Monday, January 16, 2017
Children of Exile by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am sharing an awesome book from one of my favorite MG author's, Margaret Peterson Haddix. Children of Exile was released by Simon & Schuster back in September and is another spell binding addition to Haddix's list of works.
This peaceful life comes to an end when the children are told they are being returned to their real parents. Rosi, being one of the oldest of the children, must look out for the younger ones. Once at home, they find a world nothing like the one they came from. A world of secrets, dangerous prejudices, poverty and hatred. Confronted by violence for the first time in her life, Rosi struggles to understand the world and protect her younger brother Bobo. Determined to find out the secrets all the adults are keeping to themselves, Rosi puts herself in the middle of a battle that has life or death as the consequence.
Oh boy! I really enjoyed this book. Just figuring out what was going on, why these kids had been taken from their parents was the first mystery. Then, when they are returned home and there are no children except themselves and their parents are often scarred or damaged is the second mystery. You'd think that would be all, but in the last few pages of the book, boom! the author throws in a zinger that you had no clue about whatsoever. Brilliant!
The setting is amazing, especially since Fredtown and home are exact opposites of each other. The differences in life quality alone is brought out fully to the reader. Also, the kindness and rules the children are taught are common sense and practical, and yet again, when they go home they encounter the opposite beliefs in the adults around them.
Rosi is a great female lead, someone who truly takes it upon herself to protect those around her and who believes the values and morals she has been taught are worth fighting for. The best thing though is her final decision in the book. When confronted with true safety as an option she picks the road less traveled, the brave road.
This is a great book for middle graders and I am so happy to share it with everyone. 5 stars!