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Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1) Paperback – March 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Shadow Children (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689824750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689824753
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (817 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up on a farm outside Washington Court House, Ohio. As a kid, I liked to read a lot, and was also involved in 4-H, various bands and choirs (I played flute and piano), church youth group, the school newspaper, and a quiz-bowl type team. I was pretty disastrous as an athlete, although I did run track one year in high school. After graduating from Miami University (of Ohio), I worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a part-time community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois, before my first book was published. I've moved around a lot as an adult, having also lived in Luxembourg (during a college semester abroad) and in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Several years ago, I moved back to Ohio with my husband and kids; we now live in Columbus, Ohio. My husband trains investigative journalists, and my kids are in high school, so there's always a lot going on around our house.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By impossible girl on July 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you want to start reading a good book series, you may want to grab this book. This is the first of several books. In this one, you get all of the background information.

Luke is a third child in a futuristic society, where families are only allowed to have two children. His parents hide him away and he knows a quiet family life, one in which he is made to hide a lot and keep quiet, so that the population police will not know that he exists. It is a lonely life for Luke, who wishes he could go outside and play, like his brothers do, and also go to school, to leave the house and go anywhere.

When the land behind their farm is developed into a neighborhood, Luke is shocked to meet another child like him, Jen. She tells him all about other "shadow children" who live hidden away from the rest of society. When Jen tells him about a big rally that she's organizing to support the hidden children, will Luke risk his life by going to it? Does he trust his new friend with his life? Read this book and you'll find out. It will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat (and you'll want to have the 2nd book in the series, "Among the Impostors" ready and waiting to read when you're done with this one).
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Laurie on January 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Among the Hidden was a great book and an absoulute page turner! I loved the book and was unable to put it down for 2 days. I don't know how to explain the book.With Luke's farm and very few appliences you think you are looking at a hard life from the past but when he meets Jen it is like a whole new world opens for him. Being hidden seems hopeless for Luke until he sees Jen's view. She may not be allowed to be 'FREE' but she still knows a way to make a good life out of captivity. Luke gets a daring chance to make history with Jen, but will he go? Or will he stay at home like a coward, safe, but coward? You have to read the book to find out, but once you do, trust me, you won't regret it. I am now searching for another novel by Haddix, and praying it is as good! :)
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157 of 202 people found the following review helpful By Attorney momma on February 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book today and for the first time am suggesting that prents and teachers think carefully and preread this book before deciding to use it with children younger than 12. The themes are well worth discussing but my 9 year old reads Dickens yet this is inappropriate for her based on content. Among the themes raised by the book are the following:infanticide, mass murder, totalitarian government, subterfuge, and complete isolation . This was recommended as a candidate for a youth book club and will not be used for the suggested age range as the content while worthy of consideration is not appropriate for 9 or 10 year olds unable to comprehend the enormity of the issues raised in the book. Many contemporary educators and librarians fail to look beyond the readability of a text and ask the harder questions about content and age appropriate themes-I urge you to do so before jumping on the bandwagon and sharing this well written yet fairly adult book with those too young to appreciate and understand it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read the book Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The story is about a boy named Luke and a girl named Jen. They had a problem, because there was a very unfair law that a family was only able to have two children. That law was so that country wouldn't run out of food. Jen and Luke were third children. At first Luke could help his father in the back of his dad's farm, because there was a forest. Unfortunately, they knocked down the woods where Luke's house was, so if he went outside he'd be seen and killed. Luke was very upset because the only reason they knocked down the trees was for houses for rich people. Then, one day Luke saw another third child's face and went to her new house! He wanted to meet her! It was Jen!
I could relate to Jen in the story, because sometimes when I'm sick I stay home alone, because my mom and dad both have to go to work. I feel cooped up and I watch T.V, and go on the computer. I also pretend to plan a meal when a lot of my family is going to come over for dinner, and it keeps me busy. I love it when visitors come, but like Jen I don't really know who's coming, so I get scared. I don't get defensive, because there is no way that anybody outside my family can get into my house.
I thought Among the Hidden was exciting, sad, and calm all in one. Books that make me cry are my favorite books, because they're dramatic. This one made me cry. My favorite part of the book is when Jen cuts herself, so Luke isn't found. I think this book is good for people that are ages 10 to 14, because it has some violent and sad issues in it. In conclusion, I'd like to state that I loved this book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Lee on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a mother who screens everything her 12-year-old daughter reads, and who grew up in a place where "dis-incentives" were given to those couples who had a third child, I found the first book of the Shadow Children series extremely chilling. I am not much of a Margaret Peterson Haddix fan - I think she is an extremely competent writer, but I don't enjoy the feelings of discomfort that I feel after reading most of her books, including the very popular ones right now, from the "Missing" and "39 Clues" series. Nevertheless, I don't object to said daughter reading her books - I'm glad she enjoys Ms. Haddix's fractured fairy tales at least. While I would chose many other books to read first before picking "Among the Hidden" for an afternoon with a cup of tea, I was glad the subject matter of this book gave said daughter and me a new issue to discuss. I have to agree with said daughter's review, which follows below:

"The book 'The Shadow Children: Among the Hidden' by Margaret Peterson Haddix was an interesting and intriguing read.

"Luke Garner lives on a farm with his mother, father, and two brothers, Matthew and Mark. He eats, sleeps and reads his books. In fact, no one looking in on a rainy day would know that he is a `Shadow Child.' Shadow children are the third children in a society that forbids their very existence. As a third child, Luke and his parents are in violation of the law. So Luke spends his day hidden up in the attic of his family's farm house. Then, one day, Luke discovers Jen. Like him, Jen is a third child. However, Jen is the third child of a Baron, a rich government worker. Jen teaches Luke that what the government says is not always right. Jen begins to show Luke that what the government has done is wrong. She organizes a revolution to free the Shadow Children.
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