We here at the League are just so excited to share with you the very first Book Club. Have you all been reading AMONG THE HIDDEN by Margarent Haddix with us? We hope so--because all this week, we're going to be discussing this wonderful book!
Why AMONG THE HIDDEN?
We chose AMONG THE HIDDEN as our first Book Club selection because it's considered a classic dystopic novel. Geared slightly younger than a lot of dystopian novels, AMONG THE HIDDEN appeals to middle grade, young adult, and older audiences.
The story itself takes place in a near future world that worries about population control. After a series of natural disasters (that took place around the time the narrator's parents were young), the government has become stricter, stringently enforcing a law that decrees couples can only have two children. Ostensibly this is to ensure that there's enough food for everyone, but it seems to the narrator, Luke, that while some families struggle, the upperclass Barons have little to worry about.
Luke is a third child--illegal, and kept hidden from the outside world. That wasn't hard to do while he and his farming family lived alone in the country, but when the Government buys the farmland and builds houses for Barons to live nearby, Luke is forced to live locked up in his house in a windowless attic. Then he notices that one of the Barons has a third child, too.
In meeting this other illegal third child, Luke's world starts to spin out of control. He starts to question whether he wants to stay safe but locked up in his own house, or whether he wants to risk it all to fight the Government. Is freedom worth his life? His family's lives? His future?
For the rest of the week, we're going to be discussing specific elements of this dystopian title, and we hope you join in the conversation! Please, feel free to post comments and continue the discussion. Our goal is to make this an interactive place to explore different aspects of the book.
Our schedule for this week is:
- Monday (posted at 3PM Eastern Standard Time): Beth will discuss the family dynamics on the book--that, at it's heart, this book is about being a member of a family just as much as existing in a dystopian world with an oppressive government.
- Tuesday: Julia will talk about how there's two sides to every coin--how what's good in some dystopian novels is bad in others, and how that translates into the real world. She's probably going to overflow a bit into the government and media's version of the truth with her discussion.
- Wednesday: Jeff is going to talk about how much our personalities are formed by our relationships with others. If you have no one, how do you form who you are?
- Thursday: Angie will present the class system in AMONG THE HIDDEN and how the government controls people through it.
- Friday: Elana will talk about the fear of having to stay hidden, as well as the use of fear in general in dystopian literature.