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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?

Topics: Dystopia, Series, Speculative Fiction, Adventurous, Coming of Age, Futuristic, In Hiding, and Police

Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on
ISBN: 9780689848070
List price: $7.99
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Awesome book!!!!!??more
This is an incredible series that had captivated me when I was in middle school. I am now 21 and I still love it! The characters are relatable and will have you falling in love with them. Be prepared for some tear jerking moments.more
I know this series is a bit for younger kids but I still loved it. I plan on reading the whole series. The story was good and has some interesting vocab words that you've never hear of. (nothing inappropriate).more
I remember reading this book as a student in middle school. I remember I found it quite enjoyable, following through with the rest of the series after the initial assignment to read this one. Reading the other reviews, it seems I wasn't alone!more
Good book, easy read! more
It's an exiting storymore
this book is sad in the ending it's a big shockermore
Grades 4-7--
As some of the younger Hunger Games fans look for other tales of dystopian societies, this story which introduces Luke and other "shadow children" will fit the bill and offer a lot of possibilities around conversations. An intriguing look at an America that's similar enough to our own to be pretty darned chilling.more
Ooh - I really liked this, but it made me so tense when I was reading it! There's a very claustrophobic feel to the story, particularly in the first half. I'm excited to read the rest in the series.more
What happens when you're the third child in a society that only allows two children? This book follows the life of one of these 'shadow children' in a society where the government has control of almost everything.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The tone was so bleak, yet the hopefulness of a child shone through the despair.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction.more
Great book, interesting look at the futuremore
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.more
Literature circle book. A wonderful book about a child who is the third and has to be hidden because of population rules. The books takes many turns and makes you take a close look at feelings about the government and family structure. This would be a good book for children to read who are having feelings of rejection, loneliness, etc. A great book for all ages!more
This is a great series of books for children. This book is a chapter book that is easy to read. Children would enjoy this book because it is very entertaining. Each chapter keeps you guessing. It would be a good idea to read it together as a class and discuss each chapter in detail. The children will probably want to read the other books that are part of the series.more
Among the Hidden takes place in the future where third children are illegal in America. The main character is a third child in hiding. He discovers through careful exploration that there is a whole world of hidden third children and even meets a friend. He has to be careful though, because if the population police find him it could mean is death.more
This book was a one-day non-stop read because I had to know what was going to happen to this little boy who the government deems illegal. He has spent his whole life either hiding in the house or hiding in the backyard until one day the yard is overrun with construction workers. Now his life will be forever in the attic. You are taken through his ups and downs want the Plan to work as much as anyone. It is a must read.more
Luke is a third child living in a country that has outlawed families having more than two children. Luke has spent his entire life hiding from the population police. When his families farm is sold to developers, Luke is forced to stay inside at all times and spends most of his time in his bedroom in the attic. Everything changes when Luke discovers his neighbors also have a third child, Jen. Jen and Luke become great friends and Luke learns that there are thousands of other third children that Jen has befriended through internet chat rooms. This book is full of suspense and has a very exciting plot. It grabs the readers attention and keeps them engaged the whole time. The book ends with a cliffhanger that makes the reader want to read the other books in Haddox's shadow children series. Genre Critique: This is a great example of science fiction. The setting is a future world where the government controls everything, including how many children each family is aloud to have. This book is full of ethical dilemmas that will challenge the reader to think critically about his own world. I like how the characters are humans just like us today and yet they are living in a futuristic world. I think the author did this to make the ethical dilemma relatable to the reader. Media:more
This is a great story. I read this book in 2 days. I thought this story was a great story and I can't wait to read the other books in the series. I think this author does a great job of getting you hooked into the book.more
This was a wonderful fantasy novel. It kept me engaged and always wondering what would happen next. I was surprised by the events towards the end of the story, but I really enjoyed reading every bit of it. It had a great plot, characters, and resolution.more
Pretty good. Read it during one school day xDmore
After a worldwide famine, a population law is enacted in America. Only two children are allowed per couple, any other children are counted as illegal, or shadow children.12-year Luke is a shadow child, he has lived his entire life on his family's farm hidden from the neighbors and the population police. He and his family live in fear every day of someone finding him. When a housing development is built behind his property, Luke loses the last freedom that he has, as he is forced to stay in his house or risk discovery.A few weeks after the development is built Luke sees, somebody else inside one of the houses, and all the neighbors are gone. Eventually Luke takes a chance a discovers another shadow child, Jennifer Talbot. Jen is excited to meet Luke, and shows him a network she has developed to communicate with other shadow children, and organize a protest against the population law. Luke is excited to meet Jen, but intially disbelives that Jen will actually follow-thru. When Luke finally realizes that Jen plans to have the protest and risk her life and the lives of several other shadow children, he is forced to make a decison. In the end both Jen and Luke's decisions have far reaching impact and change their family and their lives forever.This book is definitely thought-provoking and provides a excellent opportunity for discussion on population control and the extent of a government's involvement in it's citizen's lives. Age Groups: 11 and olderContent: references to children being executed, references to children being imprisonedmore
