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ENOUGH GAMES. Luke Garner is a third-born in a restrictive society that allows only two children per family. Risking his life, he came out of hiding to fight against the Population Police laws. Now, in the final volume of Margaret Peterson Haddix's suspenseful Shadow Children series, Luke inadvertently sets off a rebellion that results in the overthrow of the government. Th ENOUGH GAMES. Luke Garner is a third-born in a restrictive society that allows only two children per family. Risking his life, he came out of hiding to fight against the Population Police laws. Now, in the final volume of Margaret Peterson Haddix's suspenseful Shadow Children series, Luke inadvertently sets off a rebellion that results in the overthrow of the government. The people are finally free. But who is in charge now? And will this new freedom be everything they had hoped


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ENOUGH GAMES. Luke Garner is a third-born in a restrictive society that allows only two children per family. Risking his life, he came out of hiding to fight against the Population Police laws. Now, in the final volume of Margaret Peterson Haddix's suspenseful Shadow Children series, Luke inadvertently sets off a rebellion that results in the overthrow of the government. Th ENOUGH GAMES. Luke Garner is a third-born in a restrictive society that allows only two children per family. Risking his life, he came out of hiding to fight against the Population Police laws. Now, in the final volume of Margaret Peterson Haddix's suspenseful Shadow Children series, Luke inadvertently sets off a rebellion that results in the overthrow of the government. The people are finally free. But who is in charge now? And will this new freedom be everything they had hoped

30 review for Among the Free

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    So, to finish off the dystopian challenge month, I tore through the Shaddow Children series by Haddix. I really liked the concept for the series, and I enjoyed seeing it progress from different POV in each of the books. I must admit I was growing a bit tired of the cat-and-mouse game by the 5th book, so I decided to skip over book 6 and just get to the ending! I’ve been waiting for these poor kids and their families and friends to finally be free, and for the repulsive form of government the cou So, to finish off the dystopian challenge month, I tore through the Shaddow Children series by Haddix. I really liked the concept for the series, and I enjoyed seeing it progress from different POV in each of the books. I must admit I was growing a bit tired of the cat-and-mouse game by the 5th book, so I decided to skip over book 6 and just get to the ending! I’ve been waiting for these poor kids and their families and friends to finally be free, and for the repulsive form of government the country has to finally be overthrown. I think I went into this book expecting a lot, and to be honest it was a big disappointment. It really sucks, because after reading 4 books in the series just today, I’m now sitting here thinking ‘I read all of these books for THIS?’ A huge portion of this book has Luke reverting back to his meek, ‘push me around and I won’t say a word’, spineless behavior. I mean, after all he’s been through, the final book in this series should be about Luke and Trey bravely leading their group to take a stand and spark the revolution. Instead, we get Luke running and hiding from the Population Police for multiple chapters, still not coming completely out of hiding once they’re all free, and never speaking up for himself or the others until the absolute last minute. He literally sits in a horse stall talking to a horse to get advice on whether or not he should speak up when the third children start being blamed once again for all of the country’s problems??!!!! WHAT?? I feel like this whole series was just trashed by Luke’s behavior in this book, because everything they all stood for almost got completely thrown away right under his nose. And I won’t even begin to talk about the fact that somehow a new constitution is being written in the very location they’re all at, like the whole country’s voice is spoken by the people gathered at the Grants’ old house!! Ugh, this was just a really frustrating end to what I thought was a neat series. Disappointed!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Travsssss!!!

