Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Among the Impostors -- Shadow Children

In Among the Impostors, volume two of the Shadow Children’s sequence, author Margaret Peterson Haddix continues her harrowing tale of a totalitarian future where guns, snack foods, and pets are banned along with having more than two children. Illegal “third” children are executed by the state and the Population Police are actively on the hunt for them.

In this volume, Among the Impostors, we follow the main character Lee Grant, under his assumed named of Luke Garner. At the end of volume one Luke is given a false ID in order to come “out of hiding”. But it means assuming the identity of the deceased Lee Grant and that means leaving home and his family and attending Hendricks School for Boys.

Here Luke discovers that there are other impostors like himself, assuming the identities other than their own. But among the impostors there are also impostors: “third children” who are not who they appear to be but agents of the Population Police.

In this volume Luke is out in the world for the first time in his life. After being hidden since infancy this is an entirely new experience for him. And Haddix explores the emotions that Shadow Children have when they come out of hiding. We also see Luke beginning to mature. He begins to explore the world on his own and discovers the joy of private ownership and accomplishment.

More importantly he discovers a growing network of individuals all dedicated to saving the Shadow Children and toppling the government: two causes which Luke decides to embrace as his own.

As with the first volume Haddix continues to weave a story of children pitted against the State. And libertarians won’t be disappointed. While this reviewer is now waiting to read volume three the story line, so far, is one that libertarians can embrace and these are good gifts for young readers.

Among the Impostors, paperback, 172 pages, $5.95.

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