with his fierce body guard, Luke worries that Smits will expose him to the government. However, Smits has come to enlist Luke's help in discovering how his older brother really died, suspecting that he was murdered. The intrigue and danger grow more acute when both boys are called "home" and Luke discovers that the Grants have plans for him that could turn out to be fatal. As in the previous books, characters who seem honest turn out to be dangerous while others who seem suspicious end up as allies. The climax hints at a further installment. Fans of the series are the most likely audience for this story of Luke's continuing struggle to survive.-Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Bellevue Regional Library, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Booklist Series fans of the books won't be disappointed.
Publishers Weekly There are enough cliffhangers and plot twists to keep readers hooked.