Saturday, July 10, 2010

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Sometimes there's no better story out there than a children's book. I was checking books in today when I came across Margaret Peterson Haddix' Among the Hidden. It's an older book, but I've never read the critically acclaimed series. Now that I'm hooked, I'll have to find time to read the other six books in the series.

Luke Garner was twelve years old, but he had never met anyone outside his family. He wasn't allowed outside when anyone might see him. And, once the family was forced to sell the woods to the Government for housing, he would never be allowed outside again. Since someone might see him, he wasn't even going to be allowed to eat in the kitchen anymore with the rest of the family. "There was a law against Luke." The law wasn't actually against him. People were only allowed to have two children, and Luke was a third. The Population Police enforced the law, and there could be a multimillion dollar fine, and death. Luke's farming family certainly couldn't afford that. So, Luke spent day after day in his attic bedroom, reading just the few books he was allowed, and trying to peer out the vents to see the outside world.

Then, one day, Luke notices a face at a window where he can already identify the four family members. And, this face doesn't fit. When he finally has the nerve to sneak through the yards, he finds a girl his own age who says they're "Shadow children," illegals whose parents broke Population Law 3903. They're third children. After giving Luke books about the population explosion and subsequent world starvation that led to the Population Law, Jen is ready to recruit Luke to her cause. It's time for the thirds to reveal themselves.

Among the Hidden is a tragic start to a series that promises to be riveting. It's a book that reminds me of of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games for a slightly younger audience. Luke is a character who promises to grow and learn in the course of the series. I'm looking forward to the next book in this chilling series.

Margaret Peterson Haddix' website is

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Aladdin Paperbacks, ©1998. ISBN 0689824750 (paperback), 153p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

My son has read these books and loved them! He's also read her other series...can't remember the name of it now. She writes books that appeal to both genders, which is nice.

bermudaonion said...

Boy, does that sound like a good one to me!

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that you hit upon this one while you were discharging books. LOL

I've seen this series, oddly enough doing the very same thing you were doing. :-)

Never read it. Sounds good.

Molly said...

I had a student give a book report on this book two years ago. She was so enamored with it that she read the entire series over Christmas break - and convinced two other students to do the same!

She even convinced me to read the first one - which I did and enjoyed - but I have yet to find the time to read that remaining books in the series.

Lesa said...

Your son is right, Elizabeth. I have the second one here, and I'll have to read it soon.

Lesa said...


It was a good book, and I'm looking forward to the series.

Lesa said...


Since we only have one page, I'm spending a lot more time checking books in and shelving them. In fact, on Fridays, we're closed, but we spend the entire day doing check-in, shelving and shelf reading. Actually, I have to say I enjoy it. Paging was what brought me to the profession in the first place. So, I do enjoy the chance to handle the books.

Lesa said...


Don't you love it when a book catches a reader's imagination? I did that when I read The Hobbit in high school. Tore through the entire series, and then failed the test in English because I couldn't remember characters from the first book without confusing them with the rest of the series.

Someday, you'll have to find time to try them.

Inside A Book said...

I started this series a few years back when there were only 3 finished. I guess by your numbers I have some catching up to do. I am changing grade levels this year, I think I have to get a few of these for my top level readers. Thanks for the reminder of some great books! As always, you just keep adding to my Mount TBR!!

Lesa said...

Inside A Book,

I can't imagine reading this series before it was finished! But, then I guess we've done that with a number of books such as the Harry Potter series. You're welcome! Always a pleasure to remind someone of good books!

Kris said...

This book is so familiar to me, I can't figure out why though. I know I haven't read it, must have read a review or seen it somewhere. Hmm...sounds really good though, one to add to my wish list.

Lesa said...

It is good, Kris. Maybe you should just put it on a TBR pile from the library, rather than a wish list since there's a whole series.