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was personally a little bit surprised and disappointed with the final book in Haddix's series. Every other book that I have read by her has been thrilling and engaging. This one seemed to be a little bit dry. We have been with the same plot and theme for six enjoyable books. The seventh seemed to end the story, but not in a very good way. Luke was running and hiding and then all the sudden he finds out that he is free. It didn’t have very good timing in the story. On top of that, we think eve I was personally a little bit surprised and disappointed with the final book in Haddix's series. Every other book that I have read by her has been thrilling and engaging. This one seemed to be a little bit dry. We have been with the same plot and theme for six enjoyable books. The seventh seemed to end the story, but not in a very good way. Luke was running and hiding and then all the sudden he finds out that he is free. It didn’t have very good timing in the story. On top of that, we think everyone is finally safe and then we are presented with a whole new problem of everyone hating third children even after the President dies! I like this series of books a lot, but the last book was a little bit of a let down.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    I got tired of writing reviews for the entire series, so I'm just going to wrap it all up in one concise review. The series was well-done and exciting. There were plenty of times that I had to suspend my disbelief, but it WAS written for teens after all. I think what kept me reading was not just the action, but the horrid realization that a government who controls population, controls farming, food, and many other aspects of life while allowing the rich and powerful to abstain from the laws is n I got tired of writing reviews for the entire series, so I'm just going to wrap it all up in one concise review. The series was well-done and exciting. There were plenty of times that I had to suspend my disbelief, but it WAS written for teens after all. I think what kept me reading was not just the action, but the horrid realization that a government who controls population, controls farming, food, and many other aspects of life while allowing the rich and powerful to abstain from the laws is not so far-fetched. I was also struck by the running theme of courage that ran through the series. I am not a courageous person. I have often wondered if I could overcome my fear if it meant choosing right over wrong in a life-threatening situation. I think of myself as a moral person, but would I have had the courage to hide Jewish people in my home during the Holocaust? Would I have stood up to the Nazis? I hope the answer to those type of questions are "yes!", but the past isn't the only place that those type of decisions will be made. Even now, as thousands of unborn and unwanted children are killed yearly, I have done very little to make a difference. I have not stood up and said, "Enough." I'm not sure even how to do such a thing. I have watched laws pass that are unconstitutional and said nothing. The best part of this series are the hard questions that are asked about freedom and about each individual's responsibility to maintain that freedom. We truly take so much for granted and look indulgently on those who stand up and try to warn of the results of our passivity as the government chips away at our freedoms a little at a time and call them "extremists" or worse. I think I better have my kids read this series and then discuss with them some of those very topics. Who knows if their generation will have the luxury of passivity as mine has had.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this series, but was pretty disappointed in the finish. In the first six books, the author painstakingly developed a dozen or so complex, unique, honest characters. I really hoped that the last book (or even the last two) would show them all working together to accomplish the goal of freeing the illegal third children. Instead we get a few days of Luke/Lee wandering through the woods and wallowing in self-doubt. Finally in the last chapter, he dramatically takes the stage to boldly defen I loved this series, but was pretty disappointed in the finish. In the first six books, the author painstakingly developed a dozen or so complex, unique, honest characters. I really hoped that the last book (or even the last two) would show them all working together to accomplish the goal of freeing the illegal third children. Instead we get a few days of Luke/Lee wandering through the woods and wallowing in self-doubt. Finally in the last chapter, he dramatically takes the stage to boldly defend his place in the world. And then...a few paragraphs about what might happen in the future. Bottom line: this series deserved so much more! Any chance the author could recall book #7 and write a full sized, full cast, barnburning finale???

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book disappointed me. Here I was thinking that some great plan the third children would unfold with each of the main characters having their part told. But, no. All we do is follow Luke as he runs away, hears the Population Police has fallen, and makes some "great" speech about how he's a third child... and that's it?! What happened to Mr. Talbot saying that he was ready to get back to work for the cause? What happened to using Mark when they needed him? What happened to Mike and Matthias si The book disappointed me. Here I was thinking that some great plan the third children would unfold with each of the main characters having their part told. But, no. All we do is follow Luke as he runs away, hears the Population Police has fallen, and makes some "great" speech about how he's a third child... and that's it?! What happened to Mr. Talbot saying that he was ready to get back to work for the cause? What happened to using Mark when they needed him? What happened to Mike and Matthias since they were proclaimed to be Population Police heros for saving the Commander? What happened to Trey and Nina and Alia and Percy and Jason and John and Smitts? Oh that's right. They sat at the cabin and twiddled their thumbs. Why didn't Nina and Jason have a confrontation? How was the incident at Chiutza the spark that began the overthrow of the Population Police when the officer was listening to reports of resistance in other cities? And to top it all off, Oscar and Aldous Krakenaur GOT AWAY?! Really? Overall, I really enjoyed the series. Each book was a page turner and I LOVED how some books told the other third children's stories and not just focus on Luke's. But the conclusion didn't do anything for me. So much for the claim that "Fans of the series won't be disappointed." Because I was.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    After six books and ten shadow children, I really was hoping that the author would bring them all together. The ending was so anti-climatic and unfulfilling it left me thinking "really...that's it". I enjoyed the series and would recommend it, especially to Jr High age kids, but just felt the last book lacked a bit.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marie Sorensen

