Monday, December 11, 2017

CHILDREN OF REFUGE by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, September, 2017)

What It's About, via Goodreads: 
After Edwy is smuggled off to Refuge City to stay with his brother and sister, Rosi, Bobo, and Cana are stuck alone—and in danger—in Cursed Town in the thrilling follow-up to Children of Exile from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix.

It’s been barely a day since Edwy left Fredtown to be with his parents and, already, he is being sent away. He’s smuggled off to boarding school in Refuge City, where he will be with his brother and sister, who don’t even like him very much. The boarding school is nothing like the school that he knew, there’s no one around looking up to him now, and he’s still not allowed to ask questions!


Alone and confused, Edwy seeks out other children brought back from Fredtown and soon discovers that Rosi and the others—still stuck in Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late?

Opening Lines:
Nobody had told me that my parents’ neighborhood was built on top of a secret tunnel up from the creek. So when the man dragged me into an innocuous-looking hole—and kept going and going and going—I instantly wanted to know more. We passed sputtering torches that seemed to throw off more shadows than light. The stench of the man’s hand seemed to grow nastier and nastier. But we were deep underground before he finally eased his hand off my mouth and nose and jaw and I could manage more than grunts.

My Thoughts:
This moves at a cracking pace. Haddix is a master of chapter endings, which propel the reader into the next chapter, and the next.

I was unaware, when I started reading, that this was book 2 of a trilogy, but found that it stood well on its own. Haddix creates an unsympathetic trio in the Watanaboneset siblings, but as the novel progresses we begin to understand the reasons why they behave like they do. Edwy, the youngest, has a bad attitude, but is redeemed by his desire to help his friend, Rosi.

The novel ends with a cliffhanger, and I am definitely primed for book three. (But first, I really should read book 1!) A good, quick read for those who like dystopian novels, with a flavor of sci-fi.

About the Author (from Amazon):
Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.