Very quick dystopian read about tween Luke, a third child, who must live hidden away because the government restricts families to no more than two children. Luke is pretty satisfied on the family farm until the government takes the land around the farm and builds luxury housing. Now Luke can no longer go outside at all, or even sit in the kitchen to eat with his family. Peeking through the attic vents one day he notices the house across the yard has a secret face peering back out. Lonely and tired of months indoors alone, he ventures to see if there could possibly be another hidden child right next door--and discovers he is less alone than he ever imagined. Interesting and well written story.more
This was a really good book. I really liked this book because, it was very good and it had a lot of detail. This is a book about where the government controls everything. And they said you can only have 2 children and its Luke,Matthew,and Mark and Luike is allegal in the US.And if the government finds Luke they are most likely to kill him because he is illegal in the US. So to find out what happens to him you will have to read Among The Hidden.more
Among the Hidden is an extremely well written book. A great story that you just can't put down. Luke is a third child. He can't go outside and he can't go to school. In fact, he can't let anybody other than his family see him. This is because of the population law the government has put in. It states that a family can only have up to two kids. The purpose of the Population Law is to limit the food being used. And if the Population Police find you, they execute the third child. But when Luke discovers another third child like him, he wants the population law ended. The other third child has a very different plan to get freedom than him, though. We'll he go with his friend, or will he split up with her?! Read to find out.more
A futuristic story where laws are set to prevent hunger. The law is set that all families are only allowed to have two children and the penalty is death. This is the story of a third child named Luke, he spends his life hidden in his attic bedroom alone until one day he sees a girl hiding in the new house across the way. He finds his courage and goes to her house and makes friends. He learns through her and the internet that he is not the only third, there are many around, all in hiding. Jen, his new friend, has a plan to gather as a group at the White House to get the law changed. When she goes not as many people showed up as she thought would and she ends up being killed. Luke finds himself alone again, and can't stand the thought of spending the rest of his life in hiding. With the help of Jens father Luke gets fake ID and moves into a dorm and starts a new life and school for the first time. He has to leave his family but for the first time ever, he is not in hiding.This book would bring up a great discussion on current laws and how the world might change in the future, do they think that laws like that may one day happen? and if so what can be done to change a law?more
I had to read the Among the Hidden for a novel study at school. I thought it was going to be another boring novel study... But it wasn't. It was such a good book, that after the novel study was done, I read all the other books in the series. So did most of my other classmates. I recommend this book to everyone. more
Luke is a twelve year old boy that lives on a farm with his mother, father, and two brothers, Mathew and Mark. Luck is what many people call a shadow child. He is the third child in his family. The population police enforced a law many years ago that said families could only have two children from now on. This was because of “low amounts of food”. On the farm Luke can help out and go outside but he can’t go to school or have friends over. Actually Luke only has ever met his family. One day the government decides to cut down the woods and build houses for the Barons. These are the rich people. This freaks out Luke’s mother and father and he now has to spend all of his time in the attic. While in the attic Luke finds a small hole to look out of at the other house. He really has his eye on one family, the Talbot’s. One day while everyone is gone including the Barons Luke sees a face in one of the windows. He then realizes that he is not alone. He decides to meet the girl. This book tells of the adventure that the two take together. Luke realizes with this experience many things about the government that he didn’t know. You will have to read this to find out what happens to the two in the endmore
Suspenseful, intriguing, heart breaking, and thought provoking! Among the Hidden is a well written science fiction novel that address the themes of personal freedoms and government control. Additional topics of social class and propaganda surface as well. The events in this book occur sometime in the future, where a central government enforces a population law, limiting the amount of children women may birth, and controls food production and distribution. Margaret Peterson Haddix writes in a raw realistic manner making this story not a far fetch scenario. After a severe drought and famine, the government established laws that only allowed two children per family. Living in a rural area that becomes suburbanized, Luke's life becomes even more confined. As the third child in his family, Luke must stay in hiding and exist as if he does not exist. When he looses his right to be outside, Luke discovers another third child named Jen. Unlike Luke, Jen comes from wealth and has an arrogance of being invisible. While meeting in secret, Luke learns from Jen a world that has been hidden from him: technology, laws, luxury, and friendship. Jen's attempt to revoltuonalize the government's policy on "shadow children" radically changes Luke's life. This book is dynamic and will be hard to put down. Readers will connect with the characters and be in itch to read the next novel in this series. Among the Hidden is a must have book in any library. Age Appropriate: 5th grade and upmore