    I have reserved my opinions on this series until I completed this final book. Things I didn't particularly like about the series: 1. There is a lot of violence. 2. The intensity level is high and there are not many breaks in that anxiety/intensity. 3. The introspection in regard to fears seems overdone. Things I liked: 1. The affirmation of life. 2. The discussion particularly in this last book about what freedom is and is not. 3. The validation that even the little things we do to promote good are imp I have reserved my opinions on this series until I completed this final book. Things I didn't particularly like about the series: 1. There is a lot of violence. 2. The intensity level is high and there are not many breaks in that anxiety/intensity. 3. The introspection in regard to fears seems overdone. Things I liked: 1. The affirmation of life. 2. The discussion particularly in this last book about what freedom is and is not. 3. The validation that even the little things we do to promote good are important. 4. The confirmation that choices are important and in choosing to fight evil we can do so without becoming evil. So all in all, I liked this series, and, with those few reservations, give it a thumbs up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Social Voice

    By Antonese How is Among the Free like the Holocaust ? Can it become our future? Stopped dead in your tracks as you hear the loud banging of the door followed by a horrible sound of scary men who call themselves population police. Once you hear that chills run down your spin as you go into hiding. At the same time you family is trying to erase any evidence that you were there. You crouch down in a small space in the dusty attic. So many thoughts are racing through you mind as you hope you don't ge By Antonese How is Among the Free like the Holocaust ? Can it become our future? Stopped dead in your tracks as you hear the loud banging of the door followed by a horrible sound of scary men who call themselves population police. Once you hear that chills run down your spin as you go into hiding. At the same time you family is trying to erase any evidence that you were there. You crouch down in a small space in the dusty attic. So many thoughts are racing through you mind as you hope you don't get caught, you pray that they don't find you. At a long inspection they finally leave and you are free to come out of hiding.As horrible as that sounds this is a usual procedure for Margret Patterson Haddix's characters in her book Among the free ( from the series shadow children). The Shadow Children series is a futuristic based book about a society where the government only allows two kids per family due to droughts and famines. In the book Luke Garners is a twelve year old boy has never experienced life outside of his house because he is a third child. Now after getting a fake ID and posing as Lee Grant he is going to risk his life to take down the population police. After reading this series question popped up in my mind. Is Among the free like the Holocaust? Could this eventually become our future? Like the Holocaust , many people were killed in Among the free. Innocent people died because they were born 3rd. In the book they would hire what they call population police to get rid of (kill) 3rd children. Population police were so big they could have been considered an army. The Population Police were equivalent to the Nazi. They killed and controlled Innocents. That would mean the third children were equivalent to the Jewish back during the holocaust.Among the free is a very powerful book. In my opinion the whole series is addicting, but as good as it is what would it be like if it became reality? With the way things our going in America, I'm honestly afraid of our future. Droughts and famines were the reason for this incredibly insane law for less population. People got this crazy idea that third children were the reason. Although the population is getting bigger I don't see a better reason to destroy a human being. Even with the crazy accusations of this fictional book, could people (presidents mainly) be inspired by this. Possibly even think is is a great idea?Could this possibly be our future? Could America be taken over in these preposterous thoughts? Could Among the free and another holocaust become our future? Could we those millions and lose our freedom? Just the thought scares me out of my wits. I guess we will just have to see what the future holds for us!