Friday, July 1, 2011

Among the Hidden

I hope everyone’s vacation is off to a great start and you’re all excited about HBW Reads. I’m just a few chapters into Among the Hidden, but I am enjoying it a great deal. The first thing that I want to write about is “magical words”. This is just a term I use for a sentence, phrase, or paragraph that stands out to me. As a reader when I come across one, it makes me put the book down for a moment and think about where the author may be heading or if these words were the initial inspiration for the book. As a writer, when I come up with something like this it tends to take over my life. I need to find something to write on - it could be a napkin, paper bag, or anything that is nearby. I’ve even left myself voice mail so I wouldn’t forget (this is before iphones and texting!). Anyway, Chapter 2 had a magical sentence for me: “Somehow, Luke never got as old as Matthew and Mark.” This sentence made me think about all of the different directions the book could go in, as well as how it has meaning in my own life. It’s the kind of sentence that would make a great opening to a story. It’s like a literary seed.

I also want to comment on how it’s not clear to me at this point when this story is taking place. At times I feel like it takes place in the past; this is mainly due to the characters' dialogue and the way the author describes the setting. However, because of the theme (population control) and the way the government is referred to, I also think it may be the future. I like not knowing- it adds a little extra mystery.

Finally, my last comment is about population control. Many of you may know that population control has been used by a few countries to combat famine. Until starting this book, I never thought about how it was enforced and the lives of children who were born into “filled families”. I did a little research on population control and found it to be fascinating. I love it when a book makes me curious about a topic. Do some of your own research!


  1. The sentence about Luke never growing as old as Matthew and Mark stood out for me, too. I think that is part of the reason why Luke longs for his freedom. I devoured the rest of Among the Hidden, and I was able to take out the rest of the series, which we have at HBW by the way! Help yourself to the second book, Among the Imposters!- Mrs. Kleinknecht

  2. Mr. Fruend,

    I truly appreciate the idea you brought up regarding "magical words." There have been countless times where I've heard a sentence or a phrase from a song or a book and it just took over my thoughts. At that point, I grab a napkin, a scrap of paper, or, most recently the Dragon Dictation application on my iPhone, to catch that thought so it doesn't escape.

    We get old in many ways, not just in number. We age in the way we think, the way we dress, and the way we think. Our big ideas we had as children often fade into the realities we face as adults. The true test is whether we can keep our outlook on life as close as possible to what we had as children.

  3. I'd love to hear from a few new fifth graders or any of my former students about what you think of this book, Among the Hidden. Right from the start I had a feeling of sadness, darkness, and defeat, and yet HOPE. On the very first page the author writes, "he walked into the house, as silently as a shadow." Luke lamented, "I will never be allowed outside ever again?" I hope this can't be true.

    Can you imagine never being able to go outside ever again? What are the things you would miss the most?

    In Chapter 3 "Luke could "almost hear the outdoors calling to him." How can the outdoors call? Has the outdoors ever spoken to you? I know my tomato plants speak to me everyday and tell me they are thirsty.

    I can't wait to read more.