FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Children of Exile/Children of Refuge by Margaret Peterson Haddix
ABOUT THE BOOK
For the past twelve years, adults called “Freds” have raised Rosi, her younger brother Bobo, and the other children of their town, saying it is too dangerous for them to stay with their parents, but now they are all being sent back. Since Rosi is the oldest, all the younger kids are looking to her with questions she doesn’t have the answers to. She’d always trusted the Freds completely, but now she’s not so sure.
And their home is nothing like she’d expected, like nothing the Freds had prepared them for. Will Rosi and the other kids be able to adjust to their new reality?
I'm not sure what I expected when I picked up this book, but it wasn't what I got. Haddix has long been known for her science fiction/fantasy/dystopia books. But at first this read like a realistic fiction with Rosi and her little brother, Bobo, being returned to their biological parents. The whole idea of the Freds was rather unusual, but I just assumed that they were people who had taken the children to protect them or something. But I sympathized with Rosi and the other children a great deal. After all they were having to give up pretty much everything familiar to return to a place they didn't remember in the slightest.
Once the children are on the plane, it becomes clear that something isn't right. And after the plane lands and is swarmed by rude, obnoxious people, I could tell that something was dreadfully wrong with this place. Rosi tries desperately to hold on to the things the Freds had taught her but these new living arrangements with people Rosi can't at first even refer to as her mother and father test everything she thought she knew. Survival just may require more of Rosi and the other children than they can give.
Haddix throws some pretty big twists into the book changing the way that Rosi and the other characters see things as well as the reader's view point. I admit I didn't enjoy this book as much as I have other ones that Haddix has written. But middle grade readers looking for a new twist on the dystopia tale may very well like this one.
ABOUT THE BOOK
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 the Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late?
In this second book of the Children of Exile series, the point of view shifts from Rosi, who told of her experiences in the first book, to Edwy, Rosi's frenemy. After discovering a shocking secret in their new hometown, Rosi and Edwy get separated. Each is left to deal with the upheaval in their lives alone. In this book, Edwy gets sent away from the town that he and the other children were originally left in, and sent across the border into Refuge City. Once there he finds himself living with a brother and a sister he didn't know he had while struggling to make sense of he past and present. While he likes some things about his new life, he can't help but remember the things the Freds taught him. And Rosi. He can't seem to forget her. But she's trapped back in what he now knows as Cursed Town and he's in Refuge City. What can he possibly do to help her? Like many second books, this one continues to increase the tension of the series as Edwy and Rosi struggle to find their place in there new circumstances. And like many second books, this one ends on a cliffhanger, which makes sense as there is to be a third book. I found myself getting much more involved in this book than the first one. Maybe because now I know the characters and the problems they face better.