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Hmm. Wasn't impressed with the end of the series. It seemed really abrupt and unbelievable to me, which was disappointing, because I did actually start to care about the characters and what was going to happen. This wrap-up had too many holes for me... too many unbelievable moments. And you know, I suspended my belief for a lot of the series, and did so willingly. I just don't think Haddix trusts her readers enough. The readers have grown with her through the series, and they can handle more infe Hmm. Wasn't impressed with the end of the series. It seemed really abrupt and unbelievable to me, which was disappointing, because I did actually start to care about the characters and what was going to happen. This wrap-up had too many holes for me... too many unbelievable moments. And you know, I suspended my belief for a lot of the series, and did so willingly. I just don't think Haddix trusts her readers enough. The readers have grown with her through the series, and they can handle more inferences at this point. I think this was a great premise for a story - I think at times it was a great story - but... I think a good writer trusts his/her readers to infer. Haddix doesn't. Everything is spelled out and explained. "His face changed because he was thinking of her and how much she meant to him" - that sort of thing. Anyway - I give the series 3 stars, but what does it say about a series when you skim the last few pages? Aren't those the moments you want to savor and read again? Suzanne Collins' books have made me gasp out loud and reread the last 10 pages several times. THAT is what great writing does.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    A conclusion, of sorts, to the Shadow Children series, Among the Free finds Luke, once again in the midst of danger as an supposed uprising of the ‘rebels’ takes place at the Population Police Headquarters. Surprisingly, he finds Oscar, Smits bodyguard, leading the way. But, when he overhears Oscar negotiating with Krakenauer, the evil leader of the Population Police, Luke has his doubts about Oscar’s sincerity to help Third Children. He ‘listens’ to Jen in his head telling him to fight and be b A conclusion, of sorts, to the Shadow Children series, Among the Free finds Luke, once again in the midst of danger as an supposed uprising of the ‘rebels’ takes place at the Population Police Headquarters. Surprisingly, he finds Oscar, Smits bodyguard, leading the way. But, when he overhears Oscar negotiating with Krakenauer, the evil leader of the Population Police, Luke has his doubts about Oscar’s sincerity to help Third Children. He ‘listens’ to Jen in his head telling him to fight and be brave. Yet, he is always fearful and unsure about his chances for success. It isn’t until Jenny the horse gives him courage to confront the evil. In the end, he finds some friends and decide that freedom is worth fighting for. It is not the conclusion I was hoping for as it was vague and foggy. I wanted to know more about Luke’s family, the Talbots, and Hendricks. It was one of those endings where you were left to imagine on your own. I wanted more after investing so much time in the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The moment that Luke analyzes what 'freedom' means to the different people he has met seems to be such a good synopsis for the point of the entire series. I loved seeing him grow into a courageous young man who makes a difference. One of my favorite things about this entire series is how the seemingly insignificant choices the children make (such as Jen leading a rally or Luke refusing to shoot a woman) set off such a significant series of events. I would have liked to see more of the other child The moment that Luke analyzes what 'freedom' means to the different people he has met seems to be such a good synopsis for the point of the entire series. I loved seeing him grow into a courageous young man who makes a difference. One of my favorite things about this entire series is how the seemingly insignificant choices the children make (such as Jen leading a rally or Luke refusing to shoot a woman) set off such a significant series of events. I would have liked to see more of the other children in this last book, and I wish there had been more of a resolution at the end (does he make it home? How is Smits? ...), but I thought it was a good conclusion. I even cried, which was unexpected. On a side note, when Luke tries to free the horses and they just look at him like, "we don't care if we're free, just feed us", that reminded me of most of the newly freed people ...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aidan Wycoff

