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Children of Exile

(Children of Exile #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,357 ratings  ·  272 reviews
For the past twelve years, adults called “Freds” have raised Rosi, her younger brother Bobo, and the other children of their town, saying it is too dangerous for them to stay with their parents, but now they are all being sent back. Since Rosi is the oldest, all the younger kids are looking to her with questions she doesn’t have the answers to. She’d always trusted the Fre ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Sarah I never thought about it that way, but it would make sense. Everyone in the book seems to be a person of color, and I think it would make a lot of sen…moreI never thought about it that way, but it would make sense. Everyone in the book seems to be a person of color, and I think it would make a lot of sense if he was.(less)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,357 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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Okay, this is disappointing. I love Haddix books, but this one started out a little drier, and nothing much happened. I was still on board to see where she took the mystery.

She took it to (view spoiler) I don't buy it. I usually don't subtract a star for plausibility on middle grade books because I know I loved reading over-the-top plots as a preteen, but this one is just
I generally enjoy Haddix's books but I really can't get behind this one, particularly the reveal at the end. Very far-fetched in my opinion. It is very reminiscent of The Giver and not nearly as well done. It is a page-turner and a fast read, however. ...more
Taylor Guffey
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kenny-s-class
This book is...interesting. It's difficult to say much about it without revealing an important detail. I definitely didn't see the ending coming, but I was hooked on the dystopian-like feel of the beginning. I'm still not sure how I really feel about it, but I definitely plan on reading the sequel to find out what happens next!
Scott Fillner
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy schmoly is the accurate term I believe when you finish a chapter and a book by Margaret P Haddix! I should not be surprised by now since I have read other books from this author, but each time I am. She is the master of leaving you hanging at the end of each chapter. Supreme suspense! I can only imagine trying to do this as a read aloud, stopping and having students jeer, and throw papers, and pencils at me because we had to move on for the day. I challenge you to read this and be able to p ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Read this because my middle school going boy picked it up. He might enjoy it. Definitely not for me!! 🤪
Sarah Levy
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me on the edge of my seat for three straight days! Haddix does an outstanding job of leaving you wanting more. This is going to be a HUGE hit with my students!! I need book 2!
Twelve years ago and every year since, babies have been snatched from their biological parents and brought to Fredtown. Rosi and her brother Bobo have been nurtured with kindness, understanding, and a belief that all people are equal. They never realized that the Freds were not their birth parents.

Now, however, as they are headed back to the town of their birth, all the children of Fredtown realize they are not orphans as they once believed. As they reunite with their biological parents, they e
At first I was going to merely say that this was just a "meh" dystopian tale, rehashing some of the same ideas from The Hunger Games and Divergent but in a less-original and more uninspired way. Instead of complex world building, there were just vague references to people being grouped based on eye color. Had also included some scenes with odd religious undertones that weren't helpful or illuminating. And then I got about 85% done with the book and found out a "twist" that just made me go, huh ...more
Sarah Monsma
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
There are many rules in Fredtown, and sometimes it’s hard for Rosi to follow them. It seems like Edwy, the other twelve-year-old in Fredtown, doesn’t even try. But Rosi knows the rules are meant to ensure that everyone gets along and lives respectfully together. In fact, life in Fredtown with her Fred-parents is pretty great, except for the fact that it’s not her real town or her real parents. Rosi has known this all her life; nevertheless, she’s shocked when she learns that all the kids in Fred ...more
Melanie Dulaney
Margaret Peterson Haddix has written some truly outstanding sci-fi, fantasy, and even dystopian for the middle grades that I serve. Her Shadow Children and Found series still have steady readership in both my public school libraries as do stand alone fiction such as Turnabout, Running Out of Time, and Double Identity. Her more recent offerings, Under Their Skin and Children of Exile, have their fans, too, and I finally got to the latter and can see why my fifth graders love it. From the beginnin ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First sentence: We weren't orphans after all. That was the first surprise. The second was that we were going home.

Premise/plot: Rosi and Bobo are two of many children who are being sent back home to their real parents. For the past twelve years, the children have been raised not by their birth parents, their "real parents" but by the Freds of Fredtown. The children range in ages and reactions. Some are hopeful; some are angry. A few are very, very suspicious. Among the most suspicious is a boy
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassie Thomas
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As if Haddix wasn’t already the Sci-Fi queen… I have had several friends recommend this book and then her sequel, so I had to get Children of Exile in my reading vocabulary, and o m g. I by no means ever thought I would be intrigued by science fiction, but this story seriously had me hanging on the edge of my seat for every single conversation, every movement, every thought. What would happen? What is happening? If this happens next, the whole story could take a turn for the worst.

Student who f
Cara Cahill
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is the story of Rosi and her little brother Bobo. They have always lived in Fredtown with their Fred-Mama and Fred-Daddy. Now, they are heading home with little notice to their real parents. Except home is nothing like the Fredtown they are used to.

