Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Hidden [also published as Amongst the Hidden] (Shadow Children, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Aladdin (US & CA: 1st March 2000); Random House Red Fox Definitions (AU: 4th May 2001)
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Officially, Luke Garner doesn’t exist. Unofficially, he does, but families aren’t allowed any more than two children, so the third Garner son is confined mostly to the attic. However, one day he spots a face in the neighbour’s window, and Jen Talbot is planning a revolution. Well, at least a rally for Shadow Children to go public with their struggle and challenge the Population Law. Luke hates his lifestyle, yet is resigned to it, but perhaps the charismatic Jen can bring him out of his shell.
Written for middle-grade readers, this is also thought-provoking for adults. The story’s quite bland until Jen enters the picture, but then it’s all systems go. There are several more books that follow in this series, which may appeal to fans of Gemma Malley’s novels.