Like a 1984 for the tween set, Margaret Peterson Haddix’ Shadow Children series looks at the challenges and triumphs of third-born children secreted away by their parents and caretakers in a society where you are always being watched and it is forbidden to have more than two children.
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family’s farm in this start to the Shadow Children series from Margaret Peterson Haddix.
Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.
Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.
Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows — does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?
Out of hiding for the first time in his life, he knows that any minute one of his new classmates at Hendricks School for Boys could discover his secret: that he’s a third child passing as the recently deceased Lee Grant. And in a society where it’s illegal for families to have more than two children, being a third child means certain death at the hands of the dreaded Population Police.
His first experience outside the safety of his home is bewildering. There’s not a single window anywhere in the school; Luke can’t tell his classmates apart (even as they subject him to brutal hazing); and the teachers seem oblivious to it all.
Desperate to fit in, Luke endures the confusion and teasing until he discovers an unlocked door to the outside, and a chance to understand what is really going on. But to take this chance — to find out the secrets of Hendricks — Luke will need to put aside his fears and discover a courage that a lifetime in hiding couldn’t thwart.
Once again, best-selling author Margaret Peterson Haddix delights her fans with this spine-tingling account of an all-too-possible future. Among the Impostors is a worthy companion to Among the Hidden and a heart-stopping thriller in its own right.
In the third installment of Haddix’s series about a futuristic society in which families are forbidden to have more than two children, Nina, a secondary character in Among the Impostors, is falsely accused of treason and imprisoned by the Population Police.
Her interrogator gives her an ultimatum: either she can get three other child prisoners, illegal third-borns like Nina, to reveal who harbored them and where they got their fake identification cards, or she will be executed.
Nina sees a chance to escape the prison and, taking the prisoners with her, quickly discovers their street smarts.
But when their food supply runs out, Nina seeks the boy she knew as Lee.