- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Yearling (April 12, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375828257
- ISBN-13: 978-0375828256
- List Price: $5.99
- I finished this book on Feb. 20
So, our pilgrims find themselves in the city of Sparks, one of the only fledgling cities of survivors that is finally starting to prosper. The town decides that they have to take in the residents of Ember, which about doubles their population. This, of course, puts a huge strain on the resources and tolerance of the people of Sparks. Eventually, tensions rise, until there is a confrontation between the two peoples.
What is cool about this story is how well DuPrau tells both sides of the story. You can really feel for both the citizens of Sparks and the Emberites. Also, there are jerky people on both sides of the fight and cool people. Eventually things are wrapped up with a neat bow, as you'd expect. This is a very middle school moral of the story kind of book. Predictable for me, but perfect for young readers.
Here's my thing, though: I know why they didn't want the people in Ember to know about the outside world. But...why keep it a secret from the world once it's over and done with? The people of Sparks don't even believe them...ever. Very annoying and implausible, I feel. There is one lame nursery rhyme meant to remind people, but even that is misinterpreted. I feel I would have left some info, maybe a general game plan for re-entry. Just sayin...