by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Luke has always been in hiding. He is a “shadow child,” a child born to a family that already has two children. Ever since the food crisis that started before Luke was born, the government has made it illegal to have more than two children. For Luke, that means staying hidden or risking being put to death.
His life is already limited, but when the government starts cutting down the woods that surround his home in order to make way for a new housing development, Luke can’t even go outside anymore. When he realizes that one of the new families on the block also has a third child, he has to decide how much he is willing to risk for some companionship and, ultimately, for his freedom.
This is the first book in the Shadow Children series. Like Haddix’s Missing series, this one has a lot of intrigue and suspense. I read up to the fourth or fifth book in the series and quit. The story is compelling enough and I got more than halfway through the series before the logic/common sense gaps in the story got too annoying for me.
Not for super-sensitive readers, since it is basically a story about a government that hunts and kills children, but kids who like stories of spies and intrigue will most likely enjoy it.