Publication Date: March 1, 1998
Reading Level: Lexile Measure 800L
Age Range: 8 to 13
Major Awards: Top 10–ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Number of Pages: 160 pages
Audible Book Length: 3 hrs and 55 mins
Book Themes: Friendship, Family, Freedom, Courage
Genre: science fiction, young adult fiction, dystopian fiction
Setting: Set in the future, Luke's farm and the woods around it
Important Quote: "Sure. You can be a coward and hope someone else changes the world for you. You can hide up in that attic of yours until someone knocks at your door and says, 'Oh, yeah, they freed the hidden. Want to come out?' Is that what you want?"
Luke didn't answer.
"You've got to come, Luke, or you'll hate yourself the rest of your life. When you don't have to hide anymore, even years from now, there'll always be some small part of you whispering, 'I don't deserve this. I didn't fight for it. I'm not worth it.' And you are, Luke, you are. You're smart and funny and nice, and you should be living life, instead of being buried alive in that old house of yours-"
First Line: In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.
Point of View: third person limited point of view of its main character, 12-year-old Luke Garner
Free Resources from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher
Check out some great discussion questions and writing prompts at the Book Units Teacher blog post.
Questions include details relating to the following questions:
- What is it like to be a shadow child?
- What are the pros and cons of having a third child law?
- What is the city like?
- What is a totalitarian government?
- What types of propaganda could the government use to keep its citizens under control?
Links to Resources and Teaching Ideas