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Among the Hidden (Shadow Children Books) Paperback – 1 Mar 2000
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"A chilling and intelligent novel". -- Kirkus
From the Back Cover
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?See all Product description
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Among the hidden is set in a political time when resources are supposedly so low that families are only allowed two children. Inevitably a race of hidden children develops.
The story is based around a third child who knows he is different but it only the building of new houses at the back of his house that forces his family to hide him. hidden in his attic room he watches the comings and goings of the new families until one day he spots something at one of the houses.
A must buy for any confident upper primary reader, Haddix books are great, check out running out of time.
According to the authorities, he should not have existed which made him a fugitive and a prisoner in his own home. Before the construction of the housing development, Luke had a bit more space to roam around due to the encircling woods. After they were cut down, Luke had to retreat into his house and finally to the attic. Although his family loved him, his presence was dangerous for them and they began to perceive him as a nuisance. They continuously worried about his movements being noticed by the neighbours.
As he was not supposed to exist, the threat of the Population Police that could sweep down on him at any moment, was an ominous and palpable presence throughout the book. The law forbidding a third child in a family was created because the government thought that there wasn't enough food in the world for everyone. Therefore, his every mouthful was perceived as a crime.
I felt really sorry for Luke as he felt guilty for something he had no control over. It was such a terrible situation to be in but it was very realistically portrayed. Jen Talbot was an inspirational character for Luke. She, too, was a third child. She was inspirational because she told Luke to be brave, to not feel guilty for the simple fact of existing and to take a risk for greater gain. She had a permanent effect on his life as she was the catalyst that propelled him into the dramatic events that would follow in the succeeding books.
In the finale, Luke gets help from an unexpected source and he, as well as the reader, are first suspicious and then, pleasantly surprised by these turn of events. Overall, Among The Hidden was a fantastic book and a great dystopian book. I first read this six years ago and then again now and it has remained a favourite. Read it and immerse yourself in Luke's world.
For a quick read this book was very thought provoking. My heart ached this family, but especially for Luke. Luke is a third child in a world where having three children is illegal, punishable by death and fines for the parents. As I read this well written story, I couldn't help thinking about our world today, and everything that is going on all over. Financial chaos, food shortages, natural disasters, gas prices, and rioting all making Haddix world something to think about. Among the Hidden left me wanting to find out more about Luke's new adventures and the dangers that he will be facing. His world turned upside down once again and loosing everything that was familiar to him. I can't wait to read book 2, Among the Imposters!
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The starter book of a good series.
Introduction to adventure and intrigue.