When the people of the underground city of Ember follow Lina and Doon to the surface, little prepares them for what they will encounter. Leaving behind the darkness that has been their home for generations, they discover a world of colour, warmth and light. The people of the small village of Sparks seem willing to help them ...at first ...but life on the surface has its dark side too. Before long the villagers of Sparks become more reluctant to share their precious resources with the strange, new underground people. Lina and Doon watch in horror as the differences between the two groups grow into resentment, anger and hate. Somehow they must help overcome the distrust, and bring the people of Ember and Sparks together.
ReviewGr 4 9-In this sequel to The City of Ember (Random, 2003), DuPrau continues the adventures of Lina and Doon, who have led the 400 residents from the underground city of Ember to the unfamiliar world above. The refugees are tentatively welcomed, housed, and fed by the people of Sparks, located near the wasteland left by the long-ago Disaster that destroyed most of civilization. Conflicts arise between the two groups, mainly due to the differences between the sheltered, electric-powered life in Ember and the low-tech, farming-based existence in Sparks. As conflicts and violence escalate, Lina explores the wasteland and Doon finds himself caught up in the rhetoric of the militaristic and charismatic Tick. A dramatic conclusion brings the characters together and gives hope for the future of both groups, resolving the current conflicts but leaving room for future adventures. While remaining true to her characters and the building tension of the story, DuPrau clearly explores themes of nonviolence and when to stand up for oneself. The text smoothly involves new readers and fans of the first story, creating a range of three-dimensional characters in both the Ember and Sparks groups. While less gritty and mechanical than Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines (HarperCollins, 2003), and more interpersonal than Lois Lowry's The Giver (1993) and Gathering Blue (2000, both Houghton), this title will hold a similar appeal for readers who enjoy speculative fiction. This novel will make them stop and think, and its immediacy and drive make it a good choice for even reluctant readers."-Beth L. MeisterAuthor Biography
Jeanne DuPrau has been a teacher, an editor and a technical writer. The People of Sparks is her second novel and the sequel to The City of Ember. She lives in California, where she keeps a big garden and a small dog.