Monday, February 25, 2008

The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau

  • 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
This is the sequel to The City of Ember, and it follows the story of the people of Ember after they escape the underground city into the real world. On the plus side: they have escaped from a dying city which was running out of electricity and supplies. The bummer: it's a post apocalyptic world and it kind of sucks to never have been outside in the sun and heat before.
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...

1 comment:

Amber Baynor said...

These books are soooo great!! I can't wait to see City of Ember in theatres! Have you heard about that yet? Fox and Walden Media are releasing it on October 10th of this year! I can't wait to see the action/adventure come to life, especially with Bill Murray playing the villainous Mayor Cole! I'm also an official ambassador for City of Ember, and we have a few exclusive, first-look pictures that i think you'd really like.
Would love to share them with you and have you involved in spreading the word about City of Ember as much as possible!

I hope posting on your blog did not overstep any bounds.

Look forward to talking with you soon!

Amber Baynor
Official Ambassador