Among the Hidden

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Paperback, 1998





Aladdin (1998), Paperback, 153 pages


In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.


Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Middle Grade — 2002)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2001)


Original publication date


Physical description

153 p.; 7.56 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member JulianneM
Literature circle book. A wonderful book about a child who is the third and has to be hidden because of population rules. The books takes many turns and makes you take a close look at feelings about the government and family structure. This would be a good book for children to read who are having
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feelings of rejection, loneliness, etc. A great book for all ages!
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LibraryThing member savannah2002
Among The Hidden was an amazing book, loved the suspense loved the thriller and I loved the characters and all of the dialogue just the whole entire book was amazing.
LibraryThing member kelseyo
Luke is the third child in his family, the youngest of three brothers, which makes him illegal. Only two children are allowed in each family — additional children are usually prevented from being born or are killed. Luke's family lives on a farm, where isolation and a ready food supply have
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helped hide Luke. When his family is forced to sell part of their property to the government, a new neighborhood springs up behind their house. Luke meets another shadow child and they try to create a protest of all shadow children as well as trying to take the government down.
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LibraryThing member agilbert51
loved this book.....this book is very well written
LibraryThing member BNAGY51
Great book to start the series! good events and action
LibraryThing member Tessa13
I had to read the Among the Hidden for a novel study at school. I thought it was going to be another boring novel study... But it wasn't. It was such a good book, that after the novel study was done, I read all the other books in the series. So did most of my other classmates. I recommend this book
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to everyone.
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LibraryThing member hayleigh.russo8
Luke is not supposed to be alive. There is a law that says you can only have 2 kids. Well, Luke is the 3rd son. If you have a 3rd child, you must get rid of it. Well Luke's family did not. They kept him. He can not leave his house, he can not even go to the windows, because someone might see him.
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Then he finds that he is not the only 3rd child, there are a few...million.

I loved this book for all of its mystery. I love the series as well. I would recommend this book to everyone who like to read mystery.
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LibraryThing member eadavis83
This is a great series of books for children. This book is a chapter book that is easy to read. Children would enjoy this book because it is very entertaining. Each chapter keeps you guessing. It would be a good idea to read it together as a class and discuss each chapter in detail. The children
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will probably want to read the other books that are part of the series.
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LibraryThing member ShannaRedwind
What happens when you're the third child in a society that only allows two children? This book follows the life of one of these 'shadow children' in a society where the government has control of almost everything.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The tone was so bleak, yet the hopefulness of a child
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shone through the despair.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction.
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LibraryThing member KellyKnox
This is the story of Luke, a third child hidden from a government which forbids third children. Luke gradually becomes aware of the impossibility of staying hidden from the government for his entire life, and the book is the first in a series detailing his adventures. I think the book raises some
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really interesting questions, ie, how much does the government control the flow of information to the populace? What are the implications of our current excessive consumerist lifestyle? How do you determine fact from propaganda? And, on a deeper level, how important is freedom and what does it mean to be free? All these questions are hidden underneath the guise of a suspense novel. While I like the possibility for discussion that the book allows, and I found the premise to be very intriguing, I finished the novel with no interest in reading the rest of the series. I just found the writing to be a little sub-par.
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LibraryThing member izzy034
among the hidden wasn't the best book but it was good. I liked all the suspense in the book.
LibraryThing member Ashabani
very intriguing book, would like to read more of the series.
LibraryThing member butterkidsmom
First of a series. Liked it a lot.
LibraryThing member porch_reader
My fourth-grade son read this book at school, and he liked it so much that he bought a copy for me for Christmas. I was thrilled and picked it as the first of my Christmas present books to read. This book is the first in the Shadow Children series. It takes place in a dystopian future in which food
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shortages have led to the passage of a law that families may have only two children. If women become pregnant a third time, they are supposed to end the pregnancy, but Luke's mother refused to do that, and he has been raised as a shadow child, staying indoors and interacting only with his family so that the Population Police do not find out about him. But when he learns that another third child is living in the new development near his farm, he learns that much of what he has assumed about Shadow Children is inaccurate and his world changes drastically.

I enjoyed this book, and I'm glad that my son has book #2 of the series on his shelf (where I can borrow it). The writing is straightforward, probably geared for the middle grades (5-8?). Because of that, the gradual reveal of the situation that I loved in books like The Giver and The Handmaid's Tale is not there. Haddix lays out the peculiarities of the dystopian future early in the book. But there are several twists and turns that keep the story moving forward, and I'm sure that's why my son enjoyed this book. He also told me that he felt "all emotional inside" when he read it, and I have to agree with him. I especially felt for Luke and his mother as they tried to survive in a world where the odds had been stacked against them. All in all, a good read!
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LibraryThing member Ashley_Peterson
This book somewhat reminded me of a book I read in Middle School called "The Giver". The Government in this book reminded of of one that strictly controls the people who reside in it and have very strict regulations and rules all have to follow. In this book though, the main control the government
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has is the limit on the amount of children each family can have. In both the Giver and Among the hidden the main characters escape.
The author tells a story about A boy, Luke, who is the third child in his family. It is a world where the government only allows two children per family due to the limited amount of resources. Because Luke is the third child, and a new housing development has been built where the forest used to be behind his house, Luke is sent to live as if he doesn't exist in their attic. Luke soon sees another "shadow child" in a house nearby and becomes friends with Jen. Sadly, Jen and a group of other Shadow children she's met through the internet go to confront the President and get murdered. When Luke finds out about Jens murder from her father, Jens father gives him a fake I.D. so he can go live at a boarding school as Lee Grant.
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LibraryThing member beckytillett
When Luke (a hidden third child) sees a face peeking out of the house next door- the house that supposedly has only two children, he risks his life to venture over and see what is happening. This story is set in a futuristic time when the government controls almost every aspect of our lives,
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including how many children we can have.

