The title of this book is Among the Imposters. It is written by the author Margaret Peterson Haddix. The genre of this book is fiction, and it the second book in a series of seven. The story is based on an illegal third child named Luke, who lives in a country that only allows two children per family. This law was put in place because of overpopulation and famine in the country. The third children are hunted and killed by the ruling police force known as the Population Police. Luke goes to a school using a fake identity, and is helped by a boy who is also a third child. They later become involved with a few more illegal children that attend another school.
The main character of this book is a boy named Luke. He is a twelve year old boy who lived most of his life in hiding with his family on their farm. When his best friend Jen is shot and killed by the Population Police because of her beliefs, Luke promises himself that he will do something good with his life. Fearing for his safety, Luke’s parents obtain a false identity card for him. Jen’s father, Mr. Talbot, takes Luke to Hendricks School for Boys, and Luke is able to live there safely under his fake identity. For the first time in his life, Luke has to learn to live with people in the outside world.
The first important event occurs when Luke arrives at school with Mr. Talbot, the father of a friend. Mr. Talbot enrolls Luke at the Hendricks School for Boys, and hands him a note. Luke is very concerned about the note, and he believes it is amazingly important to how he will survive school as an illegal third child. He tries to find an opportunity to open the note, but cannot find one, not even in his room. Luke notices that there are absolutely no windows in the school. When he sees that there is a door open to the outdoors, he is excited, and runs right out into the forest. He finally gets his chance to read Mr. Talbot’s note. The note simply tells him to blend in. Luke is so disappointed, that he keeps saying “I hate you Mr. Talbot, I hate you.” Luke has a very difficult time blending in at the school, since the other children are mean and the teachers ignore bad behavior. Luke returns to the woods whenever he can, and even plants a small vegetable garden there.
The second important incident in the story occurs after Luke is hazed by his roommate Jason. When Luke is able to escape back outside to the woods, he notices that there are eight other children in the woods, and one of them is Jason. Luke starts running as far away as he can, until he is tackled and stopped by Jason. As Jason talks to Luke, Luke figures out that Jason and the other seven boys are also illegal third children. Jason invites Luke to be part of the group and meet secretly in the woods. Their plan is to have a rally against the laws of the Population Police. Although Luke is happy that he has finally made some friends, he is still unsure about whom he can trust.
The final important incident happens one night after Luke sees Jason sneak out of their room. Luke follows him and finds Jason talking on a cell phone. Luke overhears Jason talking to the Population Police, threatening to turning in Luke and his friends. Luke hits Jason so hard with a textbook on his head that Jason is knocked out cold on the floor. Luke drags Jason to the nurse’s office, and makes up an excuse that Jason accidentally hit his head in the bathroom. Luke searches everywhere for Jason’s cell phone, but is unable to find it. The next morning at breakfast, a Population Police officer comes in with Mr. Talbot and arrests Jason for being a third child. Jason tells them that there are other third children hiding in the school, but he is not believed by the Police. Luke then meets with Mr. Talbot and Mr. Josiah Hendricks, the founder of the Hendricks School. Mr. Hendricks explains that he founded the school for third children, and that his goal was to give illegal third children safety and a future. Luke is asked by Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Talbot to move to another school, to help third children there, but Luke decides that he wants to stay on and help kids at the Hendricks School. Luke says, “I will make it up to Jen here.” He also decides he wants teach the other boys gardening, so they can grow their own food.
The story centers on Luke, a young boy who is named illegal for something he did not do. He spends the majority of his life hiding, before he finally gets the chance to live in the outside world. Luke realizes that in order to not be found out as an imposter, he has to blend in at the school. As he tries to get his freedom, Luke goes through many trials, and has to figure out which friends he can trust. When he is betrayed by his friend, Jason, he is unable to do anything until someone comes to help him. Although he is first set back by Jason’s betrayal, Luke finally makes the courageous decision to help more illegal third children. The adventure of the illegal third children continues in the next book of the series.
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