    I've changed my mind on the best Shadow Children book. It has been changed to Among the Free, the epic conclusion to this amazing series. It's been a wild ride, but here we are. I was expecting something completely different when I went into this book, but very satisfied in the end. The ending is kind of open ended, leaving your own theories and interpretations of what happens next in the series. As per usual, this book has a lot of twists. Among the Free is the best Shadow Children book and off I've changed my mind on the best Shadow Children book. It has been changed to Among the Free, the epic conclusion to this amazing series. It's been a wild ride, but here we are. I was expecting something completely different when I went into this book, but very satisfied in the end. The ending is kind of open ended, leaving your own theories and interpretations of what happens next in the series. As per usual, this book has a lot of twists. Among the Free is the best Shadow Children book and offers a solid conclusion to this amazing series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Abbott

    This series is so awesome!!! Here's some stuff about it. There is a law that you can only have two children. A boy named Luke is a third child and he hides his whole life. Until he sees a person one day in a yard of one of the new mansions by his house after everyone was gone. Its another third child!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    david

    this book is a giant rollarcoster ride from beging to end.this is the last book in the shawdow childern serises. this book u just wait for lukes escape but one Q. will we get caught.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Athena

    So this is how it ends.... After reading every installment in this series I have come to the conclusion that Luke was my least favorite third child. In one of the last pages it described third children as timid, but Jen Talbot, a third child, was not timid. Alia, a very young third child, was not timid, and neither was Percy. Luke was timid...and annoying. He got on my nerves when he wanted to join forces with the kid who traveled with him to Chiutza. If that kid would have asked Luke would have So this is how it ends.... After reading every installment in this series I have come to the conclusion that Luke was my least favorite third child. In one of the last pages it described third children as timid, but Jen Talbot, a third child, was not timid. Alia, a very young third child, was not timid, and neither was Percy. Luke was timid...and annoying. He got on my nerves when he wanted to join forces with the kid who traveled with him to Chiutza. If that kid would have asked Luke would have agreed. Thankfully that didn't happen. Anyway, this book was good until chapter 28 when the author resorted to the back and forth actions that littered theses stories. Luke was either sneaking to the back door of Population Police Headquarters, or racing to the stables to wallow in self pity and horse manure. Although I said the book was good until chapter 28, something else struck me as ridiculous long before then. And that was near Chiutza when the "Poppies," although armed, fled a small group of people because said small group informed them they were outnumbered. And the Poppies got scared and took off. But I had to keep reading to see how it would end. I do like how we finally figure out whose side Oscar is on.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beth Sullivan

    Great end to an exciting series. I enjoyed these little literary dystopian nuggets. Interesting story of ordinary children being illegal by birth and forced into extraordinary acts of bravery. The dystopian government is realistic enough to be fascinating and terrifying. Thumbs up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Rychtarik

    4.5 stars. The series as a whole is 5+stars!! Loved it from the beginning to the end!

  18. 5 out of 5

    James Shimerdla

    The end of this book was extremely satisfying and it was a good book

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ann Marie

    This was the perfect ending to the series...very interesting and surprising! I couldn't put it down!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laila H

    This book was great, although I am sad it's all over and now I must find a book or series to read. Although I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't as intense as the other books and as much as I wanted to be and at the end I feel as if it didn't really state how the rest of their lives would be and every body coming home or where they lived before like I wanted (not a spoiler it's kind of obvious by the title they finally become free but there are still issues that are spoilers that I will not This book was great, although I am sad it's all over and now I must find a book or series to read. Although I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't as intense as the other books and as much as I wanted to be and at the end I feel as if it didn't really state how the rest of their lives would be and every body coming home or where they lived before like I wanted (not a spoiler it's kind of obvious by the title they finally become free but there are still issues that are spoilers that I will not say). But I do agree it was a great series and this book made me feel better after everything that happens in the previous books.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Flease

    Personal Response This is the last book in the shadow children series and was my least favorite. It was still a good read, but did not keep me as interested as the other six did. In the end, I did not predict Luke would make it out alive due to the cruelty of the population police. I think this has been the best book series I have read. I wish they would make more. Plot Luke, the third child off his family, was fighting to just stay alive. The population police were known for beheading people at an Personal Response This is the last book in the shadow children series and was my least favorite. It was still a good read, but did not keep me as interested as the other six did. In the end, I did not predict Luke would make it out alive due to the cruelty of the population police. I think this has been the best book series I have read. I wish they would make more. Plot Luke, the third child off his family, was fighting to just stay alive. The population police were known for beheading people at anytime. The only option Luke had to stay alive, was for him to work undercover for the population police. Luke worked in the stable and took care of the horses that he rode, or the population police. It was Luke's duty to ride through all the villages and tell the people to meet at the town square to receive their new identity cards. Luke had to make a big decision whether or not to kill an innocent lady after she refused to meet in the towns square. Luke decided not too, and was able to escape the population police. When Luke returned to the headquarters, he found out the population police had been overthrown. He now would be able to become a free child again or so he believes. Characterization Luke had to face many difficulties growing up. He was taken away from his family with no choice, having to go live with other third children. If it was not for Oscar overthrowing the population police, Luke would not be able to say he has the opportunity to live a normal life. Luke made bold decisions along the way that could have cost him his life, but in the end it shows that he made the right ones. Impact of Setting Luke had to deal with living without his family because in the 1900s, third children were taken away from their home. Luke has grown up in a prison all of his life and only gets to see the outside world when he was helping the population police. After Oscar was brave enough to overthrow the population police, Luke will be able to be like his brothers, free. It will be something different for Luke, because he never had the opportunity to experience that. Thematic Connection The theme that stood out the most to me in this book was to always fight for what is right. Luke could have easily been killed if he had not fought back against the population police. For Luke, he had enough courage to stand up for himself and others around him. This shows that if there is a problem, it can be changed. Recommendation I would recommend this book to any high school aged boy. They would be able to understand the storyline the best and would be able to relate to Luke in certain ways. This would also be a good book for people that like action. Luke was always doing something to protect himself and others around him.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eli B

