We have a neighbor my kids call “the Sim.” Many mornings while my kids stood at the bus stop, waiting to go to school, this particular woman would walk out of her house, stare at her yard, walk a few more steps, stare at her yard again, then go back into her house—her actions seemingly as random and pointless as a character in the Sims computer games.

My kids were in middle school then, so of course neither they nor their friends dared to ask, “Excuse me, ma’am. What are you doing? What are you thinking about when you stare like that—crabgrass? Dandelions? A long-lost love? A family tragedy? A body buried under the grass?”

Given that last possibility, I guess I’m glad they never asked.

Years ago, I worked as a newspaper reporter. There was a truism popular among journalists then: “Everyone has a story.” Some newspapers even assigned reporters to randomly pick names out of the phone book, as a way to find their next interview. I never had to do that, but I quickly noticed that some seemingly ordinary people who’d managed to live their lives outside the glare of publicity were absolutely fascinating interviews, even as they protested, “Oh, you don’t really want to write about me.” And, conversely, some people who had captured the attention of the entire world were actually deadly dull in person.

Since then, the Information Age has exploded. We believe we can find out anything we want to know on the Internet, about any politician or celebrity or faux-celebrity. Hillary Clinton fighting tears? Barack Obama without (gasp) his flag pin? John McCain mixing up Iran and Iraq? Paris Hilton going to jail? That Youtube kid, Fred, pretending to be hyperactive? It’s all there, available any time we want to look.

But in the flood of information, sometimes truth recedes. What’s image and what’s reality? What’s a one-time mistake and what’s rock-bottom character? We don’t know.

More and more, it seems, we’re all just watching Sims.

Get more on Margaret Peterson Haddix at SimonandSchuster.com
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Published on November 15, 2008 00:00 • 3,809 views

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message 22: by Stilight (new)

Stilight Daimer You should write another book in the Among The Hidden series, like have the government stand up and take control of the situation that happened in Among The Free.

message 21: by Spacedesktop (new)

Spacedesktop Great

message 20: by Lollipop (new)

Lollipop So what was the last book In the missing series I lost track

message 19: by Adorkor!!! (last edited Aug 29, 2015 09:33AM) (new)

Adorkor!!! Where did you get the idea to write the Missing series I LOVE THEM SOOO MUCH !!

message 18: by Grace (new)

Grace How do you come up with writing stories like the missing and Shadow Children?

message 17: by Artistgirl454 (new)

Artistgirl454 PLEASE ANSWER!!!!! Okay I'm a 5th grader from Windham, New Hampshire, and my class LOVES your shadow children stories! My teacher reads them to her class every year, and none of them have finished them by the end of the year. My teacher says we are definitely going to finish this time though! We are already three books away from Among the Free! Anyway, I just thought it would be really cool if you could write an e-mail to me to show to my class! It would mean a lot too all of us!


message 16: by Lily (new)

Lily Cinderella wrote: "I can't wait for the next book in the missing series"
Its Risk, and I can't wait either!

message 15: by Lily (new)

Lily I love your books, especially house of Mirrors. But the thing that got me was the Missing. Its awesome. Can't wait for Risk!

message 14: by Mark (new)

Mark Rocco I love your books. I like how you make the main idea obvious by having detailed facts. Love your books, keep up the good work!

HURRAH! Unbalance Bean Mr. Wiggles I LOVE YOU

message 12: by Turtle (new)

Turtle Dear Miss Haddix,

I met you at a book signing a few years ago. That was after I read nothing but your books for 6 months. I would like to thank you for the good times. I see this blog post as a beautiful philosophy and it's poetry too. Please, for the sake of this weird mixed up world, never stop writing, we all envy your talent.

A Long Time Fan

message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica sharp i know me too

message 10: by Josie (new)

Josie Jessica wrote: "Josie wrote: "Write another Among the Hidden Book please they are so amazing!"

i know i especially love how she makes it a mystery about whats going to happen next so you want to keep reading"

I know! She is so good at writing great books! I really want to know what happens to everybody next!

message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica sharp Josie wrote: "Write another Among the Hidden Book please they are so amazing!"

i know i especially love how she makes it a mystery about whats going to happen next so you want to keep reading

message 8: by Josie (new)

Josie Write another Among the Hidden Book please they are so amazing!

message 7: by Call~Me~Rose (new)

Call~Me~Rose Cinderella wrote: "I can't wait for the next book in the missing series"


message 6: by Cinderella (new)

Cinderella I can't wait for the next book in the missing series

message 5: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa the missing series is the bomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

message 4: by Shelena (new)

Shelena that was a good book im sure if you liked that one you'll like the others i recommened the shadow children series their sooooooooooooo good!

message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris cruz u a beastttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

message 2: by Emily (new)

Emily Hey, I love your series the shadow Children series. Its one of my favorite. I run a Book Club at my local library and recently we did that for our books discussion and everyone loved it. My sister was raving it she read the entire series in a week, and she is 9 years old. Im glad and wanted to thank you for writing futuristic stories that are age appropriate for elementary children. I think this gives a foundation or window, you might say, into the world of the very popular topic of books, the futuristic and apoctalypic. I enjoy your books, every single one. None of which I disliked. I hope you keeping writing so that I can keep reading.

message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Hi! I just read one of your books for the first time. I really liked it! It was the House on the Gulf. I loved the plot, the idea of the whole story, and the foreshadowing at the beginning of the story. It really made me keep reading!

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