Among the Barons

by Margaret Peterson Haddix
192 pages,
ISBN: 0689839065

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Children's Books
by Jeffrey Canton

Imagine a world devastated by such severe environmental disasters that a country's population has to be tightly controlled by the government to ensure that there is enough food for everyone. In this world families are allowed only two children.
Imagine that your family has violated that law and you are the third child. You have to be kept a closely guarded secret. No one can know of your existence. You can never go outside. You have to stay away from windows. If you are found, you will be taken away by the Population Police and made to disappear. You are a Shadow Child. This is the world that Margaret Haddix has created in her Shadow Children series. Among the Barons, the fourth book in the sequence, follows the continuing sage of Lee Grant, aka Luke Garner, a shadow child who is using an identity he is provided with by an underground network of those who believe that shadow children have the right to exist and that the laws have to be changed. Luke's life at a private boys' school, which is made up almost entirely of shadow children, finds his life suddenly turned upside down when the younger brother of the boy whose identity he is using joins him at Hendricks School. Luke is uncomfortable masquerading as Lee, knowing that Smits knows his true identity. And when Smits and Lee are summoned home, Luke fears that his freedom is about to be taken away and that he'll be forced back into hiding. Among the Barons will interest readers 10-12 years of age with its fast-paced plot and intriguing storyline.

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