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Among the Hidden

Among the Hidden

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Among the Hidden

4.5/5 (151 peringkat)
145 pages
2 hours
Jun 12, 2002


From Scribd: About the Book

Luke is one of the shadow children. In a world where the government prohibits families from having more than two children, Luke has spent all twelve years of his life hidden away on his family’s farm. Unable to attend school, go to a birthday party, or spend time with other kids, he lives in fear of the government finding out he is a third child. Until he meets Jen—a shadow child like himself, who is willing to risk everything to come out of hiding.

In the first installment of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s exceptional Shadow Children series, Among the Hidden follows Luke and Jen as they navigate the strangeness of their captive, shadow-bound lives. Faced with the dire consequences of being found out by the Population Police, they must decide what risks are worth taking.

Fall into this hypnotic world of struggle and sacrifice when you pick up the first piece of Luke’s story.

Jun 12, 2002

Tentang penulis

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.

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Among the Hidden - Margaret Peterson Haddix



He saw the first tree shudder and fall, far off in the distance. Then he heard his mother call out the kitchen window: Luke! Inside. Now.

He had never disobeyed the order to hide. Even as a toddler, barely able to walk in the backyard’s tall grass, he had somehow understood the fear in his mother’s voice. But on this day, the day they began taking the woods away, he hesitated. He took one extra breath of the fresh air, scented with clover and honeysuckle and—coming from far away—pine smoke. He laid his hoe down gently, and savored one last moment of feeling warm soil beneath his bare feet. He reminded himself, I will never be allowed outside again. Maybe never again as long as I live.

He turned and walked into the house, as silently as a shadow.

*   *   *   

Why? he asked at the supper table that night. It wasn’t a common question in the Garner house. There were plenty of how’sHow much rain’d the backfield get? How’s the planting going? Even what’sWhat’d Matthew do with the five-sixteenth wrench? What’s Dad going to do about that busted tire? But why wasn’t considered much worth asking. Luke asked again. Why’d you have to sell the woods?

Luke’s dad harrumphed, and paused in the midst of shoveling forkfuls of boiled potatoes into his mouth.

Told you before. We didn’t have a choice. Government wanted it. You can’t tell the Government no.

Mother came over and gave Luke’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze before turning back to the stove. They had defied the Government once, with Luke. That had taken all the defiance they had in them. Maybe more.

We wouldn’t have sold the woods if we hadn’t had to, she said, ladling out thick tomatoey soup. "The Government didn’t ask us if we wanted houses there."

She pursed her lips as she slid the bowls of soup onto the table.

But the Government’s not going to live in the houses, Luke protested. At twelve, he knew better, but sometimes still pictured the Government as a very big, mean, fat person, two or three times as tall as an ordinary man, who went around yelling at people, Not allowed! and Stop that! It was because of the way his parents and older brothers talked: Government won’t let us plant corn there again. Government’s keeping the prices down. Government’s not going to like this crop.

Probably some of the people who live in those houses will be Government workers, Mother said. It’ll all be city people.

If he’d been allowed, Luke would have gone over to the kitchen window and peered out at the woods, trying for the umpteenth time to picture rows and rows of houses where the firs and maples and oaks now stood. Or had stood—Luke knew from a sneaked peek right before supper that half the trees were now toppled. Some already lay on the ground. Some hung at weird angles from their former lofty positions in the sky. Their absence made everything look different, like a fresh haircut exposing a band of untanned skin on a forehead. Even from deep inside the kitchen, Luke could tell the trees were missing because everything was brighter, more open. Scarier.

And then, when those people move in, I have to stay away from the windows? Luke asked, though he knew the answer.

The question made Dad explode. He slammed his hand down on the table.

"Then? You gotta stay away now! Everybody and his brother’s going to be tramping around back there, to see what’s going on. They see you—" He waved his fork violently. Luke wasn’t sure what the gesture meant, but he knew it wasn’t good.

No one had ever told him exactly what would happen if anyone saw him. Death? Death was what happened to the runt pigs who got stepped on by their stronger brothers and sisters. Death was a fly that stopped buzzing when the swatter hit it. He had a hard time thinking about himself in connection with the smashed fly or the dead pig, gone stiff in the sun. It made his stomach feel funny even trying.

I don’t think it’s fair we’ve got to do Luke’s chores now, Luke’s other brother, Mark, grumbled. Can’t he go outside some? Maybe at night?

Luke waited hopefully for the answer. But Dad just said, No, without looking up.

