Lina and Doon successfully led the people of The City of Ember out of the darkness and onto the surface. Now they are in a strange world with no homes and only the food they carried with them. Everything seems great when discover a village nearby.

The People of Sparks are nice and agree to help them. But the toll of caring for so many refugees is high. Soon tempers flare and resentments grow. Lina and Doon must work together to prevent an all-out war between the two groups of people.

The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau

The People of Sparks

Author: Jeanne DuPrau

Age Range: 8 – 12

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Series: City of Ember (book 2)

Paperback: 352 pages

Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook

The story begins where the first book left off. When Lina dropped the note about their escape from Ember, she worried nobody would find it. She waited with Doon and her sister for over a day. Then the people started to emerge from the cave. Most of the residents, over four hundred people, had survived the dangers journey out of their dying city. The greedy mayor and his henchmen, however, did not. This made Lina and the Doon the temporary leaders as they had discovered the way out and saved everyone.

Now they were safe in the unknown surface world, seeing the sky, sun, trees, and animals for the first time. But they had no place to live and only the little bit of food and supplies they carried out with them. So they walked along an old road searching for the city that Lina had dreamed about. Soon they discovered a small village. It was called Sparks and had a few hundred people. There were only three known villages of people in the world since the great disaster.

The leaders of the village reluctantly agree to help the people of Ember by providing them food and shelter for six months while teaching them how to survive. They don’t believe that they could have been living in a cave, but are shocked at all of the things that they don’t know. As time goes on the citizens of both communities grow resentful of the other. Surviving in the world is difficult and the villagers are not happy about sharing their hard earned food and supplies. It starts with scowls and bad looks at the “other”. This escalates to name calling and small acts of aggression. Then when someone mysteriously destroys three containers of tomatoes, tensions escalate. The old world was destroyed by war. Lina and Doon must use their wits again to prevent history from repeating itself.

This fun, imaginative world will keep young readers engaged. It is a great sequel that introduces many new characters and beautifully expands the world. I especially loved the experiencing the different perspectives of multiple characters as the events unfolded. It gave great insight into how animosities and tensions can grow between groups.

The People of Sparks is a fantastic edition to this wonderful series. I highly recommend this book to all young readers.

Be sure to read my other reviews of books in The City of Ember series:

The City of Ember
The People of Sparks