Discussion Questions

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Solitary Existence

  1. What would you do all day if you had to be the hidden child? Remember you can't use anything that makes a noise. You can't be outside or go in front of an uncovered window.
  2. What role did reading play in Luke's knowledge of the outside world?
  3. Is Luke a "special needs child"? How does his enforced isolation change his relationship with the members of his family-his mother, father, and brothers?
  4. If third children were not allowed, would you be illegal? What would happen if the Population Police caught you?
  5. If an older sibling died and you took his place, how would you suddenly explain your existence? Would you have to have the personality of your older sibling or could you be yourself?
  6. Do you have any Internet friends? Is it easier or harder to communicate with them than with your face-to-face friends?

Totalitarian Societies

  1. What tactics did the government use to create fear?
  2. Do you think the government is telling the truth about food production? What clues in the story support your answer?
  3. Name some totalitarian governments of the twentieth century. "Barons" or those who have special privileges are often found in totalitarian societies. How does one become a Baron? What are their privileges?
  4. How should a nation's resources be allocated between those who have privileges and those who don't?
  5. How does the government of the United States know about you? What does it know? Is this an invasion of privacy or are public records important for general knowledge?

Environmental Issues

  1. New subdivisions are often built on farmland. What happens when farmland is taken out of food production? How do sewers, roads, telephone lines and streetlights change the land? Where are the expanding and fast-growing areas in our region?
  2. If animals were banished because they take up the space needed for growing food, what foods from animals would be eliminated?
  3. Junk food can no longer be manufactured. Which junk foods would you miss the most? What would you eat instead?
  4. What was this area like when Cincinnati was settled over 200 years ago? How has it changed?