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Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  89,823 Ratings  ·  4,555 Reviews
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, h
Paperback, 153 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1998)
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Apr 02, 2008 Madeline rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Iwould recomend it for anybody who has a craving for excitment and adventure. I also love the use of words, and the excitment. I cannot stop reading the book. Margaret Peterson Haddix is a tallented auther and has AMAZING creativity with books and words. Any book that she writes is or will be wonderfull.
Nov 25, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: no one
I am adding this book as a warning. The first book and a half are very interesting and the plot is fascinating. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN READ THESE BOOKS!! Somewhere in the second book, it begins to get quite violent. By the fourth or fifth book, there is holocaust-type violence, children killing in cold blood, and outrageous examples of treachery and hate. These books are dangerous, as the first one is so good. Please use caution when you give your children books to read. I learned the hard way ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
The issue faced by the characters in the book, that of overpopulation and what to do about it, is an important one, and deserves to have a children's book written about it. The possibility that we will one day be limited to two children or fewer per family, and people will undergo forced sterilization, is not so unlikely. China already has strict population control laws (one child) with heavy fines for violators.

However the author simplifies the issue to a simple black and white set of extremes.
After reading this, I am very surprised that the publishers determined the targeted reading age group to be "Age 8-12".

It's a bit like Brave New World for YA. (See that bold print in the back that says: "an ALA Best Book for Young Adults".)
Mar 30, 2009 Farid rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2016 Olivia rated it really liked it
Among the Hidden...a wonderful book...futuristic!! Luke Garner is a third child, a hidden child. After the government passed the population law, third children and pets have been outlawed. But Luke's mother had always wanted four boys-"Matthew, Mark, Luke and John," she says.
When Luke's farmland is bought to be turned into a neighborhood of barons, Luke takes interest to watching out of his attic vents. The Sports family's home, the Blonde family's home...he names them all. But wait...was tha
Dec 25, 2008 Rachelle rated it liked it
This is a decent book about a fictional community where the government controls everything. The people are only allowed to have 2 children so anything after 2 they hide them. This is a story about a boy that has been hidden his entire life and find out that there are other hidden children out there as well. He meets a girl and they become friends.
I have mixed feelings about this book. The reason I read it was because a friend of mine asked me about it. Her 11 year-old son read it and he was ups
Fred Kirchner
Feb 09, 2009 Fred Kirchner rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
I was not expecting too much, and was rewarded with a pleasantly surprising read. You can fly through this book in just a few hours, but why should you...? Here's why: Haddix creates a charming, star-crossed protagonist living in a dystopian society as a Shadow Child. Families are only allowed two kids. Luke is the third child to a strapped farming couple living on the edge of civilization. For most of his life, Luke's had the run of the back forty, but when a new housing development bring wealt ...more
Jan 27, 2009 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Wow! I can't wait to read the rest of the series. Luke is a "third" child in a society that inforces population control. Families are allowed only two children. He is loved but lead a very solitary life. He meets another "third" child, Jen, and they form a friendship. Jen is the leader of a group of thirds and she's trying to change the laws so they no longer have to hide. Very inspiring, tender and quite a cliff hanger!
Julie Klein
Oct 04, 2010 Julie Klein rated it it was amazing
This book is GREAT so far! Wonderful recommendation by one of my fabulous students. Can't wait to discuss it in book club :)
Dec 10, 2008 Mwestarkey97 rated it it was amazing
i love this book. read others in the series to continue the adventure.
Daisy W
Oct 17, 2012 Daisy W rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2013 Ally rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I read it last year in two days. The ending made me cry and wanting more. I love the series and want to maybe want to reread the series again!
Dec 25, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a good start to a series, but it felt like a non-ending or an obvious sequel set up. Even in a young adult series each book should be able to stand alone in terms of satisfying the reader that the story is over, this one didn't really do that for me. The character development was ok but again, I'm not going to cut it slack for being for young readers, there were several characters that should have been more dimensional but weren't. As an example Jen's dad needed to be introduced by ...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 14, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
The dystopian society in Among the Hidden is a frightening idea, but reading about the main character's adventures is worthwhile. :)
I just have to say, what an amazing start to a series! For the past couple of months, I've been having a hard time finding books that'll hold my interest. But once I picked up 'Among The Hidden,' I was immediately sucked into this world (well, it did have it's draggy bits, but nevertheless, I was sucked in). I can't quite explain it, but it gave me all of those Unwind feels. This isn't your average dystopian book, I feel that it can stand on its own, much like Unwind, it was very unique, but I d ...more
Janet Amaya
Mar 08, 2013 Janet Amaya rated it it was amazing
What I like about this book:
• It’s a captivating book; you just want to keep reading it.
• The book is very suspenseful; you don’t know what’s going to happen next.

For example, it was captivating because you didn’t know what he was going to do he was somewhat indecisive. Another example was that you didn’t know what was going to happen next, so many things happened that you didn’t think we’re going to happen.

One thing I didn’t like about the book is that the ending is bittersweet.

