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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 Jun 12, 2002
ISBN: 9780689848070
List price: $7.99
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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).read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Good book, easy read! read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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. read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is the story of Luke, a third child hidden from a government which forbids third children. Luke gradually becomes aware of the impossibility of staying hidden from the government for his entire life, and the book is the first in a series detailing his adventures. I think the book raises some really interesting questions, ie, how much does the government control the flow of information to the populace? What are the implications of our current excessive consumerist lifestyle? How do you determine fact from propaganda? And, on a deeper level, how important is freedom and what does it mean to be free? All these questions are hidden underneath the guise of a suspense novel. While I like the possibility for discussion that the book allows, and I found the premise to be very intriguing, I finished the novel with no interest in reading the rest of the series. I just found the writing to be a little sub-par.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
At first I thought the book was boring, but the more I see how it relates to human rights and imagines such a vivid and bleak future with a population law the more I like it. Now, I'm reading the rest of the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one of my favourite books ever. I recommend it to kids all the time, and once I've turned them on to it, they tend to want to read the rest of the series. I can't believe I didn't already have it in my library. Great story set in a future time when it is illegal to have more than two children. Luke is an illegal third child, also known as a shadow child. When the area around his house is developed for a suburb, his freedom ends and he has to spend most of his time in the attic. His existence might have been unbearable had he not found a way to connect with another illegal third. The scene when he finally manages to meet the other shadow child is a great one. I won't spoil it for you, but this is a GREAT book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a good book, while reading it I kept thinking of my partner, who would love this book, which she is currently reading! to be told and live in a world that were you beleive or well everyone around you beleives and then coming to the rrelize that it is wrong well the Government is wrong, I would have chosen another book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I must say Margaret Peterson Haddix is quite good at this one. I found it really interesting to read, and it's really sensible. It may be a book for the young audiences, but the truthfulness it shows about life and the government is something that a lot of adults can relate to (and agree with). Wonderful.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 endread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I highly recommend this book and series to any reluctant reader. Haddix draws you in immediately. It is a book that leaves my students begging for me to read one more chapter. The story takes place during a time when there is a population law that only allows couples to have two children. This law creates a society of shadow children, those who are born into families that already have two children. The story is the adventure of Luke as he learns he is not the only one.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A quick read. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and manages to be very thought-provoking too. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
among the hidden is such a suspenseful book that you just can't seem to get enough. I think it is a great book for all ages and is awesome to read to a class or by yourself.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Great book, interesting look at the futureread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Luke is a third child, something that is illegal. As such, he remains hidden in the attic of his parents home. Until, one day, he sees a face in a neighboring house that shouldn’t be there.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Pretty good. Read it during one school day xDread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book wasn't my favorite. It was hard to follow and a very depressing plot.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Age: Middle SchoolMedia: NoneThe genre of this book is science fiction. It is a science fiction book because it takes place in a world that does not exist, but it involves normal people. The book takes place in a society where there can only be two children per family. The main character of this book is Luke. Luke is the third child in the family, and he is a deep character because we learn more and more about him throughout the book. We feel his emotions in the story. The theme of this book is to stand up for what you believe in and never get scared of living your life. Luke eventually realizes that he can live the way he wants to. He also knows that he must stand up against the population police.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
With its focus on the freedom to reproduce, and the religiously-tinged names of the central family, I was a little worried that this would be religious propaganda dressed up as YA science fiction a la the Left Behind children's novels. However, I was pleasantly, pleasantly surprised. This is an emotionally resonant kid's novel, along the lines of The Giver, but with more realism and emotional impact. The dangers of a totalitarian society are underscored by the human story that frames it. Unexpectedly, I found myself getting choked up by the end. I'm excited to read the rest of this series.My only real complaint was the overly simplistic, slightly wooden dialog, but that's understandable considering the intended audience.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Luke is not supposed to be alive. There is a law that says you can only have 2 kids. Well, Luke is the 3rd son. If you have a 3rd child, you must get rid of it. Well Luke's family did not. They kept him. He can not leave his house, he can not even go to the windows, because someone might see him. Then he finds that he is not the only 3rd child, there are a few...million.I loved this book for all of its mystery. I love the series as well. I would recommend this book to everyone who like to read mystery.