Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix


It's simply written, it's short, it's engaging, and it is good. I'm going to read the rest of the series.
Among the Hidden is set in a future, totalitarian America, where famines and draughts have led to strict government surveillance and the Population Law, restricting families to having only two children. But then there's Luke – his parents' third child. He's had to remain hidden his entire life, and no one besides his mother, father, and two brothers know he exists. The year Luke is twelve, the woods surrounding the family's farm is cut down for housing and the family that moves in next door also has a secret, hidden, third child. Luke escapes one day from his attic and meets Jen, and she introduces him to her secret world of higher class privileges, illegal potato chips, government propaganda, and an internet chat room she created for hidden children. Jen is fiercely dedicated to bringing justice and freedom to the hidden, and tries to convince Luke to go with her to a rally, a children's crusade against the Population Law.
Luke stays behind.
Jen is killed.
In the end, Jen's father helps him escape with a donated ID. (It works the same as an organ donation.)
There were two things I particularly appreciated in the book, and first was its pro-life stand. It presents a world where not only is it legal to dispose of unwanted children, it is required, and it is the government who makes that call. Luke, Jen, and the other hidden children are the primary characters, the ones we want to live and succeed, the ones we care about. Life is a word they frequently use and something they long to have. Second, the book encourages action. When Luke's fear keeps him from joining Jen's rally, he says, “Isn't there another choice?” Jen replies,
“Another choice. Another choice.” she paced, then jerked back to face Luke. “Sure. You can be a coward and hope someone else changes the world for you.”

2 comments:

  1. Wow. Awesome. I might actually read this one.

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  2. amoung the hidden is one of the best books ive ever read!!

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