It’s not fair, Mark said again. Mark was the second son—the lucky second, Luke thought when he was feeling sorry for himself. Mark was two years older than Luke and barely a year younger than Matthew, the oldest. Matthew and Mark were easily recognizable as brothers, with their dark hair and chiseled faces. Luke was fairer, smaller-boned, softer-looking. He often wondered if he’d ever look tougher, like them. Somehow he didn’t think so.

Luke don’t do nothing nohow, Matthew jeered. We won’t miss his work at all.

It’s not my fault! Luke protested. I’d help more if—

Mother laid her hands on his shoulders again. Hush, all of you, she said. Luke will do what he can. He always has.

The sound of tires on their gravel driveway came through the open window.

Now, who— Dad started. Luke knew the rest of the sentence. Who could that be? Why were they bothering him now, his first chance all day to sit down? It was a question Luke always heard the end of from the other side of a door. Today, skittish because of the woods coming down, he scrambled up faster than usual, dashing for the door to the back stairs. He knew without watching that Mother would take his plate from the table and hide it in a cupboard, would slide his chair back into the corner so it looked like an unneeded spare. In three seconds she would hide all evidence that Luke existed, just in time to step to the door and offer a weary smile to the fertilizer salesman or the Government inspector or whomever else had come to interrupt their supper.


There was a law against Luke.

Not him personally—everyone like him, kids who were born after their parents had already had two babies.

Actually, Luke didn’t know if there was anyone else like him. He wasn’t supposed to exist. Maybe he was the only one. They did things to women after they had their second baby, so they wouldn’t have any more. And if there was a mistake, and a woman got pregnant anyway, she was supposed to get rid of it.

That was how Mother had explained it, years ago, the first and only time Luke had asked why he had to hide.

He had been six years old.

Before that, he had thought only very little kids had to stay out of sight. He had thought, as soon as he was as old as Matthew and Mark, he would get to go around like they did, riding to the backfield and even into town with Dad, hanging their heads and arms out the pickup window. He had thought, as soon as he got as old as Matthew and Mark, he could play in the front yard and kick the ball out into the road if he wanted. He had thought, as soon as he got as old as Matthew and Mark, he could go to school. They complained about it, whining, Jeez, we gotta do homework! and, Who cares about spelling? But they also talked about games at recess, and friends who shared candy at lunchtime or loaned them pocketknives to carve with.

Somehow, Luke never got as old as Matthew and Mark.

The day of his sixth birthday, Mother baked a cake, a special one with raspberry jam dripping down the sides. At supper that night she put six candles on the top and placed it in front of Luke and said, Make a wish.

Staring into the ring of candles—proud that the number of his years finally made a ring, all around the cake—Luke suddenly remembered another cake, another ring of six candles. Mark’s. He remembered Mark’s sixth birthday. He remembered it because, even with the cake in front of him, Mark had been whining, But I wanna have a party. Robert Joe had a party on his birthday. He got to have three friends over. Mother had said, "Ssh," and looked from Mark to Luke, saying something with her eyes that Luke didn’t understand.

Startled by the memory, Luke let out his breath. Two of his candles flickered, and one went out. Matthew and Mark laughed.

You ain’t getting that wish, Mark said. Baby. Can’t even blow out candles.

Luke wanted to cry. He’d forgotten even to make a wish, and if he hadn’t been surprised he would have been able to blow out all six candles. He knew he could have. And then he would have gotten—oh, he didn’t know. A chance to ride to town in the pickup truck. A chance to play in the front yard. A chance to go to school. Instead, all he had was a strange memory that couldn’t be right. Surely Luke was thinking about Mark’s seventh birthday, or maybe his eighth. Mark couldn’t have known Robert Joe when he was six, because he would have been hiding then, like Luke.

Luke thought about it for three days. He trailed along behind his mother as she hung wash out on the line, made strawberry preserves, scrubbed the bathroom floor. Several times he started to ask, How old do I have to be before people can see me? But something stopped him every time.

