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 was an adult before I found out that my father was afraid of heights. That’s because when my brothers, sister, and I were little, he made a conscious decision to try to avoid passing on his fear to us.As a farmer, my dad had a job where he routinely found himself at the tops of haywagons, haymows, grain bins, and elevator legs, so it couldn’t have been easy hiding his fear. Still, I have a distinct memory of standing on the rickety second-story fire escape of a church with my father when I was about seven or eight, and saying to my older brother, “Aren’t we lucky that our parents aren’t scared of letting us do this?”At various cheesy roadside tourist attractions across the Midwest and South—Rock City, for example—he and my mom let us jump up and down on suspension bridges over great chasms or climb to the tops of hills without constantly nagging us, “Be careful! That’s not safe!”
And so my siblings and I grew up with so little fear of heights that, as an adult, my younger brother even went bungee-jumping in New Zealand. (He may have carried his fearlessness a bit too far, but that’s a commentary for a different blog post.)
I was partially thinking about my father’s example when I wrote the Children of Exile series, which involves adults consciously trying to break a long history of much more dangerous, damaging beliefs than a slight paranoia about high altitudes. Twelve-year-olds Rosi and Edwy, the main characters of the first book, Children of Exile, have spent their entire lives in a community of children taken away from their parents as infants. Then suddenly all the kids are sent home, and they have to figure out how to cope in totally foreign circumstances, with parents they don’t understand.
Shortly after Children of Exile was published, readers alerted me to news stories about children in Italy being removed from families where there had been long generations of criminal activity. Authorities had come to the conclusion that the entire culture was toxic, and the only way to break the cycle of violence, revenge, and lifelong crime was to break up the families where children learned that way of life.
It is a terrible thing to separate a child from a parent. History is also full of examples of authorities deciding to eliminate a group’s culture for racist, ignorant, and cruel reasons—as when Native American children were taken from their families and sent to schools where they were punished for speaking their own language.
The Children of Exile series is written for kids, not adults, and I don’t expect readers to come away from it with a fully formed opinion of what criteria should and should not be used for deciding how to break damaging family cycles by removing a child completely. But I hope readers will empathize with Rosi and Edwy, and even their parents, too.
By the time of the third and final book in the series, Children of Jubilee, which came out December 4th, Rosi and Edwy and their siblings and friends are making their way out into a dangerous world and facing a host of questions, including: Who am I? How much am I like my parents, and how much do I want to be different? How much control do I have over my own life and my own reaction to it?
Those are actually questions that every kid will face at one time or another in life. It’s my hope that thinking about Rosi and Edwy’s dilemmas can also help readers think more deeply about their own—regardless of how well they know their parents.
December 3rd — Beach Bound Books
December 4th — Ms. Yingling Reads
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 HaddixBooks.com.
To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win one (1) set of the Children of Exile trilogy (including all three books: Children of Exile, Children of Refuge, and Children of Jubilee).
- One (1) winner will receive the complete Children of Exile trilogy: Children of Exile, Children of Refuge, and Children of Jubilee
- US/Canada only
Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies. All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.