I am pleased to introduce to you today, our guest reviewers: author Darlene Foster and her grandson, Jesse (12).
Darlene Foster is the author of the Amanda book series for tweens and teens. My daughter and I read and reviewed Amanda in Arabia and we loved it – great series! The latest book in the series is Amanda in England. Here is a brief summary:
Twelve year old Amanda Ross loves to travel and is excited to be visiting her friend Leah in England. While enjoying a visit to the Isle of Wight, she discovers a vintage novel is missing from a set. Determined to find the missing book, she encounters a couple of tough, street kids, an elderly bookstore owner and a clever Maine Coon cat. Her search takes her to Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, Hampton Court and the London Eye; followed by a mysterious woman and two men in dark suits. Is she risking her life to find this novel?
If you haven’t checked out the Amanda book series by Darlene Foster, I urge you to give them a try. Here is a link to Darlene’s website: http://www.darlenefoster.ca/
About the Book
Title: Among The Hidden | Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix | Publication Date: 1998 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | Pages: 153 | Recommended Ages: 9 to 13 | Reviewed by: Darlene & Jesse, 12 (Grandmother & Grandson)
Summary: 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?
1. What is the story about? This story is about a boy named Luke. He didn’t live a normal life, he was an illegal child. Illegal children are illegal because the government thinks there’s not a lot of food left so they think that having only two children per family would solve that.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book (if applicable)? It’s a good cover because it shows what the story is about. Since there are no pictures in the book, it helps to imagine what the main character looks like.
3. Who is/are the main character(s)? Can you relate to them? Do you like them? How are they like you or not? I like Luke, he kind of reminded me of my brother. I like Jen because she was a strong female protagonist.
4. What is your favorite part of the story? When Luke discovered there was another illegal child.
5. What is your least favorite part of the story? When Luke found out everyone died at the rally.
6. Are there parts of the story that don’t make sense? The government not letting Luke’s dad grow vegetables in the house. Wouldn’t that help if there wasn’t enough food?
7. How did the story make you feel? Intrigued to read the next books in the series.
8. What lessons did you learn from this story? Trying new things, maybe even the impossible. That’s what Luke did when he left the house to see Jen.
9. Who do you think would like this book? Boys and girls 10 plus would like this book. My grade 6 class read it in at school and we had some good discussions. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Grandson's Rating: ★★★★½
What It’s About? This book is about Luke Garner, a boy living in hiding. He is the third son in a time when families are only allowed two children. The Population Police make sure this rule is followed, with dire consequences if broken. Luke is not allowed outside when the forest around his family’s farm is cut down to build houses. He isn’t even allowed to look out a window. His life in the attic is lonely and boring until he discovers another third child. Luke steps out of his comfort zone and has to make some important decisions that could change his life forever.
My Thoughts: This dystopian story is heart warming and frightening at the same time. What makes it frightening is that the author has created something believable in a make believe world. The characters are very real, with emotions the readers can relate to. Luke and his family could be anybody’s family, except for the part about hiding their third child. It is chilling to think this could possibly happen. What I liked about this well written book is that it makes the reader think and appreciate the freedoms we have.
My Bottom Line: This is a book that would appeal to both boys and girls, ages 9 – 13. I would not recommend it to very young children even if they have an advanced level of reading because I think it would be too frightening. This would be a good book for a family to read together and discuss.
Grandmother's Rating: ★★★★☆
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