Read all 100 reviews

Reviews

Awesome book!!!!!??more
This is an incredible series that had captivated me when I was in middle school. I am now 21 and I still love it! The characters are relatable and will have you falling in love with them. Be prepared for some tear jerking moments.more
I know this series is a bit for younger kids but I still loved it. I plan on reading the whole series. The story was good and has some interesting vocab words that you've never hear of. (nothing inappropriate).more
I remember reading this book as a student in middle school. I remember I found it quite enjoyable, following through with the rest of the series after the initial assignment to read this one. Reading the other reviews, it seems I wasn't alone!more
Good book, easy read! more
It's an exiting storymore
this book is sad in the ending it's a big shockermore
Grades 4-7--
As some of the younger Hunger Games fans look for other tales of dystopian societies, this story which introduces Luke and other "shadow children" will fit the bill and offer a lot of possibilities around conversations. An intriguing look at an America that's similar enough to our own to be pretty darned chilling.more
Ooh - I really liked this, but it made me so tense when I was reading it! There's a very claustrophobic feel to the story, particularly in the first half. I'm excited to read the rest in the series.more
What happens when you're the third child in a society that only allows two children? This book follows the life of one of these 'shadow children' in a society where the government has control of almost everything.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The tone was so bleak, yet the hopefulness of a child shone through the despair.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction.more
Great book, interesting look at the futuremore
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.more
Literature circle book. A wonderful book about a child who is the third and has to be hidden because of population rules. The books takes many turns and makes you take a close look at feelings about the government and family structure. This would be a good book for children to read who are having feelings of rejection, loneliness, etc. A great book for all ages!more
This is a great series of books for children. This book is a chapter book that is easy to read. Children would enjoy this book because it is very entertaining. Each chapter keeps you guessing. It would be a good idea to read it together as a class and discuss each chapter in detail. The children will probably want to read the other books that are part of the series.more
Among the Hidden takes place in the future where third children are illegal in America. The main character is a third child in hiding. He discovers through careful exploration that there is a whole world of hidden third children and even meets a friend. He has to be careful though, because if the population police find him it could mean is death.more
This book was a one-day non-stop read because I had to know what was going to happen to this little boy who the government deems illegal. He has spent his whole life either hiding in the house or hiding in the backyard until one day the yard is overrun with construction workers. Now his life will be forever in the attic. You are taken through his ups and downs want the Plan to work as much as anyone. It is a must read.more
Luke is a third child living in a country that has outlawed families having more than two children. Luke has spent his entire life hiding from the population police. When his families farm is sold to developers, Luke is forced to stay inside at all times and spends most of his time in his bedroom in the attic. Everything changes when Luke discovers his neighbors also have a third child, Jen. Jen and Luke become great friends and Luke learns that there are thousands of other third children that Jen has befriended through internet chat rooms. This book is full of suspense and has a very exciting plot. It grabs the readers attention and keeps them engaged the whole time. The book ends with a cliffhanger that makes the reader want to read the other books in Haddox's shadow children series. Genre Critique: This is a great example of science fiction. The setting is a future world where the government controls everything, including how many children each family is aloud to have. This book is full of ethical dilemmas that will challenge the reader to think critically about his own world. I like how the characters are humans just like us today and yet they are living in a futuristic world. I think the author did this to make the ethical dilemma relatable to the reader. Media:more
This is a great story. I read this book in 2 days. I thought this story was a great story and I can't wait to read the other books in the series. I think this author does a great job of getting you hooked into the book.more
This was a wonderful fantasy novel. It kept me engaged and always wondering what would happen next. I was surprised by the events towards the end of the story, but I really enjoyed reading every bit of it. It had a great plot, characters, and resolution.more
Pretty good. Read it during one school day xDmore
After a worldwide famine, a population law is enacted in America. Only two children are allowed per couple, any other children are counted as illegal, or shadow children.12-year Luke is a shadow child, he has lived his entire life on his family's farm hidden from the neighbors and the population police. He and his family live in fear every day of someone finding him. When a housing development is built behind his property, Luke loses the last freedom that he has, as he is forced to stay in his house or risk discovery.A few weeks after the development is built Luke sees, somebody else inside one of the houses, and all the neighbors are gone. Eventually Luke takes a chance a discovers another shadow child, Jennifer Talbot. Jen is excited to meet Luke, and shows him a network she has developed to communicate with other shadow children, and organize a protest against the population law. Luke is excited to meet Jen, but intially disbelives that Jen will actually follow-thru. When Luke finally realizes that Jen plans to have the protest and risk her life and the lives of several other shadow children, he is forced to make a decison. In the end both Jen and Luke's decisions have far reaching impact and change their family and their lives forever.This book is definitely thought-provoking and provides a excellent opportunity for discussion on population control and the extent of a government's involvement in it's citizen's lives. Age Groups: 11 and olderContent: references to children being executed, references to children being imprisonedmore
