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Vol 1, Issue #3
"Stand By For Mars!"
March 2006

Children's Fiction Book Reviews
by Kathy Thomason

Among the Enemy
by Margaret P. Haddix
Scholastic Paberbacks

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This series is set in a time in the future after a great drought has hit and food became scarce. The government tried rationing but when that didn't work, the created the Population Police and passed the two children only law. This law had the unintended side effect of creating an entire generation of third children who had to be hidden. Many of these children ended up being abandoned by their parents who feared reprisals from the Population Police.

In the sixth book of the Shadow Children, the Population Police are getting more powerful every day and have taken over the government and the shadow children are in more danger than ever. A young boy named Matthias and his two friends, Percy and Alia were raised by an old homeless man until he is killed in a demonstration against the population control law. They suddenly find themselves alone and on the run in a world getting more dangerous by the day. When Percy and Alia disappear and Matthias believes them to be dead, he gets caught in the cross fire between the Population Police and the rebels. He accidentally saves the life of the young policeman, who rewards him by taking him back to the luxury of the Population Police headquarters to train him to be one of their own.

Matthias meets Nina, another third-born who has infiltrated police headquarters in order to fight against them. But Matthias isn't sure who he can trust and finds himself under constant scrutiny and he is still mourning the loss of his friends. He just isn't sure what one small boy can do against such wicked men. But when the young policeman who brought him in is killed the commander of the police takes Matthias under his wing and Matthias uncovers an insidious plot to kill all the shadow children and realizes that somewhere he must find the courage to stand up to these people.

In the most exciting adventure of the Shadow Children yet, Haddix skillfully explores what it will take to make a common man courageous and what impact event the smallest act of rebellion can have on evil.

Margaret P. Haddix is the author of several memorable novels for children, including The House on the Gulf, Escape from Memory and many others. She has been honored with International Reading Association Children's Book Award, ALA Best Book for Young Adults and many other awards. She lives in Columbus, OH with her husband Doug and their two children.

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