What is the message in "Among The Hidden" by Margaret Peterson Haddix?

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queenb22 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While "Among the Hidden" has many smaller themes or "messages", the author appears to address some very important social issues written under the genre of science fiction.Science fiction allows authors to deal with things that have not happened,but appear years later as a reality. Things like the answering machine which was not something real when Ray Bradbury put it into one of his novels only to appear in most people's homes some years later.Haddix brings forth the possible problem of overpopulation in a futuristic America,approaching the topic using historical references such as, "the one child law" in China and how a possible mini-Holocaust could result because of it.It also addresses how a totalitarian government might take advantage of a food shortage to create such a law "no more than two children" as we see in the book,forcing people to forfeit their reproductive rights, as the government begins sterilizing women after Luke is born.Or forcing parents to hide their children,so their children remain alive and well away from the population police.Through this, Haddix addresses how a totalitarian government like this becomes corrupt:taking land away from people, not allowing them to eat certain food, taking away their livelihoods,leaving them with little money.The people are left subservient while the top officials live richly and powerfully.The theme is to make people aware of what America could be like if we are not careful.