Finally, on the fourth day, after Dad, Matthew, and Mark scraped back their chairs from the breakfast table and headed out to the barn, Luke crouched by the kitchen’s side window—one he wasn’t supposed to look out because people driving by might catch a glimpse of his face. He tilted his head to the side and raised up just enough that his left eye was above the level of the windowsill. He watched Matthew and Mark running in the sunlight, the tops of their hog boots thumping against their knees. They

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Pendapat orang tentang Among the Hidden

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  • (5/5)
    This whole series was amazing! I remember reading the first one and thinking "I know exactly how the rest of the series is going to go...." But I was so wrong! The series is full of twists and turns and is a truly amazing read!!!
  • (4/5)
    My son and I read this together, with the intention of him using this book for a book report. We meant to read three chapters a night..... While we did take a couple of nights off, we got through the book much more quickly than we'd anticipated! It was just so good, we had a hard time putting it down each night. On the night we finished it, we had ten chapters left--but we both knew we'd get through them all! This is a great story, if a bit complex for someone my son's age (he's 10, in 4th grade). It was good that we were reading it together, so I was able to explain certain concepts to him. Aside from that, it was very interesting and we both were hanging on every word!
  • (4/5)
    among the hidden wasn't the best book but it was good. I liked all the suspense in the book.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    I think this book is amazing! I loved the suspense this book created for me. The characters were awesome and the story telling was amazing.
  • (4/5)
    This is essentially one novel split into 7 published volumes. It is extremely well-written, and although treating a dark subject (tyrannical regime executing excess children) it is quite suitable for junior readers. Adults and older teens may find it simplistic, but it held my interest. The author's intent is upbeat and hopeful throughout, while still giving full consideration to the serious doubts and fears of the protagonists, at a level younger readers can identify with and understand.
  • (4/5)
    Set in a dystopia in which families are not allowed to have more than two children and told from the point of view of a Third Child in hiding.Meh. I didn't find this one all that compelling, but Charlie LOVED it. I suspect he'll go on to read more of the series.
  • (3/5)
    A fast, exciting read.
  • (5/5)
    After a worldwide famine, a population law is enacted in America. Only two children are allowed per couple, any other children are counted as illegal, or shadow children.12-year Luke is a shadow child, he has lived his entire life on his family's farm hidden from the neighbors and the population police. He and his family live in fear every day of someone finding him. When a housing development is built behind his property, Luke loses the last freedom that he has, as he is forced to stay in his house or risk discovery.A few weeks after the development is built Luke sees, somebody else inside one of the houses, and all the neighbors are gone. Eventually Luke takes a chance a discovers another shadow child, Jennifer Talbot. Jen is excited to meet Luke, and shows him a network she has developed to communicate with other shadow children, and organize a protest against the population law. Luke is excited to meet Jen, but intially disbelives that Jen will actually follow-thru. When Luke finally realizes that Jen plans to have the protest and risk her life and the lives of several other shadow children, he is forced to make a decison. In the end both Jen and Luke's decisions have far reaching impact and change their family and their lives forever.This book is definitely thought-provoking and provides a excellent opportunity for discussion on population control and the extent of a government's involvement in it's citizen's lives. Age Groups: 11 and olderContent: references to children being executed, references to children being imprisoned
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful book. I love how it makes you really immerse yourself into the plot. Feeling fear with the character as he hides or hears a noise, feeling scared when you think the jig is up and even feeling sad that this little boy has nothing to do other then sit in a little room and that his parents brought him into this world but do not even let him sit with them at the kitchen table out of fear. The ending is the best, except R.I.P to Jen.
  • (5/5)
    This is a good book i love this book its my second fav but almost my first. I might read more series bye!
  • (5/5)
    In Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Luke is a third child, otherwise known as a shadow child. In a society that only allows parents to have two children, Luke is a secret. He cannot go to school, meet new people, and once the woods surrounding his house are cut down, he won’t be able to leave his house. The Population Police are scary and ruthless and Luke knows that if they find him his life is over. It is this fear that has kept him so good at hiding all these years. When Luke is confined to the attic (because someone might see his shadow in a downstairs window) he is depressed, lonely, and angry. Looking out a vent he sees a light on in one of the new houses that was just built where his woods used to be- and he knows everyone is at work. Is it another shadow child? Will Luke have the courage to find out? If he leaves his house with the Population Police seize him? Your heart will pound with Luke’s as he changes his life forever! Read this book to find out what awaits him!