    Among the Free, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the last book in the Shadow Children series, is an exciting science fiction novel that is a nail-biter. This action and adventure story is about Luke Garner, a teenage boy, who is the third born child in his family. He lives in a society controlled by the Population Police. The government is a system where the Population Police control the laws, such as how much food goes out to the people, and how many kids can be in each family. According to their p Among the Free, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the last book in the Shadow Children series, is an exciting science fiction novel that is a nail-biter. This action and adventure story is about Luke Garner, a teenage boy, who is the third born child in his family. He lives in a society controlled by the Population Police. The government is a system where the Population Police control the laws, such as how much food goes out to the people, and how many kids can be in each family. According to their propaganda, Population Police needed to control the population growth because there is not enough food to go around. The people have been told that nothing good can come out of having a third child. If the family gets caught with a third child, the child will be killed or imprisoned. The hero of the book, Luke, is imprisoned by the Population Police, and forced to shovel manure in the stables at the beginning of the book. Later, Luke was forced to bring a woman in to the square, to kill her. But Luke didn't shoot her, he dropped the gun and ran for his life. Luke did not realize what would happen when he dropped the gun. Luke did this because he knew that this was an innocent woman. His conscience told him not to do it. Little did Luke know his action led to a revolution. The Population Police fell. While the rest of the world was happily stuffing their faces with muffins, Luke knew that the knew that the new government was a scam. A brave hero, Luke single-handedly brought down the new government when he spoke up for the rights of third children. Some motifs shown in this book are power, freedom, equality, hope, and corruption. The reader learns that although Luke is a young boy on his own, one brave person that knows the difference between right and wrong can change the world. I would give this book seven out of ten stars. I enjoyed the topic, and I related to the main character because the boy was my age. However, although there was a lot of action and adventure, for several chapters in the book nothing extremely important happened. In the end, the book leaves the reader feeling hopeful and inspired to make a difference. Haddix, Margaret. Among the Free. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kassi Tews

