Among the Hidden
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
book talk

author study

classroom connections

list of related books

related websites

Discussion Board


The project examining the novel Among the Hidden, which is presented on this page, was designed by students at Salisbury State University on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The primary audience for the materials on this page is fifth to seventh grade teachers. We have included a book talk (which is designed to entice students into reading the book), an author study (which can benifit student interaction with text in so many ways, not least of which the realization that individuals like them actually write books -- they do not just magically appear in bookstores), suggestions for possible activities (an excellent asset for any teacher), a list of related books, and finally a list of websites related to the author and the novel.

Members of our group chose this book for several reasons.  We thought that the book sounded intriguing and thought provoking.  We also thought that this book would be a valuable reading experience for children because it touches on such controversial topics as famine, population, and individual rights.  Since most students may not be familiar with these concepts and why they are important, this novel provides an interesting way of introducing them to the students and helping them understand how each one could impact their lives.  Finally, we chose this book because the main characters of the book are children, which will help the students identify with them and understand better what they are going through.

Book talk

    Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a suspensful fiction story for young adults.  Readers will get to know Luke who is a shadow child living in a hidden world.  He has no friends and no contact with the outside world until one day he meets another shadow child, Jen.  Finally he has a new friend and together they try to free the shadow children around the country.   Students will see how these two children take risks for themselves.  Jen's father eventually risks his life to get Luke out of the hidden world.  This book shows how a government can have total control over people's lives and this might possibly happen in the near future of the world, a futuristic world.  Students will experience a bitter-sweet ending involving freedom of one kind and imprisonment of another.

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Author study
Margaret Peterson Haddix is an author that is typically labeled with the title of a fantasy and science fiction writer.  She has written several successful books such as:  Among the Hidden, Just Ella, Running Out of Time, The Girl With 500 Middle Names, and Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey.  She creates books that are both unique and innovative.  She creates a story that dares to bring the reader to the past, future and unknown.

Mrs. Haddix now resides in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, but she originally grew up on a farm outside Washington Court House, Ohio.  She attended Miami University and received degrees in creative writing, journalism, and history.  She started her career as a journalist working for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.  Later, she went on to work as a reporter for the Indianapolis News.  She began writing fiction when she moved with her husband, Doug, to Illinois in 1991.  This type of writing started out as a simple hobby or even a second job for Margaret.  Who knew at the time, that it would lead to so much success and entertainment for her readers?

Haddix's books have gone on to win awards such as the Black Eyed Susan award and the Children's Book award for her book, Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey.  She won the Sunshine State Young Reader's Book Award, American Bookseller "Pick of the List" notation, State Reader's Choice Awards in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Maryland, and the Junior Library Guild selection.

Haddix is a very busy and well-rounded woman.  She has worked as a community college instructor and a freelance business writer, but she also strives to be a good mother and wife at the same time.  She has two children named Meredith and Connor.  Her husband now works as a project editor for the Columbus Dispatch.  The whole family resides in Ohio, where Margaret continues to write her fantastic children's novels!

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Classroom Connections
Book Cover - Art
The idea is for each student to get an empty cereal box and to use the provided art materials to         design a different cover to the book, Among the Hidden.  The new cover should depict a part of the book, or convey the ideas found in the book.

Debate - Language Arts
Have the students debate in class whether or not the United States could implement a Population Law and employ a Population Police in the future.

Journal Activities - Language Arts
Give the students a list of journal topics and allow them to choose the topic when they are given the assignment.
        How would you feel if you were in Luke's place?
        Write about the view of a character from the novel other then Luke.
        After a reading assignment, write about how you felt while reading it.
        Write a different ending to the novel.
        Write an email message to one of the other hidden children.

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List of related books all by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Just Ella

Leaving Fishers


The Girl With 500 Middle Names

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Related Websites
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We have created a discussion board for anyone who would like to talk about Among the Hidden or issues related to this novel. To join the conversation click here and follow the instructions.

The people who contributed to this project include:

We hope the materials we have created prove to be useful to you and your students.
Thank you.

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