Disclosure: I received Children of Exile and Children of Refuge free for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you make a purchase.
Children of Exile Series
Children of Exile and Children of Refuge are the first two books in the latest series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. If you know anything about middle grade or young adult books, you know that name. Haddix is the author of many books and is popular for her Shadow Children series and Missing series. The Children of Exile series is another sci-fi/dystopian middle grade series that Haddix’s fans are sure to enjoy.
Children of Exile
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?
Children of Refuge
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?
Children of Exile starts the series well. We learn who the main characters are, where they’ve been, and where they are now. Rosi and Edwy are the main characters, but this first book is mainly Rosi’s story. Rosi has no idea who her real parents are, but that is fine with her. She lives with her “Fred” parents and her younger brother Bobo in Fredtown. It’s the only life she has ever known. It is an ideal life where children and adults are taught how to be civil and kind to one another.
One day everything changes. The children learn they are going home to be with their “real” parents. None of them wants this, but they don’t have a choice. They’re put on a plane and sent home. Home is nothing like Fredtown. People are angry and poor and dirty. Rosi’s parents are kind to Bobo, but mean to her. She can’t understand this. She can’t understand anything about her new home or her parents.
When Rosi’s friend, Edwy, from Fredtown goes missing, she fears the worst. That he has been kidnapped. She inadvertently starts fighting in the marketplace, and, from there, things happen quickly…spoilers…so I won’t go into that.
This leads to the end of Children of Exile and the beginning of Children of Refuge.
Children of Refuge is Edwy’s story. He was always suspicious of his Fred parents, but now that he is home, he finds out his real parents are criminals. When Rosi thinks Edwy is kidnapped, she makes it so that Edwy’s father has to have Edwy moved out of the city for his safety. Children of Refuge was much more exciting and informative than the first book.
In this book, we find out why the children were taken from their real parents and some of what has happened since that time. Edwy is moved in with his older brother and sister who live in Refuge City and have since the time Edwy was taken as a baby. Though they were only toddlers at the time, the Freds only took newborns, so his siblings were left behind.
Both books are very well-written with great characters. You’ll need to read them in order since it is a series. I know fans of Haddix and her sci-fi books are going to want to read the Children of Exile Series. I’m looking forward to seeing what the third book brings.
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.
She has since written more than 25 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of Time; Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey; Leaving Fishers; Just Ella; Turnabout; Takeoffs and Landings; The Girl with 500 Middle Names; Because of Anya; Escape from Memory; Say What?; The House on the Gulf; Double Identity; Dexter the Tough; Uprising; Palace of Mirrors; Claim to Fame; the Shadow Children series; and the Missing series. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series.
Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and more than a dozen state reader’s choice awards.