Children love to read this series and discuss how the author uses foreshadowing to keep the story mysterious yet exciting.
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LibraryThing member Yona
This whole series so far has ranged from above 3-1/2 to below 4-1/2. One more to go. I plan on coming back and making some more extensive comments at some point after that (hopefully). Aspects of some middle grade literature that lead to expectations and predictability and limit the upper age for
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whom they're truly entertaining and enthralling are probably more noticeable in this series but if you don't have that problem, as I don't, they're great. I only notice things like when I'm finished and look back. During the story I just fell right in and get lost. On the other hand, there are aspects of this story that in my mind extend pretty far beyond the middle grade realm and well into the YA realm. There are some really dire circumstances and some very extreme and intense emotions and mental states portrayed.
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LibraryThing member AleashaKachel
Luke has never been to school, much less even ventured outside where his neighbours could see. Luke is a shadow child, an illegal third child in a world where families are only allowed two children. However, when he breaks the rules and meets another shadow child, they decide fight back. An
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engaging and fast-paced read that looks at what the consequences of regulating families and controlling population could be. I was shocked at the lengths the authorities will go to to stamp out third children in this novel. A book recommended for grade 6-7 readers. A YALSA Best Book for YA top ten.
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LibraryThing member mistre
The Garner family had disobeyed the Population Law. The government gave a family permission to have two children. If a third child was born, the parents had to get rid of it. Twelve year old Luke was a “third” or shadow child because he had two older brothers. Therefore, Luke had to remain
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hidden from the Population Police. The government was taking away people’s rights to protect the food supply. Luke’s mother and father were struggling to survive.
Luke became restless when he was forced to stay inside the house because a housing development had taken away his woods. While sitting in his attic room, he soon discovered a “third” in the Sports Family’s house. When no one was home, Luke managed to sneak into the house next door to meet Jen. She was not only a “third”, but also a wealthy Baron. Although they were from different backgrounds, a friendship developed. Jen used her computer to organize a rally at the President’s house to convince the government to remove the Population Law. Although she convinced others to go with her, Luke did not go to the rally. When Jen did not return, Luke went to her house. He learned from Jen’s father that Jen and the others had been killed by the government. Jen’s father saved Luke from the Population Police by giving him a fake I.D. Although Luke had to leave home, he had lost his fear and vowed to help other “third” children in memory of Jen.

Among the Hidden is a believable novel. Young adults would understand that there is a possibility that the events that occur in the story could take place. For example the government forbidding hogs pets, guns, and junk food. Taxes being raised and limits placed on the number of children allowed in a family. The power of the government to control the population and rights of citizens in the future is very realistic. The author was successful in allowing the reader to experience the character’s thoughts and feelings. Character development was seen when Luke understood himself and was ready to leave home to help others. The theme had the ability to make the reader appreciate the world they live in today. In addition, conservation, environmental, and government issues maybe looked at by young adults to stop the country from being under total government control. The two main characters in the novel came from different family backgrounds. Although one was rich and one was poor, a strong friendship developed. Family struggles and young adults’ needs, interests, experiences, and emotions were expressed in this futuristic novel.
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LibraryThing member knittydragon
A quick read. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and manages to be very thought-provoking too. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
LibraryThing member habeiam
I highly recommend this book and series to any reluctant reader. Haddix draws you in immediately. It is a book that leaves my students begging for me to read one more chapter. The story takes place during a time when there is a population law that only allows couples to have two children. This law
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creates a society of shadow children, those who are born into families that already have two children. The story is the adventure of Luke as he learns he is not the only one.
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LibraryThing member book.luver
Not the best of Margaret Peterson Haddix's and far to short. Slow moments litter the story of Jess who is a forbidden third child in a world of overpopulation. Upon meeting a fellow shadow child named Jen he finds hope and learns that there is more to life than fear and hiding. I didnt find it
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worth reading the sequel.
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LibraryThing member graceschumann
This was a short but enjoyable read. I liked Haddix's idea with her futuristic world set up and the idea of shadow children. Shadow children are typically the third (or any child after the second one for that matter seeing as their was a fourth) child born to a family. In this future society, third
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children are illegal and if found by the Population Police, who are in charge of keeping this in check, they will be killed.

Luke is the shadow child of a farming family. He lives upstairs in the attic and is not, under any circumstances, allowed outside. He's frustrated with this life he's leading but when he sees the face of another shadow child one day in one of the neighboring houses, he does the unthinkable. He leaves his house and breaks into the other child's house to confront them. When he meets Jen, he's thrown off by her take-charge actions and sarcastic influence. She's completely different than anybody he's ever met, and when she tells him her plan to rally against the goverment for shadow children's rights, he becomes concerned. Luke wants his freedom but knows this isn't a good idea. Nobody expected what happened next...

I wished that Haddix had maybe elaborated on the futuristic world a bit more and further developed Luke's and Jen's friendship. However, the story was a very vivid and scary look at what the world could be like years from now if the population was monitored and kept in check. I can't wait to see what happens with Luke in the next book :)
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LibraryThing member LAteacher
The setting in the book only lets to have two children in a family, and Luke is the third child in the family. He never had a friend before, and never had a birthday party. One day, Luke sees a girl's face in a house where he already knows there is two children living there. Luke Finally found
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another shadow child Jen. Jen plans a dangerous plan, will Luke get involved in it?
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LibraryThing member PaulWW
Read it during the slow parts of the Super Bowl and post game hype on ESPN. I love a good story set in a Totalitarian world, and this one rates highly! I'll be looking for the next in the series later today at the library.




½ (1247 ratings; 4)
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