December 06, 2018

Welcome to the Children of Jubilee Blog Tour! @MPHaddix @SimonTeen

Welcome to the Children of Jubilee Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Children of Jubilee (Children of Exile #3) on December 4th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from author Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win the complete trilogy!

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I didn’t plan it this way, but the last book of my Children of Exile series is coming out in the midst of some big anniversaries for two of my earlier series.

This fall marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Among the Hidden, the first book of the Shadow Children series, and the tenth anniversary of the publication of Found, the first book in the Missing series.

Anniversaries and endings are both good at sparking bittersweet nostalgia, so pardon me if I reach for a box of Kleenex here.

I still hear from lots of kids who are reading my older series; I also hear from a lot of older teens and adults who tell me, “I grew up on those books!” More and more, I even hear from teachers and parents who tell me, “I started reading those books when I was in fifth grade (or fourth or sixth, etc.) and now my kids are reading them, too!”

As a writer, I really should be capable of explaining how simultaneously delightful and humbling it is to hear what those books have meant to readers. But this is a case where my ability with words is inadequate.

But now that I am twenty years down the road from writing Among the Hidden and a decade past writing Found, I think about how my views of those books and the subsequent series have shifted over the years. And not just my views—other people’s, as well.

When I started writing Among the Hidden in the late 1990s, the United States was still in that golden phase when the Cold War was theoretically over, the economy was mostly doing well, and I (along with most other Americans, I think) had no idea of any of the devastating changes the early 2000s would bring. I looked to history and other countries to think about setting my story in a place where food was scarce and a totalitarian government had imposed population limits. One of my majors in college had been history; as I imagined the setup in my fictional country, I was thinking about the Nazis in Germany during World War II, the Secret Police in the former Soviet Union, the One-Child Rule begun in China after extreme famine and the deaths of millions.

In the entire seven-book series, I never once give the name of the country where Luke feels so endangered. And that was intentional.

And yet, after September 11, 2001, some people objected to kids reading the series because they saw the books as anti-government—and they thought that kids should only be getting pro-government messages at a time when our country was under attack. It didn’t seem to matter that the books were not about the American government; it didn’t seem to matter that the government in the books was clearly undemocratic and literally killing children.

It frightens me that some people apparently think patriotism means you shouldn’t speak out against your country’s actions no matter how appalling they are.

More recently, I’ve had several people ask me about a brief scene in Among the Brave the fifth book in the Shadow Children series, where a dictator promises to “make our country great again.” Among the Brace came out in 2004; was I predicting a President Trump?

I wasn’t. I thought I was writing fiction, and I wanted it to stay that way.

But now, as the political mood and attitudes and events change around us, I am no longer surprised at how that changes how readers view the Shadow Children series.

With the Missing series, which involves time travel, the stakes are even higher, since the kids trying to fix time could actually end up ruining it.  I was also thinking a lot about my fascination with history—and historical mysteries—as I began writing this series a decade ago. But barring the sudden discovery of a time travel device (which seems unlikely), all the time-travel dangers I got to explore in this series will probably always stay theoretical.

The other dangers the kids in the Missing series deal with—middle school, first crushes, annoying family members—may sometimes feel like life-and-death issues, but mostly aren’t.

My own kids were in middle school when I started writing the series (and in college when I finished it) so looking back at that series is very personal for me. My kids were right on the cusp of the time period when middle school kids routinely had their own cellphones, and that affected how I wrote the Missing series. I depicted Jonah and Katherine, the brother-and-sister main characters, as having parents who forced them to share the use of a single cellphone, because I knew several parents at the time who did that. Not so surprisingly, I don’t know a single kid now who has to deal with that!

My newest series, the Children of Exile, is set in the future and deals with humans coming into contact with aliens—and having to figure out how to deal with vastly different creatures. Although I am fascinated by the idea of humans interacting with extraterrestrials, I’m not expecting this to occur in my lifetime. So I’m not expecting my viewpoint or readers’ views of this series to change over time in the same way they did with the Shadow Children or the Missing series.

But who knows what could happen?


Blog Tour Schedule:

December 3rd — Beach Bound Books
December 4th — Ms. Yingling Reads
December 5thChristy's Cozy Corners
December 6thCrossroad Reviews
December 7th — A Dream Within A Dream

December 10th — Book Briefs
December 11th — Chat with Vera
December 12th — Bookhounds
December 13th — Java John Z's
December 14th — Unleashing Readers

Follow Margaret: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Kiandra has to use her wits and tech-savvy ways to help rescue Edwy, Enu, and the others from the clutches of the Enforcers in the thrilling final novel of the Children of Exile series from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Since the Enforcers raided Refuge City, Rosi, Edwy, and the others are captured and forced to work as slave labor on an alien planet, digging up strange pearls. Weak and hungry, none of them are certain they will make it out of this alive.

But Edwy’s tech-savvy sister, Kiandra, has always been the one with all the answers, and so they turn to her. But Kiandra realizes that she can’t find her way out of this one on her own, and they all might need to rely on young Cana and her alien friend if they are going to survive.

About the Author: 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


  • One (1) winner will receive the complete Children of Exile trilogy: Children of Exile, Children of Refuge, and Children of Jubilee
  • US/Canada only

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