Study Guide

Among the Hidden Chapter 3

By Margaret Peterson Haddix

Chapter 3

  • Luke is chillaxin', trying to having fun playing with a train set. But really, all he wants to do it be outside. He's been cooped up for a week now and isn't even allowed in rooms with windows.
  • Mark bangs on Luke's door while calling out, "Population Police!" He means it as a joke (a really bad one) but Luke doesn't find it funny. Neither do we.
  • Still, Luke allows his brother to come up to his room (which is really the windowless attic).
  • After confirming that his joke made Luke nervous, Mark decides to be a good big brother and reassures Luke that the whole family has kept him a secret, so he's safe and shouldn't worry.
  • To surprise Luke (and us) even more, Mark then asks if Luke wants to play a game of checkers. But Luke isn't in the mood to play.
  • Alone in his attic-room, Luke wonders what would happen to him if something ever happens to his family and he's left stuck at home. Not exactly happy thoughts.
  • Just as he's thinking about how he once read of some "kids finding a deserted pirate ship, and then a skeleton in one of the rooms" (3.35)—and how that'll most likely be his—he looks to the only light bulb in his room.
  • But wait!
  • There's more light coming into the attic. Luke suddenly remembers the vents at each end of the roof and goes to see if he can get a glimpse of the outside world.
  • He can! There's not much to see out of the front vent, but the back one has a primo view of what once were the woods behind his house. Now, he sees all the demolition activity.
  • And not only that, but he can see people. People other than his family and the one tramp who once entered their house unannounced.
  • Luke is amazed at how different they all look but puts his spying on hold when his mom comes up to talk to him.
  • She tells Luke how she understands how hard it is for him to be under house arrest (really? she does?) but he plays it cool and says it's no biggie (even though it totally is).
  • Luke also makes the executive decision to stay quiet on his recently discovered window to the outside world, since je doesn't want to risk getting that taken away, too.
  • Despite keeping a secret like that from his mom, Luke is feeling pretty good. That is, until his mother says that things could be worse.