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book takes place way into our future. The world became over populated and could not feed everyone on it. The government made a law that you could not have more than 2 children because there simply was not enough food to go around. Once the government decided to make that law, the Population Police were created. It was illegal to have a third child, and if they catch you with one, the child will be killed or forced to work for the Population Police. People that had land were either forced to This book takes place way into our future. The world became over populated and could not feed everyone on it. The government made a law that you could not have more than 2 children because there simply was not enough food to go around. Once the government decided to make that law, the Population Police were created. It was illegal to have a third child, and if they catch you with one, the child will be killed or forced to work for the Population Police. People that had land were either forced to sell it to the government, or plant crops to meet quotas for food and they could only keep a little bit of it. If people did not agree with the Police, bad things could happen to them and their family. A group of third children decided to come out of hiding and march down to the Capital. Once they arrived and began protesting, the Population Police shot and killed them. All the kids that tried to stand up for themselves, were killed. Luke is a 14 year old boy that was forced to work for the Population Police instead of being killed because he is a 3rd child. When Luke was young the government took over his family’s farm and built big houses over top it. With all the new neighbors, Luke could no longer play outside because someone could report his family. He wasn't even allowed to look out the windows because his family was so worried about someone finding out. He hated having to stay inside all the time while his 2 older brothers were out having fun with friends. Luke’s family doesn't have a lot of money even though his mom works 70 hours every week. The government forces you to work without pay just to be able to get some eggs or any kind of food you need that day. Eventually the neighbors saw Luke, so the Population Police came to his house and took him away. They told him that if works for them that they’d help feed his family. Once Luke found out they were lying, he started to plot against them. Everyone thought Luke was quiet but little did they know, he was the most courageous one of them all. I personally enjoyed reading this book because it is put into our future. I like that is gives you someones perspective on what will happen to earth years from now. It really draws you in and makes you want to keep reading more!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Weina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Best of Margaret Haddix's works (the series). Though, IMO, just like Harry Potter, the "war" was won too easily. In fact, I felt that Luke never really did much after the 2nd book (since the 3rd, 5th, and 6th books had diff main characters) until the end of the 7th book, where he actually made a speech. But it was unbelievable/unrealistic that a mere "speech" given by a 13-yr-old could actually change everyone's opinions/beliefs. What is irksome is that you never really understand what the other Best of Margaret Haddix's works (the series). Though, IMO, just like Harry Potter, the "war" was won too easily. In fact, I felt that Luke never really did much after the 2nd book (since the 3rd, 5th, and 6th books had diff main characters) until the end of the 7th book, where he actually made a speech. But it was unbelievable/unrealistic that a mere "speech" given by a 13-yr-old could actually change everyone's opinions/beliefs. What is irksome is that you never really understand what the other characters have done while the main character is off on his adventures. Like, what exactly did Luke do in the 6th book? What did Trey, Matthias, Percy, Alia, and Nina do? And Mr. Talbot, Mrs. Talbot, Mark, etc? And what's worse is that the main character of each of the books in the series never seems to care/ask what the other ppl have been doing, leaving the audience even more confused. What is also annoying is that most of the pages in all her books is based solely on the character(s)' thoughts, opinions, and their hiding. There is never really any action. Even with Haddix's other books. Margaret Haddix needs to develop her plot more and the actions. Otherwise, the characters don't really feel like true heroes. It's kind of difficult to say whether I was pleased or not with the ending. I'm glad it ended happily but...it was way too easy. And I never understood how exactly they "won." Why would an audience that was fired up about blaming everything on third-children and calling them monsters suddenly believe a third-child giving a speech about how their almost-new ruler is actually evil and still working with the original Population Police? ... All in all, it was a really good plot and creative story. But just done/written..horribly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Luke Garner stood shoulder to shoulder with a dozen other boys, waiting. Premise/plot: Among the Free is the final book in the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. This one is all about bringing the whole series together and giving it a mostly tidy ending. Luke, and most of the other children we've met, are now in the ranks of the Population Police. These would-be rebels and spies are not having an easy time communicating with one another. Fortunately, the populati First sentence: Luke Garner stood shoulder to shoulder with a dozen other boys, waiting. Premise/plot: Among the Free is the final book in the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. This one is all about bringing the whole series together and giving it a mostly tidy ending. Luke, and most of the other children we've met, are now in the ranks of the Population Police. These would-be rebels and spies are not having an easy time communicating with one another. Fortunately, the population police and the government are on the verge of collapse anyway. A few individual acts here and there seem to be enough to start society's downfall. Luke is at first overjoyed; but skepticism sets in, and not without reason. The new leader is not new to readers. His name: Oscar. Luke does not trust him even a little bit. And Luke's suspicions grow more as he watches the new government come together. He's been hesitant to speak up and play a role in the movement in the past, but, in this final novel he finds the motivation he needs. Will it be enough? Or is it too late? My thoughts: I enjoyed the whole series. I think I enjoyed it even more upon rereading it. I am not sure I appreciated the various narrators the first time around. I wanted Luke and only Luke. But the series is stronger, I feel, because of the various narrators and points of view. One thing I realized is that each narrator illustrates a different way to be strong, to be brave, to take action. There is no one cookie-cutter way to get things done. Also the right action is rarely the easy, comfortable action.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shanda

    It's a wrap! This final book in the Shadow Children series is told from Luke's perspective, which seems appropriate since we started this whole journey with him in the first book. Luke has infiltrated the Population Police and resists a direct order to shoot an old woman, inadvertently setting off a chain of events that leads to the demise of the Population Police. This seems like an amazing event, or is it? Our old friend Oscar Wydell (Smits' bodyguard from Among the Barons) places himself in c It's a wrap! This final book in the Shadow Children series is told from Luke's perspective, which seems appropriate since we started this whole journey with him in the first book. Luke has infiltrated the Population Police and resists a direct order to shoot an old woman, inadvertently setting off a chain of events that leads to the demise of the Population Police. This seems like an amazing event, or is it? Our old friend Oscar Wydell (Smits' bodyguard from Among the Barons) places himself in charge of the new government. Luke is unsettled about this, but even more puzzled when he overhears Oscar conferring with Aldous Krakenaur, the former leader of the Population Police. What remains is for Luke to decide what is right, what freedom really means, and what can he, as a solitary child do about it? I enjoyed this last book in the series. It had plenty of plot twists and turns and lots of action. I found myself reflecting on some of the restrictions placed on population around the world and wondered if the author was trying to give some sort of subtle message about this. The ending of the book isn't completely cut and dried like I expected and I liked that too. WIthout giving too much away, I feel like the end made sense considering the surroundings and current state of affairs. Liked the series, but ready to move on to new horizons! Suzanne Collins, here we come!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lorihudeck