Characters: Luke
Renee Armitage
Dec 14, 2013 Renee Armitage rated it it was amazing
“Among the Hidden” Book report
Renee Armitage
The novel I will be telling you about is Margaret Peterson Haddix’s “Among the Hidden”. In Luke Garner’s life the government has put a limit to how many kids a family can have and Luke is an illegal third child and his freedom is getting torn down with the trees. After the trees in his families land gets chopped down and Luke’s slight amount of freedom is gone when the new neighbors move in. The narrator and main character in this novel is Luke Ga
Mar 05, 2013 Ehsan rated it it was amazing
A. The thing I like about the book is that Luke’s family lived on a farm and they were not rich. And if they were rich they would keep on bribing people and that would make the book boring.
B. The things I did not like are how Jen went to the rally and the government did that very cruel thing to the kids.
1. The characters in the story were Luke, Mathew and mark (Luke’s brothers) Jen Luke’s best friend, Luke’s mom and dad, and Jen’s dad.
2. The most important scene of the book was when Luke di
Nov 01, 2012 Ny'dea rated it it was amazing
Among The Hidden was written by Margaret Peterson Haddix, this is a fiction book. This book had a lot of parts that made me stare into the book. The word hidden in the title has a lot to do with what occurs in the book, actually the book revolves around the word hidden.

A strength in the book that I noticed was how the author put in events that where in the characters past to help give a glimpse of the character. For example the author mentioned the main character, Luke celebrating his birthday.
Lisa Godfrees
Mar 28, 2013 Lisa Godfrees rated it really liked it
Anyone who has spent time around middle grade books, whether library or book fairs, has probably seen Haddix books. Margaret Peterson Haddix is a prolific author of MG fiction. Among the Hidden is the first book of hers I have read. I selected it particularly because of its premise: due to severe overpopulation, the government has passed laws that allow couples to have only two children. Disobedience is punished by death. Luke is a third child, a shadow child. He can’t go outside, have friends, ...more
Mar 26, 2016 Mariah rated it liked it
I'm reading this book to my students and they love it, but I found it to be very boring. I'm not sure how others feel but nothing happens in this book, especially the first half. I read threw the first half of the book super board.
Katie Grace
Jan 19, 2016 Katie Grace rated it really liked it
Aww, memories! I remember reading this when I was nine or ten. It was fun to revisit the world, though I'm not sure if I'll reread the other 12 or so in the series. Though I do want to know what happens... Hm, we'll see.
Mr. Z
Apr 20, 2009 Mr. Z rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle school students
"No," Luke said. "She wanted to live free. Not die. Not hide. Live."

Luke wants to be like a normal kid, but he's not. He's a "shadow child." The government only allows families to have two children. A third child in any family is put to death and the incriminating family punished. Living under these circumstances means hiding. That's exactly what Luke has done his entire childhood. Things change for him when he is peaking out the window and notices a shadow in another neighborhood home. Come to
Jul 27, 2012 Irina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
This story surprised me with its concept of a totalitarian government taking over the lives and choices of its citizens, although the restrictions applied to everybody, the affluent citizens had more flexibility and a wide range of privileges.

The regulations on population control were hard to accept, to be mandated to have only two children is a concept that in our democratic society is hard to envision.

It reminded me a bit of The Giver in the sense that a set parents was only allowed to have tw
Apr 03, 2013 Miguel rated it really liked it
What I really liked about this book is it suspense’s you don’t know what going to happen. Another thing I like about this book is that the character is a brave young boy who risks knowing he would be killed to see if theirs other like him. One of the bad things about this book is that it took awhile to finally get into it. The plot to the book is that a young boy is living in fear constantly because he is afraid the population police would capture him and kill him and his family. The characters ...more
Alex Guajardo
Mar 30, 2009 Alex Guajardo rated it really liked it
This book is awesome!! It has a little of mystery, adventure, suspense and more cool stuff. I like all the book overall, I like how this 3rd child named Luke in a world of only 2 child can survive from the population police and the outside world. Another thing that I like is how Luke found out that in the neighbors house their was another illegal child. She was named Jen. Jen is a rich rebel girl that has a father that works for the government. During the story all this adventures happen that ar ...more
Dec 05, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book about a boy named Luke, who is living in a futuristic time. He is a third child, and the law there is that each family can only have 2 children, because there was a recent food shortage that damaged their community. Luke must hide from the "Population Police" to stay alive. One day, he sees a light in one of the houses next to his, and find out that there is another third child living in that house, named Jen. What Luke doesn't know, is that there is a whole network of third ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Skip rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
12-year old Luke is a third child in a society where two is the limit; however, he notices signs of life in a deserted home and ventures out against all rules to find another hidden third child, Jen. Jen is bold and wants freedom for all, trying to enlist others similarly situated in a massive protest. Luke is too scared to go along and then has to face the dire consequences of his inaction. While this is a decent adventure of sorts, with compelling social issues, I think Haddix has unnessarily ...more
David K.
Jan 25, 2012 David K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Around the Year i...: Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix 1 10 Apr 20, 2016 02:53PM  
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Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danvil ...more
More about Margaret Peterson Haddix...

Other Books in the Series

Shadow Children (7 books)
  • Among the Impostors (Shadow Children, #2)
  • Among the Betrayed (Shadow Children, #3)
  • Among the Barons (Shadow Children, #4)
  • Among the Brave (Shadow Children, #5)
  • Among the Enemy (Shadow Children, #6)
  • Among the Free (Shadow Children, #7)

Share This Book

“I want to Live! Not Die, Not Hide, LIVE!” 104 likes
“Sure you can be a coward and hope somone else changes the wrld for you. You can hide up in that attic of yours until someone knocks on the door and says, 'Oh, hey, they freed the hidden. Want to come out?' Is that what you want"
Luke didnt answer
"You've got to come, Luke, or you'll hate yourself the rest of your life. When you dont have to hide anymore, even years from now, there'll always be some small part of you whispering 'I don't deserve this. I didnt fight for it. I'm not worth it.' And you are, Luke, you are. You're smart and funny and nice, and you should be living life, instead of being buried alive in that old house of yours”
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