Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes
Title: Among the Hidden
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Synopsis: (Taken From Amazon.com) 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.
In my opinion, this book would make a good “Child’s First Dystopian Novel”. Simple in text, as it’s aimed towards late elementary schoolers, Among the Hidden is the story of a young boy forced into seclusion by the government. In efforts to control a food shortage, they’ve decided to limit the amount of children born into their government/country. Each family is limited to two and only two children — with the third being punishable by death.
Luke doesn’t fully comprehend why he has to be hidden away — but as the government tightens it’s leash, hiding becomes even more difficult. He’s no longer allowed to go outside to play, or even eat dinner with his family (as who knows who can see them inside!) Because of this, Luke is miserable and losing all hope in a comfortable existence until he meets another child — another hidden.
Among the Hidden had a slow start and although interesting in concept, did not have it’s eloquent writing style and quotes that I love to see in well-written children’s novels. However, once it got going — it was pretty interesting as well as frustrating (emotionally) to read. Maybe because it’s not so far from the truth — as in other countries, there are population limits!
I recommend this for any child 5th grade and below. I would say a good age is 8-10 (possibly 12). It’ll open interesting discussions in your home!