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4.5 2
A Wonderful Story of Action
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Reader reviewed by T Porcino

The man gave Luke a cruel, thin-lipped smile. In horror, Luke watched the man lift his arm-higher, higher, and higher, until it was aimed straight out from his body, the first finger extended. 'You,' the man said. He was pointing at Luke. This is an example from the book Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix. This book is a science fiction and takes place in a future society. Among the Free is told in third person form. The storyline follows Luke throughout the whole book. This book is the conclusion of the Shadow Children Series.
Here is the general idea of the book. Luke is working in the stables. He really likes this one horse with a very caring and comforting gaze and kind and understanding eyes that he named after his friend Jennifer Talbot. Luke calls the horse Jenny. He is sure that the real Jen would never let Luke just stay in the stables and really just be a stable boy, not someone that wants to overthrow the Population Police. Every morning an officer of the Population Police come and inspect all the stable boys. He is in line, shoulder to shoulder with all the other stable boys, waiting for their morning inspection. When the officer finally arrives, he announces that he will promote three of the stable boys. The officer first chooses the tallest boy and the most muscular boy and then finally him. They get shoved into a car and are off on their first mission. While on their mission, there is an old lady that refuses to listen to the Population Police. Luke is then ordered to prosecute the women in front of the rest of the village. He is afraid to shoot the women, so he drops the gun and runs away.
Luke also has internal and external conflicts like any other person. He has to ignore the ghost of his friend that keeps telling him to hurry up and do something to make a difference. Her ghost is only in his mind when he is very hungry or tired. Luke wants to overthrow the Population Police so that he doesn't have to be in hiding anymore, or pretend to be someone that has died and their parents have donated their child's ID to an illegal third child, like Luke and his friends. Luke is always homesick about his parents and to brothers. He wants to see them really badly. Luke also wants to see his friends from school and all the people he knows and make sure that they are OK. Luke has more internal conflicts then external.
I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. If people that have read and enjoyed other Margaret Peterson Haddix' s books will enjoy this book. Science fiction loving and non-loving will still enjoy this book. When I read this book, I couldn't stop reading. The writing style is unique and interesting. The characters are realistic and lovable. It is easy to concentrate while reading this book. With all the action and drama, you can barely hear your mom calling you for dinner. The plot of this story was very believable. The situations the characters had made it very realistic and believable. The situations were very believable. The government making it illegal to have more then two children to save the food. Among the Free was a very good read.
My opinion on this book is a very positive one. I enjoyed everything that was included in the book from the characters to the style of writing Margaret Peterson Haddix uses. In my opinion there was no poor writing or boring parts. The story, writing style, the characters, everything is perfect. If I had to edit this book, I would tell whoever told me to that I didn't have anything to change. The ending is a perfect conclusion for a book.
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