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  1. Among the Hidden Novel Study
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Pre Reading

How many of you are third children? How many of you have ever stayed home from school -- say you have told your mum or dad that you are sick, and, well, you do feel a little sick, maybe -- No, don't put up your hands, I don't want you to incriminate yourselves. But if you have ever stayed home from school when you maybe should have gone to school anyway, and you look out the window and you see that everyone else in your neighborhood has gone to school or work, and there you are all alone -- it's sort of a strange feeling, isn't it? Sort of like you are getting away with something but you feel a little bit guilty and jumpy at the same time?

Resource Instructions

Haddix has created a futuristic world where personal rights and freedoms are very limited. Among the Hidden is a great vehicle to help teach young adults about the Bill of Rights and governmental control. This is an excellent and appropriate book to teach in this day and age, because not only does it encourage children to think about the purposes and logic behind various laws, it also is a good lesson about whether people should believe everything they are told. The novel also addresses the question of whether people should allow the government to make decisions without the consent of the people.

To refine the rest of the lesson to relate it to Among the Hidden, ask the students how a government could get so much control over the population. Since media plays such an important factor in influencing the majority of the population, students should bring in any examples of media hype that they observed. The second stage of the lesson would involve groups of students setting up their own examples of media hype using advertising, persuasive articles, and propaganda in the news to demonstrate how media is indeed something to be questioned.


See Independent Reading Contract


  1. The author doesn't specify the setting for Among the Hidden. Where do you think it takes place? When do you think it takes place?
  2. Luke's family is terrified of the government. Why? What are some of the tactics the government employs to make ordinary families like his feel powerless?
  3. Explore Luke's relationships with his brothers and his parents. How close are they? How trusting? Does Luke have more in common with Jen than with his own family? Why or why not?
  4. How are the "barons" different from families like Luke's?
  5. The Internet made it possible for Jen and Luke to connect with other hidden children. It helped them build a community of peers. Do you use the Internet to connect with people who share interests with you?
  6. Why did Jen organize the march on the president's house? Do you think she knew she was going to die? Was she being noble? Was she being foolish? Luke decides not to follow her. What would you have done?
  7. Jen is a third child, but her stepfather is a member of the Population Police, the brutal organization devoted to discovering people like her and bringing them to a harsh justice. Discuss his character. Is he a hero, a villain, or both?
  8. Why do you think Jen's stepfather risks his life to help Luke?
  9. The last time Luke saw Jen, he told her, "It's people like you who change history. People like me – we just let things happen to us." What does this mean? Are you a person who makes things happen or are you a person who watches things happen?

10.  What would happen to your family if third children and beyond were outlawed? Would you have been born?

11.  Among the Hidden is fiction, but in China, there is a law that strictly limits family size. Why might a country do this? Do you agree or disagree with the policy?

12.  You are the chief propaganda officer of the Population Police. Create a bumper sticker or billboard reminding ordinary citizens that third children are against the law.

13.  What do you think will happen to Luke after the novel ends


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