Luke has two older brothers, Matthew and Mark, which makes him a third child, which also makes him illegal. By law he should never have been born, by law he should be dead. So he hides on his family's farm in constant fear that someday, someone will find him.
However, it is he who finds someone.
When the government takes away the forest that surrounds his house, cuts down all the trees, and builds dozons of new houses, Luke must remain in his attic bedroom for what seems like is going to be the rest of his life!
He takes to looking out a small window in his attic at all the houses and their people. He knows that each house can have no more than four people living in them: a father, a mother, two children... legally, that is how it should be.
Then he sees a fifth face in the window of one of the houses. Could it be? Could it actually be another third child like himself? Luke must find out and soon meets daring, adventurous Jen Talbot... a friend that will change his life forever.
Please note that it is KEY to the plot to read these books in order, as where each book ends the next book begins.
#1: Among the Hidden*
#2: Among the Impostors
#3: Among the Betrayed
#4: Among the Barons
#5: Among the Brave
#6: Among the Enemy
#7: Among the Free
Back in high school, I picked this book from my younger sisters stack of library picks because I was desperate for reading material. The character Luke made a big impression on me. I felt so bad for him; I teared up at some points. The children in the series all face difficult decisions and dangerous situations, which makes for a compelling read. After reading this, I searched out the rest of the Shadow Children Series and anything else Haddix had written. Of the non-series books I like "Running Out of Time" the best.
My daughter loved this book. She can't wait to read the next books in this series.
Excellent story - for late elementary to adults.
First book in the Shadow Children sequence. "REaders wil be captivated by Luke's predicament and his reactions to it". - School Library Journal
"A chilling and intelligent novel" - Kirkius