Book Review – Among The Hidden (Shadow Children 1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

In a world where the Population Police ensures that no family has more than 2 children, Luke (a third child) is compelled to spend every waking moment within the confines of his house. Unlike the other Barons, the upper class, his family is hardly able to sustain themselves. Poor Luke has no choice but to entertain himself with thoughts of what-ifs or by reading the few books he possesses over and over. He has to stand on the sidelines and watch as his childhood is ruthlessly snatched away from him because of a decision made by the Government.
Before he was atleast allowed to venture out to his backyard, but now since the forest has been cut down, he is in imminent danger of being spotted. He is almost above to give up hope of ever seeing the world, strolling leisurely in the fields when he observes a light at the end of the tunnel – a face by the window of a house, that has 2 other children. A girl who is willing to give her best to achieve freedom. Who is determined to revolt against the Population Police.
Is he courageous enough to grab this opportunity of probable freedom? Or will he be doomed to spend the rest of his unenthusiastic life in the attic bedroom of his?

This book has been a shocking revelation. How someone could spend all their childhood cooped up in an attic – doing nothing but reading – is beyond me. Yes, I would love to spend the rest of my life reading one book after the other, but not if I had to read the same 10 books again and again. No facilities, no entertainment, nothing to keep up the joys of life. That is the kind of condition Luke lives in. Its sad and frightening. I think the phrase “die of boredom” sort of applies here. We people have so much to do in life and yet we tend to feel “bored to death”. Then just imagine the case of a 12 year old, who lives in a poverty stricken family with no proper amenities!! Luke looks forward to those rare moments when he gets to play board games or cards with his older brothers/ father. He is the momma’s boy and his mother loves him dearly. She wants to protect her little boy and so can’t bear the thought of him stepping out of the house.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Luke is not allowed to even look out of the window, listen to the radio or any such thing. Good Lord! I couldn’t feel any more pitiful towards him.
His elder brothers – Mark and Matthew- are teasing, a little bossy but don’t bother him too much. They are too engrossed in their own lives to pay attention to anything else. His father cares about him but he is very stern and frustrated with their poor condition.
Jennifer is a fierce girl and I really like her character. She is persistent and not easily intimidated. AMAAZING BOOK! First book by Margaret Peterson and I am sure to follow up on the others 🙂

Rating – 4stars (on 5)

Mia

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