    When I first read this book, I have to confess to being disappointed in it. Although Haddix returns to Luke Garner as the protagonist, I felt that Luke had reverted too far back to the shy, scared boy he was at the start of the series. Without giving away any spoilers, I was also disappointed in the ending which felt incomplete. However, the more I have read this book, the more I have come to appreciate the finesse with which Haddix concludes this series. To truly appreciate the ending, the read When I first read this book, I have to confess to being disappointed in it. Although Haddix returns to Luke Garner as the protagonist, I felt that Luke had reverted too far back to the shy, scared boy he was at the start of the series. Without giving away any spoilers, I was also disappointed in the ending which felt incomplete. However, the more I have read this book, the more I have come to appreciate the finesse with which Haddix concludes this series. To truly appreciate the ending, the reader has to do the same thing that Luke Garner does, namely discover what it means to be free. Measuring the story in those standards, this is a very fitting ending to a wonderful, thought-provoking series. How appropriate is it, that the ending leads to more questions and discussions because so much is left open to interpretation. The best thing I can say about this series is that years later, I still have older students coming back to borrow the last books in the series because they did not get to read them when they were in seventh grade (mainly because they werent' published yet).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenben8426

    In the conclusion on the Shadow Children series, the reader again meets up with Luke--somewhat fitting since the series began with him in the first place. Luke has been working at the Population Police's headquarters, trying to do his best to sabotage from the insides with his friends. When he refuses to hurt someone doing Population Police duties, he unknowingly sets up the takeover the evil government. Everyone is free, or so Luke thinks. Are third children really free or will everyone find so In the conclusion on the Shadow Children series, the reader again meets up with Luke--somewhat fitting since the series began with him in the first place. Luke has been working at the Population Police's headquarters, trying to do his best to sabotage from the insides with his friends. When he refuses to hurt someone doing Population Police duties, he unknowingly sets up the takeover the evil government. Everyone is free, or so Luke thinks. Are third children really free or will everyone find some other way to blame the illegal children for all the ills they have faced. I felt the ending was just so-so. I felt the sixth book held a lot more punch and power. At times I was thinking that Luke was just repeating chapters for the sake of getting a few more pages. In all it was a good series--especially for her intended audience. There is much to be discussed within it's pages. Could have been a much shorter series, but overall I'm glad I finished.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Garcia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Among the Free was a good book. Among the Free is the final book in the series. What I liked most about this book was the plot. The plot is very interesting and one can wonder if this can actually happen in real life. Maybe one day this world will be over populated that they would have to make it illegal to have more than 2 children. Like in China you can only have 1-2 children. OK back to the book.. The author made sure that they put a lot of detail in the book, and in your mind you can see wha Among the Free was a good book. Among the Free is the final book in the series. What I liked most about this book was the plot. The plot is very interesting and one can wonder if this can actually happen in real life. Maybe one day this world will be over populated that they would have to make it illegal to have more than 2 children. Like in China you can only have 1-2 children. OK back to the book.. The author made sure that they put a lot of detail in the book, and in your mind you can see what is going on. A thing I didn't like about is that there wasn't much of a climax and the conflict was resolved in the middle of the book. I did enjoy how it turned out, that it had a happy ending, that every child was now legal. I recommend this book to teens, but they should start out reading from book one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I actually didn't like this book as well as the others in the series or as well as I was expecting to like it. For one thing, Luke was almost totally on his own. I guess the author's intent was to give a feeling of loneliness, but I was actually hoping to see more of the other characters from the previous books. Also, the whole book seemed a little rushed, and the overthrow of the Population Police was pretty unbelievable and didn't even make a whole lot of sense. One thing I did like is that Lu I actually didn't like this book as well as the others in the series or as well as I was expecting to like it. For one thing, Luke was almost totally on his own. I guess the author's intent was to give a feeling of loneliness, but I was actually hoping to see more of the other characters from the previous books. Also, the whole book seemed a little rushed, and the overthrow of the Population Police was pretty unbelievable and didn't even make a whole lot of sense. One thing I did like is that Luke is forced to define what freedom really is and the responsibilities that go along with that.

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