Very quick dystopian read about tween Luke, a third child, who must live hidden away because the government restricts families to no more than two children. Luke is pretty satisfied on the family farm until the government takes the land around the farm and builds luxury housing. Now Luke can no longer go outside at all, or even sit in the kitchen to eat with his family. Peeking through the attic vents one day he notices the house across the yard has a secret face peering back out. Lonely and tired of months indoors alone, he ventures to see if there could possibly be another hidden child right next door--and discovers he is less alone than he ever imagined. Interesting and well written story.more
This was a really good book. I really liked this book because, it was very good and it had a lot of detail. This is a book about where the government controls everything. And they said you can only have 2 children and its Luke,Matthew,and Mark and Luike is allegal in the US.And if the government finds Luke they are most likely to kill him because he is illegal in the US. So to find out what happens to him you will have to read Among The Hidden.more
Among the Hidden is an extremely well written book. A great story that you just can't put down. Luke is a third child. He can't go outside and he can't go to school. In fact, he can't let anybody other than his family see him. This is because of the population law the government has put in. It states that a family can only have up to two kids. The purpose of the Population Law is to limit the food being used. And if the Population Police find you, they execute the third child. But when Luke discovers another third child like him, he wants the population law ended. The other third child has a very different plan to get freedom than him, though. We'll he go with his friend, or will he split up with her?! Read to find out.more
A futuristic story where laws are set to prevent hunger. The law is set that all families are only allowed to have two children and the penalty is death. This is the story of a third child named Luke, he spends his life hidden in his attic bedroom alone until one day he sees a girl hiding in the new house across the way. He finds his courage and goes to her house and makes friends. He learns through her and the internet that he is not the only third, there are many around, all in hiding. Jen, his new friend, has a plan to gather as a group at the White House to get the law changed. When she goes not as many people showed up as she thought would and she ends up being killed. Luke finds himself alone again, and can't stand the thought of spending the rest of his life in hiding. With the help of Jens father Luke gets fake ID and moves into a dorm and starts a new life and school for the first time. He has to leave his family but for the first time ever, he is not in hiding.This book would bring up a great discussion on current laws and how the world might change in the future, do they think that laws like that may one day happen? and if so what can be done to change a law?more
I had to read the Among the Hidden for a novel study at school. I thought it was going to be another boring novel study... But it wasn't. It was such a good book, that after the novel study was done, I read all the other books in the series. So did most of my other classmates. I recommend this book to everyone. more
Luke is a twelve year old boy that lives on a farm with his mother, father, and two brothers, Mathew and Mark. Luck is what many people call a shadow child. He is the third child in his family. The population police enforced a law many years ago that said families could only have two children from now on. This was because of “low amounts of food”. On the farm Luke can help out and go outside but he can’t go to school or have friends over. Actually Luke only has ever met his family. One day the government decides to cut down the woods and build houses for the Barons. These are the rich people. This freaks out Luke’s mother and father and he now has to spend all of his time in the attic. While in the attic Luke finds a small hole to look out of at the other house. He really has his eye on one family, the Talbot’s. One day while everyone is gone including the Barons Luke sees a face in one of the windows. He then realizes that he is not alone. He decides to meet the girl. This book tells of the adventure that the two take together. Luke realizes with this experience many things about the government that he didn’t know. You will have to read this to find out what happens to the two in the endmore
Suspenseful, intriguing, heart breaking, and thought provoking! Among the Hidden is a well written science fiction novel that address the themes of personal freedoms and government control. Additional topics of social class and propaganda surface as well. The events in this book occur sometime in the future, where a central government enforces a population law, limiting the amount of children women may birth, and controls food production and distribution. Margaret Peterson Haddix writes in a raw realistic manner making this story not a far fetch scenario. After a severe drought and famine, the government established laws that only allowed two children per family. Living in a rural area that becomes suburbanized, Luke's life becomes even more confined. As the third child in his family, Luke must stay in hiding and exist as if he does not exist. When he looses his right to be outside, Luke discovers another third child named Jen. Unlike Luke, Jen comes from wealth and has an arrogance of being invisible. While meeting in secret, Luke learns from Jen a world that has been hidden from him: technology, laws, luxury, and friendship. Jen's attempt to revoltuonalize the government's policy on "shadow children" radically changes Luke's life. This book is dynamic and will be hard to put down. Readers will connect with the characters and be in itch to read the next novel in this series. Among the Hidden is a must have book in any library. Age Appropriate: 5th grade and upmore
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