Wow!! This book is packed full of suspense. Each chapter had me dying to jump into the next one to see what happens. MG readers will love the fast- pace along with the twists and turns this book takes. I can't wait to get this book into the hand
Kayla Edwards
I was very disappointed in this one. It read quickly but I just didn't care - that may have to do with there being a little too much mystery for most of the novel. I'm all about suspense and buildup but you have to give the reader something or it just reads strange. And I can't even talk about the "reveal" at the end. So disappointing. Some of my uber-into-sci-fi kids might like it but that would be the only group I'd suggest it to.
Lucy Takeda
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 12 year old girl and her five year old brother are raised in a "perfect" town, which emphasizes talking things out and accepting others. They are suddenly grabbed and taken back to their "real" parents---and everything starts going wrong. The pilot ignores the crying infants, and says the kids are "dumb," something the children have been told to NEVER say. What's going on?
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I thought this book was great...until the end...
I thought it was unique and we'll written. I kept turning the pages; I could not wait to find out what was going on. And then the ending. I don't want to say because of spoilers but really! A*****! That's who the Freds were!?!?
Mark Buxton
My name is Rosi, and my little brother Bobo and I have finally been reunited with our real parents. We've been raised in Fredtown since birth, and the Freds are the only parents we've ever known. They taught us respect, honesty, and empathy for others. However, the parents and everyone else in this rundown neighborhood seem to hate me, and I don't know why. My mother even slapped me in the face! Nobody will talk about what happened around here or explain why so many people suffer from missing bo ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, I didn't see that coming...Classic, Haddix. She turns your world upside down about three chapters before the end and then leaves you to hang, dying for the next book. Haddix has long been one of my favorite authors. I can't say this was my favorite of her works, but I did enjoy the read. It's excellently written, includes a variety of characters that keep you on your toes, and a few strange settings that add to the intrigue of the plot. as I've come to expect of Mrs. Haddix, her plot kept ...more
I'm not sure what I expected when I picked up this book, but it wasn't what I got. Haddix has long been known for her science fiction/fantasy/dystopia books. But at first this read like a realistic fiction with Rosi and her little brother, Bobo, being returned to their biological parents. The whole idea of the Freds was rather unusual, but I just assumed that they were people who had taken the children to protect them or something. But I sympathized with Rosi and the other children a great deal. ...more
Crystal Hill
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was full of SO MANY surprises! From the moment you start reading you have questions. The author gives you little tidbits that only add to the questions and speculations of what exactly is happening.

Then she bashes you upside the head with something TOTALLY unexpected!

The characters are interesting to read. The main protagonists struggles are interesting; struggling to keep the good values she has been taught in a near perfect world into this new one where no one behaves as she has bee
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dyane Forde
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, well-paced story with a main character that is easy to like and rally behind. The 'twist' in the story is teased throughout, finally coming together all at once at the end. I was a little frustrated with the exposition at that point; it bogged down the ending and deflated the building tension. Still, it sets up our main character as someone with a new perspective of her world, and justifies her newly found sense of purpose. Will move on to the next book. Recommended for youth who c ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
What on earth is this book?? And that sentence doesn't even make sense to describe this book.

But to be fair, the story was excellent. And then the author just decided to drop a giant surprise bomb on page 265. (view spoiler)

Still, it was a solid 4 star read. I would definitely recommend it to sci-fi fans, though it's not really my style or what I expected at all.
Two BookWorms Blog
Haddix has the reader on the hook right from Chapter 1, and she slowly but surely reels us in as we begin to wonder, along with Rosi, what is really going on in Rosi’s world.

For the full review:
Michelle Glatt
I liked that thos book was part science fiction, part mystery. It was engaging to work with Rosi's limited knowledge to figure out what was going on in her home. Looking forward to the sequel.
In Fredtown, everything is geared toward raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted children. Fred parents are reasonable, calm, and loving. The children love their parents and seek to please them. Children can play outside, walk their neighborhoods, and enjoy their childhood without fear of punishment or harm. Nothing could be more perfect. Then, out of the blue, the children are told they are being returned to their real parents. Real parents? Where? Why? Twelve-year-old Rosie is one of the two old ...more
Molly Carrigan
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would really recommend this to anyone interested in dystopian books or when the character doesn't really know a lot about themselves.
Jaina Rose
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blogged
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

I don't think this is my absolute favorite of Haddix's books, but I can't exactly put my finger on why that is. Perhaps it's a touch too on-the-nose in its social critique; perhaps the reveals at the end are too wild to be entirely believable; perhaps the adults just didn't ring true for me (or if they did, I simply didn't like them). Or perhaps the ending is so bizarre that I honestly can't figure out what to make of it.

I have a hunch, th
Kiera Demoret
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was amazing! When I read it I had a gut wrenching feeling! It's very futuristic! I highly suggest.!
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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

Other books in the series

Children of Exile (3 books)
  • Children of Refuge (Children of Exile #2)
  • Children of Jubilee (Children of Exile, #3)

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