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 upread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Luke Garner is a shadow child. He is the third child at a time when families were only allowed two children. Luke’s family keeps him hidden because they are afraid of the Population Police. Luke did not mind hiding until the beautiful forest that surrounded his home was being cut down by the government so homes could be built. That is when Luke’s world changed. Yes he was use to hiding, but now he couldn’t even go outside. Luke had to stay hidden in the attic, until one day he sees another shadow child next door. Luke and Jen become very close friends. Jen is determined to change the Population Law by getting together as many shadow children as possible to march on the Presidents door steps. As much as he wants to, Luke just cannot bring himself to partake in the march. Luke soon finds out that the Population Police shot everyone in the march. Jen’s father finds out about Luke and helps Luke from becoming discovered like his Jen.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
First book in the series. Excellent story!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is great for kids because it introduces ideas that are integral to the beginning of deep thought for children. It also gets kids involved in a series which will keep them reading and engaged. It is relatable yet fun and exciting.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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?read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Food scarce, an oppressive government , and laws limiting the number of children in a family to 2, leaves our main character hiding in his parents house. Very quick read. Very suspenseful. The first in a large series. Great for the reluctant reader.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Among the Hidden is a book about a young boy. In the book, he is a third child. At the time, where they lived, a third child was illegal. Because of this he had to hide in his attic for practically his whole life. I think Among the Hidden was a great book because the storyline was good, and it was a fun book to read. Some parts are even a little frightening to read. I think this was a great book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
 Among the Hidden is the first of the Shadow series written by Margaret Peter Haddox. Haddox creates a futuristic society where it is illegal for there to be more than two children per family. The main character, Luke, is a forbidden third child. His life is kept secret from the rest of the world, particularly the Population Police. He has lived his entire life in secrecy and recently has been confined indoors due to recent housing development. The intended audience, middle school students, will find themselves contrasting Luke’s world to their own. One day Luke makes an astonishing discovery that provokes the theme of standing up for what you believe in to come out of the shadows. Haddox creates emotional appeal and suspense that sends Luke and readers on a series of adventures.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

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).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Good book, easy read!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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. 
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is the story of Luke, a third child hidden from a government which forbids third children. Luke gradually becomes aware of the impossibility of staying hidden from the government for his entire life, and the book is the first in a series detailing his adventures. I think the book raises some really interesting questions, ie, how much does the government control the flow of information to the populace? What are the implications of our current excessive consumerist lifestyle? How do you determine fact from propaganda? And, on a deeper level, how important is freedom and what does it mean to be free? All these questions are hidden underneath the guise of a suspense novel. While I like the possibility for discussion that the book allows, and I found the premise to be very intriguing, I finished the novel with no interest in reading the rest of the series. I just found the writing to be a little sub-par.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
At first I thought the book was boring, but the more I see how it relates to human rights and imagines such a vivid and bleak future with a population law the more I like it. Now, I'm reading the rest of the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one of my favourite books ever. I recommend it to kids all the time, and once I've turned them on to it, they tend to want to read the rest of the series. I can't believe I didn't already have it in my library. Great story set in a future time when it is illegal to have more than two children. Luke is an illegal third child, also known as a shadow child. When the area around his house is developed for a suburb, his freedom ends and he has to spend most of his time in the attic. His existence might have been unbearable had he not found a way to connect with another illegal third. The scene when he finally manages to meet the other shadow child is a great one. I won't spoil it for you, but this is a GREAT book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a good book, while reading it I kept thinking of my partner, who would love this book, which she is currently reading! to be told and live in a world that were you beleive or well everyone around you beleives and then coming to the rrelize that it is wrong well the Government is wrong, I would have chosen another book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I must say Margaret Peterson Haddix is quite good at this one. I found it really interesting to read, and it's really sensible. It may be a book for the young audiences, but the truthfulness it shows about life and the government is something that a lot of adults can relate to (and agree with). Wonderful.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 end
