Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Shadow Children Series

Margaret Peterson Haddix


"Imagine a world where families are allowed only two children. Illegal third children — shadow children — must live in hiding. If they are discovered, there is only one punishment: Death.

My Take:
This is a spectacular children/teen series. These books are very thought provoking for children. It gets kids thinking about some pretty high concepts, the books raise questions about government, what is right, what is wrong, how much power should the government have, and things of that nature. But the reader won't know they are getting into some deep thinking, because all they realize is that they are being entertained. It's a great trick parents can use :) It also demonstrates, since most of the protagonists are young teens, that children can make a difference. The books are very well paced. A few times, it did start to drag just a little, but it never was for very long. Overall, the author is very effective with the peaks and valleys of excitement level. It gets pretty intense, but stays PG. There is talk of executions and things of the like because the books are about a serious war of sorts, but there are no descriptions, so you don't need to worry for younger kids, it is totally okay for them to read. The characters are wonderful. Like I said before, most of the main characters are children, from various walks of life, but most of them are outlawed third children or "Shadow Children", fighting for their freedom. Each kid is very unique, and I think that kids would be able to identify with them. They are all regular kids that don't think they are very brave, but always end up being brave when it really counts. From all of these different personalities come different perspectives of right and wrong. From the hardened adults, that don't have much faith in the world, to the much more compassionate children, that do not believe the end always justifies the means, these books give your kids a lot to think about. But again, they'll be so entertained they won't realize they are learning. The end of the series happens very fast, and I think a little too rushed, but it is a good ending overall, and ties things up pretty well. Overall I would have to give this series a rating of a 2, Borders With a Coupon. I think if the end were a little better is would be a 1, but as it stands, a 2 is what I would have to stick with.

Thank you to Alexa for recommending these books, I loved them, keep 'em coming!

Did you agree with my review? Do you think I am totally off base? Either way I would love to hear from you, be sure to leave me a comment and tell me how you feel.

If you liked these books, be sure to check out Running Out of Time, also by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Be sure to check out the rest of the teen section of The Book Buff

Looking for more excitement, but looking for an older audience? check out the Action Adventure Section 

If this series was a movie it would likely be rated PG due to it's inoffensive, yet present references to executions and intense situations.


Alexa said...

I'm glad you liked them! I have a whole list of favorite books that I've read. The author of one my favorite series released a new book in February that I am dying to read if I can get my hands on a copy. They are the Airborn Series by Kenneth Oppel. The books are Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber.

Jaclyn_23 said...

I absolutely love the series but I have not read the last three books.

The Book Buff said...

I really enjoyed the last book because it tied everything up, definitely check them out!

Wanda said...

These sound like wonderful books for my daughter and niece! Will definitely check them out based on your review, thanks.

snglbby said...

I bought the first one in the series when the book fair came to the school I worked at a couple of years ago. I read it before the book fair ended, and ended up buying the rest of what they had and then hightailed it to Barnes & Noble for the rest of the series (before embarking on the frugal life). I have enjoyed every single one of the books and read them all in less than two weeks! All of my kids love them too and they even re-read them!


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