Simon & Schuster Young Readers - Dystopian Fiction
Luke lives in a world in which third children are forbidden and has thus been forced to spend his entire life hiding. Until the woods next to his family farm were cut down, he was able to occasionally go outside. Now, with a new housing development quickly being built, he can't go outside at all. He's bored and lonely.
Then, one day he spots a face in the window of one of the new homes. Luke has spent time watching all of the houses; he knows the two children are gone. There must be another shadow child living in the home of this "baron". When he meets the shadow child, Jen, Luke is stunned by Jen's fearlessness. She's willing to do anything to bring herself and other children out of the shadows. But, her plan is risky and Luke is afraid. Will he summon the courage to become involved in Jen's dangerous plan? Or, will he remain in hiding all of his life?
Yikes. This book was really, truly horrifying. I couldn't help but think, as I was reading, how difficult it would be to only be able to interact with one's family, never go outdoors, have to hide and be quiet when anyone showed up at the door. I thought the book drew a sharp parallel to life as a Jewish child in Nazi Germany. Luke's family is what really made the book for me. As awful as his life is, even his big brothers have managed to keep the secret until Luke meets Jen; and, each family member willingly spends time with him, playing games, talking, reading.
This is my second book by Haddix and the first in the Shadow Children series. I liked Found much better, but I appreciated the fact that Among the Hidden makes you think about what it would be like not to have the ability to move freely amongst society. On the cover of the book, the Shadow Children series is described as "chilling". Good word choice. 3.5/5
3.5/5- Solid start to a series, intriguing and thought-provoking. I found it a bit dark and depressing, but I loved the characters and will continue to read on. The ending is not really a cliffhanger so much as it's "to be continued".
Since this book is dystopian, it's book #4 (I think - losing count, here) of the YA Dystopian Challenge.