Among the Hidden - Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Genre: J Suspense/Thriller
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Blurb (on back of book)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?


I liked this book, but it was a little bit too easy for my level. This was another forced read for book club.

Since this was a short book, it will get a short review.

This book was about a society where third-born children are not allowed. This is supposed to prevent hunger problems/population, etc., but in reality, the government and the region has enough food, but they want to give more to the Barons, or the rich people, instead, and so outlawed third children.

But there is an illegal child. His name is Luke, and the story mostly focuses around him. This book was very easy and not at all hard to understand, and it lacked complexity, most likely because it was geared more for MG readers instead.

This story was mildly cliche and very predictable.

Of course Luke couldn't be the only illegal family. Some people want to rebel, or just want to have more children, or just had an accident that they don't want to kill, obviously. I feel as if the author made Luke seem naive in having him think that he was the only third child in existence.

Then he meets a girl, Jen, who is an illegal child like him. At once, new windows and doors are opened for Luke, who somehow believes that he is the only one. The only difference between them two is that Jen is a Baron (rich kid) and Luke is more on the poor side, what with bills, etc. His family is all farmers.

Luke sneaks to Jen's house a lot after that. Jen really helps Luke to build his confidence in just being who he was. He was scared to use computers, to go outside, etc. His parents and family basically brought him up that way, so you can't blame Luke himself. But Jen shows Luke by her actions and words that the Population Police are not as smart as they would think, and that Luke should feel free to do what he wants.

Jen wants to start a rally against the government's law of having no third child, and she gathers up hundreds of other illegal children through chat rooms, etc. Luke never knew that all of these other children existed.


Jen's biggest fault was that she was too trustworthy. She didn't count on being betrayed or just simply let down. She expected thousands of kids to come to her rally, but in reality, only about 40 people showed up. The saddest part is, all of them died. ALL OF THEM. Were shot by the government and left alone. 

Luke didn't even go. Wasn't that the whole point of the story? Then again, since this is a series, Luke probably was a character that couldn't die, seeing as he was the main character. And having him be the only person to escape would be way too obvious and cliche. 

Overall, I liked the first book of the series, but it's not something I really plan to pursue in the future.

I would recommend this book to MG readers who like a lot of thrills and suspenseful writing.

Main Character: Luke
Sidekick(s): Jen
Villain(s): The government, population police, etc
Suspense/Thriller Elements: This book was very suspenseful and at some points, thrilling.