Luke Garner is a shadow child from a poor family, a third child who is living illegally in his attic.
When rich families move in behind his house, he sees movement when supposedly everyone has left, and decides to investigate, risking people knowing of his existence.
He meets Jen Talbot, another shadow child who’s father is a government official. She lives under her father’s bribery. Jen tries to convince Luke to revolt against the government with other shadow children, but he refuses.
Jen goes to the protest anyway with about 50 other kids. The police open fire and kill most of them, including Jen.
Luke breaks into Jen’s house while looking for her and set of an alarm. He texted in a chat that Jen had showed him that was full of shadow children(now dead), and the police were alerted. Jen’s dad bribes the police and helps Luke hide.
Luke has to leave the city, so Jen’s father gives him a new identity(that of a child who recently died), and is sent off to have a new life.