Monday, May 4, 2015

Book Review: Among the Hidden

I recognized Margaret Peterson Haddix's name, having read her book Double Identity almost six years ago. This book, Among the Hidden, jumped out at me in the tween audio section of our library (filed as a teen book in the other neighboring library I use) and turned out to be a riveting story to accompany my daily walk on the treadmill. It was frighteningly plausible and well-executed, providing plenty for tweens and teens to think about (although one Amazon reviewer did express concern that the subjects are too difficult for the target age group to handle - I think I disagree and would not dissuade my ten year old son from reading this book).

The government, in order to clamp down on the problem of starvation and over-population, has outlawed the birth of more than two children per family. When Luke's parents learn of his impending birth, they decide to ignore the law and keep him hidden in their home as a "third child." Hiding is all Luke has known, until his twelfth year when the woods on his farm property are chopped down to make way for a housing development. As he watches the new houses from the vents in his attic hideaway, Luke catches sight of something breathtaking and unimaginable. Risking the penalty of death, Luke sneaks over to the nearby house and discovers Jen, another third child. Jen doesn't tolerate being hidden quite so well as Luke. She is the daughter of a government official and is convinced that she can force change on society by planning a rally to embrace third children and set them free.

I did note, from the author's website, (where discussion questions and related activities can be found) that this is the first in a series of books. All of the books in the series sound equally riveting and action-packed. I will probably seek out a few more of these books to follow Luke's story and see where life takes him after the adventures of this book (thankfully, it looks like my library has the entire series available, though not in audio form).

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