Topics for Discussion

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

1. Who are the hidden in this story? Are Luke, Jen, and the shadow children the only ones who are hidden? In what ways are the other characters in the story hidden?

2. Why is Luke's family so terrified of the government? What strategies does the government use to make a family like Luke's feel so powerless?

3. Early in the novel, Luke says that his family will ask who, what, and when questions, but does not consider what questions are worth asking. Why?

4. Discuss the differences between the Barons and ordinary citizens. How are the families of Jen and Luke similar and different?

5. Jen tells Luke that "hope doesn't mean anything" and that "action is the only thing that counts." Luke says that people like him just let things happen. Do you agree with Jen or with Luke? Explain.

6. When Luke first sees Jen, he thinks that she is a boy. Why? How would this story be different if Jen were a boy?

7. Why do you think that Luke is so reluctant to accept the false identity card that Jen's father offers him?

8. Jen's stepfather is a member of the Population Police, yet he harbors a third child in his own home. Is he brave and admirable or cowardly and hypocritical? What do you think happens to him after he drops Luke off at his new boarding school?

9. Describe Luke's relationships with his mother and with his father. How do these relationships change during the course of the novel?

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Ideas for Reports and Papers