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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review Thursday: Among the Hidden Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

There are seven books in the Among the Hidden series (also known as the Shadow Children Series) by Margaret Peterson Haddix:

                         Among the Hidden / Shadow Children Series
Among the Hidden
Among the Imposters

Among the Betrayed
Among the Barons
Among the Brave
Among the Enemy
Among the Free

The main character of the series is Luke, a child with two older brothers who was not supposed to be born and must stay hidden. Hidden children face execution if found in this dystopian YA adventure. And knowing it is a dystopian adventure, it's not much of a spoiler to announce that Luke does break out of hiding and face many perils before, as the final title suggests, he becomes free.

In some books of the series, another character plays lead fiddle and Luke is a background character. All the characters are well developed, so that doesn't negatively affect point of view. Haddix is known for painting many hues of gray with so much color in worlds where the authority only sees black and white. This entire series is no exception to that.

I read the entire seven book series in a three-day weekend. I had started the series in 2002 or 2003, read the first three books, then quit in frustration because I knew the series would not be finished for many years. A year ago, I picked up the fifth or sixth book, thinking I had not missed that many in between -- but I had. So I had to start from the beginning and retrace my steps. It was worth the decade-plus wait. Haddix rarely disappoints.

Among the Hidden is a great series for YA fans of dystopian fiction. There are intense themes, deaths, intrigue, confusion -- you've been warned. There are no easy answers -- and isn't that why we read?

Images courtesy of Margaret Peterson Haddix's website. Haddix is also on Facebook.