    I LOVED this book! It has short chapters and interesting vocabulary. I really liked Luke, he seemed nice and I felt so bad for him only getting to know his family, house, and yard. I cannot even imagine! I kept wondering what I would do in his situation and I wanted him to explore, but I didn’t want him to at the same time because I was scared of something bad happening. The characters are well-written and I felt a lot of emotions reading this book. At first I thought it was taking place in the past, but now I think it might be the future. I highly recommend this book to anyone in grades 4-7 that likes an adventure and a book full of suspense!
  • (5/5)
    Awesome book!!!!!??
  • (5/5)
    This is an incredible series that had captivated me when I was in middle school. I am now 21 and I still love it! The characters are relatable and will have you falling in love with them. Be prepared for some tear jerking moments.
  • (5/5)
    I know this series is a bit for younger kids but I still loved it. I plan on reading the whole series. The story was good and has some interesting vocab words that you've never hear of. (nothing inappropriate).
  • (4/5)
    N. liked it and said 'yes Mom you should read it & I'm glad I did but I doubt either of us will read the rest.' He's absolutely right. Good exploration of an important theme - but I'm not sure I want to keep on going with it.
  • (4/5)
    In this dystopian novel, all families must abide by a law that states each family may only have two children. No more. Families who have more children are executed along with the spare child. Then we have Luke’s parents who hoped that one day the law would be repealed and that they could keep their third child. When that day never comes the family is forced to keep him hidden. Hiding him is relatively easy since they live on an isolated farm. That is until the government decides to build housing next to the family farm. What little freedom he has is now gone and he spends his day watching the new families and one day he sees a third child! What follows is an exciting and interesting look into this dystopian world. I would recommend this book for those in 5th grade and above. –RR
  • (4/5)
    I remember reading this book as a student in middle school. I remember I found it quite enjoyable, following through with the rest of the series after the initial assignment to read this one. Reading the other reviews, it seems I wasn't alone!
  • (4/5)
    Good book, easy read!
  • (4/5)
    “Luke! Inside. Now.” These three words call Luke away from the outside world. As a third child, he is not supposed to exist; in fact, it is illegal for him to exist. The Population Police, a government agency, work to ensure that all families have only two children and the discovery of a third holds severe consequences.

    For twelve years Luke’s family was able to protect him on their isolated farm. But the nearby woods, and Luke’s protection, are removed for a housing development. Now Luke is no longer safe in his own home. While watching the outside world from his windowless attic bedroom, he catches movement in a neighboring house well after the family of four has gone. For weeks he watches for other signs and becomes convinced that there’s someone else living in that house. Ignoring his fear, Luke does the unthinkable—he pays a visit to the house next door in broad daylight. There he meets another, very well-connected, third child and she shows him a world he never knew existed.

    This serves as a good introduction to dystopian fiction for young readers. The isolation and fear that Luke encounters is thoroughly examined and is relatable for the intended audience. When company knocks during dinner, Luke rushes upstairs to hide and “he knew without watching that Mother would take his plate from the table…, would slide his chair back into the corner…In three seconds she would hide all evidence that Luke existed.” Luke is plagued by fear, and sometimes guilt, just for being alive. It also gives a frightening picture of the common childhood wish for life without school, homework, and chores. There is some indirect violence, but this is truly a wonderful, fast-paced beginning to the Shadow Children series.
  • (2/5)
    It's an exiting story
  • (5/5)
    this book is sad in the ending it's a big shocker
  • (4/5)
    I don't know why this isn't more popular than it is; It think it was a better read than The Giver, which I know is a blasphemous thing to say, but there it is.
    This would be a good alternative to The Giver, actually, especially for a group with a slightly lower reading level, as the characters are a bit more realistic and the suspense level is higher. My students usually don't feel the suspense of The Giver because they struggle with the literal comprehension of what's even happening most of the time.

    I look forward to reading the next book in the series!

  • (5/5)
    This book would be good to use when talking about how the world could be in the near future. I think the students will like this book because the character is relatable and they could imagine having that life.
  • (5/5)
    Realistic fiction,Population police have a law that only allows families to have 2 kids and no more. Luke happen to be the 3rd child born in the family and has had to spend his whole life hiding in the house due to fear of being seen. If the population police find out about Luke they would take him away and possibly kill him like all the other 3rd children they have found. Luke gets new neighbors and soon discovers that there is another 3rd child living there. He sneaks over to her house and they soon become friends and they start talking about starting a rally with all the other 3rd children to over throw the rule.
  • (4/5)
    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 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.
  • (4/5)
    A very engaging book from the perspective of a third child in a world where two children are only allowed. This third child, Luke, must hide and be kept hidden away from society because he is not legally allowed and terrible consequences will befall him and his family if he is discovered. This novel addresses the concept of a totalitarian government that controls people and every aspect of their life.
  • (5/5)
    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 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!
  • (3/5)
    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 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.
  • (5/5)
    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, 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.