In this world of the future our food supplies have run out and governments have taken the decision to ban third children. To this end they have formed the population police. Luke has lived his whole life up to this point in hiding. His only experiences of the world of and of other people are limited to his mum, dad, and two older brothers. The outside world is limited to his farm and over the last year that too has been taken away as a new housing development is built around Luke’s home.
Watching from a hidden and high upstairs window Luke discovers another third child in hiding. Her name is Jen, but unlike Luke, she knows about the world and is determined to fight to have this repressive and unjust law overturned. Her protest has disastrous consequences and the first book in this fabulous series by Margaret Peterson Haddix Among the Hidden, ends with a shocking tragedy. The ending reminded me of Robert Cormier. His book After the First Death lingers with me even now twenty years after reading it.
As this second installment Among the Imposters begins Luke is forced to flee is home. He is sent to a remote boarding school and he is given a new identity as Lee Grant. This new environment is not just foreign for Luke, it is terrifying. There are no windows, the constant threat of demerits and hideous bullies.
The real power in this book for me was the totally unpredictable plot. There are so many twists and turns as Luke negotiates this horrible school and tries to make sense of himself and those around him. Luke discovers the outside world and begins to make a garden. Then just as things seem somehow bearable, his garden is destroyed - it is a scene of senseless destruction.
There are seven books in this series and I can’t wait to grab the next one… Among the betrayed. I highly recommend this fabulous series for all serious senior Primary readers. Check out my blog post on book one.