Among the Barons

Among the Barons

(Book #4 of Shadow Children)
For Ages: 8 - 12
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Smits had nothing left of his brother.
He was gone.
And Luke had taken his name.
How could anyone hear Smits sobbing and think he was merely a foolish, homesick kid? Luke knew what grief was like....What if Oscar suddenly understood, too?
Smits's grief was dangerous. Smits's grief could kill Luke.


As a third child in a society that allows only two children per family, Luke Garner was in hiding for the first twelve years of his life. Then he was given the freedom of an identity card that had belonged to Lee Grant, a Baron (a member of the highest class of society), and was sent to boarding school as Lee. But now, just when things are finally starting to go right, Lee's little brother, Smits, arrives at school, and Luke finds himself caught in a web of lies that gets more complex with every passing day -- and possibly even lethal. Can Luke trust the grief-stricken Smits to keep Luke's secret? And can he trust Smits's menacing bodyguard, Oscar?
Luke finds that living among the Barons puts him in the deadliest danger he has ever faced.
As she did in Among the Hidden and the other Shadow Children books, Margaret Peterson Haddix depicts one individual trying to make sense of a world in which nothing is what it seems.
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Book Details:
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689839061 | 
  • June 2003 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7 | 
  • Lexile 650L
List Price $21.00

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Hey, L.! Mr. Hendricks wants to see you!"

Such a summons would have terrified Luke Garner only a few months earlier. When he'd first come to Hendricks School for Boys, the thought of having to talk to any grown-up, let alone the headmaster, would have turned him into a stammering, quaking fool desperately longing for a place to hide.

But that was back in April, and this was August. A lot had happened between April and August.

Now Luke just waved off the rising tide of "ooh's" from his friends in math class.

"What'd you do, L.? Have you been sneaking out to the woods again?" his friend John taunted... see more

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Reading Group Guide


THE SHADOW CHILDREN BOOKS


Among the Hidden

Among the Impostors

Among the Betrayed


By Margaret Peterson Haddix


A Guide for Reading Groups


About the Books


Sometimes in this world it's hard to know who is telling the truth, who isn't, and what can be done about all the things that are wrong. The government claims that there isn't enough food for everyone in the world, and so they have made it illegal for any family to have more than two children. Yet hundreds of these illegal shadow children exist, and they want desperately to find a place for themselves in society. But these are children who have been forced to hide their entire lives, and who are only allowed to venture out with fake IDs in their hands and fear in their hearts. How can they sort through the conflicting information about shadow children and find out where they belong? And will they be able to find the courage to defy the government and stop hiding?


Discussion Topics



  • What are some of the ways in which having more than two children would be a burden in this society? Why do some families decide to have illegal shadow children in spite of this added strain? Do you think that the benefits of having another child outweigh the sacrifices that must be made?


  • Luke often feels hurt by the way his father treats him, especially when he is making his
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