Guest Review: Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Title: Among the Hidden
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Series: Shadow Children
Publisher: Aladdin Fiction
Released: January 1, 1998


SHADOW CHILDREN 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?

Guest Review for Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Hello, readers! 

I’m C.J. from Sarcasm&Lemons, a book blog, and today I’m so happy to be a guest of Kathy here at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.  She’s one of the best in the book blogging world and I admire her so much.  It’s truly an honor to share a part of her page. 

In another corner of the web is my blog, Sarcasm & Lemons  (  
I’ve had the blog open since December last year, so my blogiversary is coming up!  I do reviews, writing tips, giveaways, and the occasional psychology rant or nonsensical musing.  Come say hello; I love comments! 

For my review, I’d love to highlight one of my favorite books from childhood.  Long before The Hunger Games brought dystopian to the big screen, there was Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  This is Luke’s story, the story of a boy in a world where the population is under control and resources are scarce.  To keep the population in line, every family is limited to two children.  And the third children?  They live lives in hidden attics and ground cellars, never seeing the light. 

It’s a lonely life for Luke—until he meets Jen through a secret shadow children chatroom.  She’s not content to be the invisible kid.  She wants freedom.  Suddenly, Luke’s solitary days are filled with secret meeting, sneaking around, schemes and plots for freedom.  Only Luke is just passing the time—but Jen isn’t.  She wants the shadow children to unite and march on the capitol, and take back the light once and for all.  No matter how dangerous. 

My thoughts:

This is such a deep, meaningful book with so much relevance—but it’s fun, too!  The content is appropriate for children but even teens and adults will enjoy it.  The writing is tight, the plot twisty and fast-paced, and what a concept!  A world with Population Police isn’t so hard to believe.  In fact, countries like China already limit children per family.  And in the rest of the world, dwindling resources make it a scary possibility. 

Enter Luke.  He’ll break your heart from the first page and draw you into his world.  He’s the ultimate forgotten child.  His parents love him, but their only choice to keep him from being taken away is to keep him invisible.  Immediately, you’re invested in his future.  Then comes Jen.  She’s feisty and idealistic, the perfect leader.  Where Luke is timid and nervous, Jen is powerful.  My heart skipped a beat every other page as I watched them narrowly escape detection time after time. 

In the end, it’s tragic—but not completely.  There’s no happily ever after, but there is the most important thing:  hope.  It’s a book that brings the popular dystopian trend to the level of young readers, and a book that will start great conversations.  Once you pick it up, make sure you have a few hours—you won’t be able to stop turning pages.  And if you’re as much in love with it as I am, there’s a whole Shadow Children series to satisfy your craving once you’re finished. 

So many thanks to Kathy for hosting me!