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I highly recommend this book and series to any reluctant reader. Haddix draws you in immediately. It is a book that leaves my students begging for me to read one more chapter. The story takes place during a time when there is a population law that only allows couples to have two children. This law creates a society of shadow children, those who are born into families that already have two children. The story is the adventure of Luke as he learns he is not the only one.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A quick read. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and manages to be very thought-provoking too. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
among the hidden is such a suspenseful book that you just can't seem to get enough. I think it is a great book for all ages and is awesome to read to a class or by yourself.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Great book, interesting look at the future
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Luke is a third child, something that is illegal. As such, he remains hidden in the attic of his parents home. Until, one day, he sees a face in a neighboring house that shouldn’t be there.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Pretty good. Read it during one school day xD
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book wasn't my favorite. It was hard to follow and a very depressing plot.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Age: Middle SchoolMedia: NoneThe genre of this book is science fiction. It is a science fiction book because it takes place in a world that does not exist, but it involves normal people. The book takes place in a society where there can only be two children per family. The main character of this book is Luke. Luke is the third child in the family, and he is a deep character because we learn more and more about him throughout the book. We feel his emotions in the story. The theme of this book is to stand up for what you believe in and never get scared of living your life. Luke eventually realizes that he can live the way he wants to. He also knows that he must stand up against the population police.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
With its focus on the freedom to reproduce, and the religiously-tinged names of the central family, I was a little worried that this would be religious propaganda dressed up as YA science fiction a la the Left Behind children's novels. However, I was pleasantly, pleasantly surprised. This is an emotionally resonant kid's novel, along the lines of The Giver, but with more realism and emotional impact. The dangers of a totalitarian society are underscored by the human story that frames it. Unexpectedly, I found myself getting choked up by the end. I'm excited to read the rest of this series.My only real complaint was the overly simplistic, slightly wooden dialog, but that's understandable considering the intended audience.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Luke is not supposed to be alive. There is a law that says you can only have 2 kids. Well, Luke is the 3rd son. If you have a 3rd child, you must get rid of it. Well Luke's family did not. They kept him. He can not leave his house, he can not even go to the windows, because someone might see him. Then he finds that he is not the only 3rd child, there are a few...million.I loved this book for all of its mystery. I love the series as well. I would recommend this book to everyone who like to read mystery.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 up
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Luke Garner is a shadow child. He is the third child at a time when families were only allowed two children. Luke’s family keeps him hidden because they are afraid of the Population Police. Luke did not mind hiding until the beautiful forest that surrounded his home was being cut down by the government so homes could be built. That is when Luke’s world changed. Yes he was use to hiding, but now he couldn’t even go outside. Luke had to stay hidden in the attic, until one day he sees another shadow child next door. Luke and Jen become very close friends. Jen is determined to change the Population Law by getting together as many shadow children as possible to march on the Presidents door steps. As much as he wants to, Luke just cannot bring himself to partake in the march. Luke soon finds out that the Population Police shot everyone in the march. Jen’s father finds out about Luke and helps Luke from becoming discovered like his Jen.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
First book in the series. Excellent story!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is great for kids because it introduces ideas that are integral to the beginning of deep thought for children. It also gets kids involved in a series which will keep them reading and engaged. It is relatable yet fun and exciting.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Food scarce, an oppressive government , and laws limiting the number of children in a family to 2, leaves our main character hiding in his parents house. Very quick read. Very suspenseful. The first in a large series. Great for the reluctant reader.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Among the Hidden is a book about a young boy. In the book, he is a third child. At the time, where they lived, a third child was illegal. Because of this he had to hide in his attic for practically his whole life. I think Among the Hidden was a great book because the storyline was good, and it was a fun book to read. Some parts are even a little frightening to read. I think this was a great book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
 Among the Hidden is the first of the Shadow series written by Margaret Peter Haddox. Haddox creates a futuristic society where it is illegal for there to be more than two children per family. The main character, Luke, is a forbidden third child. His life is kept secret from the rest of the world, particularly the Population Police. He has lived his entire life in secrecy and recently has been confined indoors due to recent housing development. The intended audience, middle school students, will find themselves contrasting Luke’s world to their own. One day Luke makes an astonishing discovery that provokes the theme of standing up for what you believe in to come out of the shadows. Haddox creates emotional appeal and suspense that sends Luke and readers on a series of adventures.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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