Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016
There are many rules in Fredtown, and sometimes it’s hard for Rosi to follow them. It seems like Edwy, the other twelve-year-old in Fredtown, doesn’t even try. But Rosi knows the rules are meant to ensure that everyone gets along and lives respectfully together. In fact, life in Fredtown with her Fred-parents is pretty great, except for the fact that it’s not her real town or her real parents. Rosi has known this all her life; nevertheless, she’s shocked when she learns that all the kids in Fredtown are going home to the real parents they left when they were newborns.
Rosi has a million questions. Why have they been raised in Fredtown since they were tiny babies? If she does have real parents in another town, why haven’t they come to get her before now? If the town her parents live in is too dangerous for kids like Rosi and her brother, why are the kids being sent back there now? Rosi takes very seriously her responsibility to help the younger kids through the trip. But as soon as they leave Fredtown, Rosi begins to question all she’s ever been taught by the Freds and everything she thought she knew. Nothing in Fredtown has prepared her for her real parents or life in the town she should call home.
Grippingly written, Margaret Patterson Haddix’s Children of Exile takes readers through a dark adventure which asks big questions. Readers will be swept up not only by Rosi, her brother BoBo, Edwy, and the other children of exile, but also by questions of respect, justice, judgment, and duty as they follow Rosi through the discoveries and trials of her new life.
The first book in a series, Children of Exile’s compelling characters and soul-searching dilemmas will appeal to middle grade readers. They’ll love Rosi’s spunk and independence and hate the injustice of decisions that are made for her and for the other children. Children of Exile provides great fodder for debates about the right course of action in a situation in which humanity’s continuing existence is at risk.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Friday’s post will review the second book in the series, Children of Refuge.