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The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix is made up of seven books. The story is sure to capture the imagination of many kids and keep them on the edge of their seats for all seven books. It's full of suspense and mystery as well as interesting child characters who learn to fend for themselves and fight for what is right.
About the story
The story is set in a future where food and resources have grown scarce. As a result, the government has enacted strict laws limiting families to two children. Some families, however, take the risk and have more than two children. These children are called shadow children because they must hide and never be seen. They are constantly hunted by the Population Police and there are few people they can fully trust.
In the first book, Among the Hidden, Luke Garner is a third child. Luke has been hiding his entire life and hasn't met anyone outside his immediate family. Then he discovers a shadow child living next door, Jen Talbot. Jen is not only a shadow child but her father is a leader with the Population Police. Luke becomes friends with Jen who wants to fight for third child rights. Luke isn't sure if he should join her group or not.
The series covers many adventures of various hidden children. Luke is the main character in most of the books, but some are told from the perspectives of other kids. The third book, Among the Betrayed, is told from the view of Nina Idi. Nina has to make a tough choice to betray fellow children or to help them escape. The fifth book, Among the Brave, is told from the viewpoint of Trey. Many of the same characters appear throughout the series, though, giving it continuity.
Major Characters in the Shadow Children
List of books the Shadow Children Series
- Luke Garner - Luke is a 12 year old boy. He doesn't know much about the world at the start, but grows as the series' progress from a small, timid kid to a brave man. Also known as Lee Grant.
- Trey - A friend of Lee's (Luke), Trey is a smart kid. He's the main character in book five.
- George Talbot - One of the leaders of the Population Police, however, he doesn't believe in what they stand for and secretly works against them.
- Nina Idi - Main character in the third book. Nina is betrayed and then must decide if she will do the same to save herself.
- Matthias - Matthias is part of Nina's group. He's the oldest and will do anything to protect Percy and Alia.
- Jen Talbot - Luke's neighbor in the first book. She is a third child and wants to do what she can to change the laws. Her dad is George Talbot.
Suggested Reading level: Ages 9-13
- Among the Hidden (1998)
- Among the Impostors (2001)
- Among the Betrayed (2002)
- Among the Barons (2003)
- Among the Brave (2004)
- Among the Enemy (2005)
- Among the Free (2006)
If you liked the Shadow Children Series, you may also like:
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Missing by Margaret Peterson Haddix
- A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
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