(Cover picture courtesy of Tumblr.)
When Lina and Doon lead their people up from the underground city of Ember, they discover a surface world of color and life. The people of a small village called Sparks agree to help the Emberites, but the villagers have never had to share their world before. Soon differences between the two groups escalate, and it’s up to Lina and Doon to find a way to avoid war!
In the riveting sequel to the highly acclaimed The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau explores the nature of conflict and the strength and courage necessary to overcome it.
When I was around the target age group, I read The People of Sparks and it really taught me a lot about people and why we seem to be hardwired to fight each other. One act of violence against a group leads to more violence and we have what everyone calls the Snowball Effect. This was quite new to me when I was an innocent (well, relatively innocent) kid and even now it’s helped me understand why there is so much hatred in the world. So I definitely give Jeanne DuPrau props for that.
On the other hand, I didn’t like the overall plot of The People of Sparks as much as I liked the plot of The City of Ember because the first book had a real sense of urgency to it. The lights were flickering, people were running out of supplies and everyone in Ember would die if something wasn’t done soon. Despite the very real threat of war, I really wasn’t feeling the urgency in the second Book of Ember. Lina and Doon have changed quite a bit and for whatever reason, I really couldn’t connect with them as much, both when I was younger and when I re-read the book last week.
That being said, Jeanne DuPrau does teach readers truths about the world that they might not learn on their own for a very long time. I respect her for that and even though now the message of her book seems a little preachy, back when I was a kid the message seemed pretty subtle.
I give this book 4/5 stars.