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Among the Impostors
By Margaret Peterson Haddix

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Among the Impostors

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Among the Impostors
Large Print Edition
By Margaret Peterson Haddix
Thorndike Press - Large Print, (2001)
ISBN: 0-7862-3683-3
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - February 28, 2002

In Among the Impostors, Margaret Peterson Haddix has created a chilling world in which families are only allowed to have two children and all cats have been outlawed. Any child born over this limit faced immediate execution if caught by the Population Police. Luke Garner is an illegal third child, and he knows the very real dangers that he and his family face if he is caught. This is a fact that is only too real for Luke, because his best friend Jen, who was also a third child, had been caught and executed not long before this story opens.

Luke has spent his entire life in hiding. While his brothers, Matthew and Mark have been able to go outside and to attend public school, Luke has been stuck at home, hiding out in the attic of the family's home. That is until Mr. Talbot, Jen's father, arranges for Luke to assume the identity of Lee Grant, a boy the same age as Luke who had recently died. As the twelve-year-old Lee Grant, Luke can finally go to a real school armed with his new identity, Luke enrolls in the Hendricks School for Boys, which is housed in an imposing, windowless building. But Luke quickly discovers that something is not quite right about the school.

Among the Impostors is a riveting story about a not very pleasant possible future world where food is in short supply and the Population Police has an iron grip on the citizenry, carrying out their directive with the zeal and determination of madmen. Yet even in the midst of the madness engendered by a dictatorial regime, Luke finds that it is possible to find benevolent individuals who are working to set the world right.

Haddix has not only created a realistic, futuristic world, but she has also created a host of realistic character. But the real hero of this story is Luke, who we get to watch as he comes out of hiding and embarks upon a new life - among other people. Haddix allows us to follow him as he grows and matures, while learning to deal with his fear of being discovered by the Population Police, and as he uncovers the mystery surrounding the Hendricks School for Boys.

Although Among the Impostors was written for readers in the 9-12 age bracket, it is suitable for readers' of all ages and even adults will find this story thought provoking. Please note that Among the Impostors is the sequel to Among the Hidden, which deals with Luke's life before assuming Lee Grant's identity. Nonetheless, Among the Impostors is totally self-contained and can be read out of sequence.

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