The People of Sparks (Books of Ember Series #2)

The People of Sparks (Books of Ember Series #2)

4.3 589
by Jeanne DuPrau

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The People of Sparks picks up where The City of Ember leaves off. Lina and Doon have emerged from the underground city to the exciting new world above, and it isn’t long before they are followed by the other inhabitants of Ember. The Emberites soon come across a town where they are welcomed, fed, and given places to sleep. But the town’s resources are…  See more details below


The People of Sparks picks up where The City of Ember leaves off. Lina and Doon have emerged from the underground city to the exciting new world above, and it isn’t long before they are followed by the other inhabitants of Ember. The Emberites soon come across a town where they are welcomed, fed, and given places to sleep. But the town’s resources are limited and it isn’t long before resentment begins to grow between the two groups. When anonymous acts of vandalism push them toward violence, it’s up to Lina and Doon to discover who’s behind the vandalism and why, before it’s too late.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this ambitious sequel to The City of Ember, "DuPrau offers a thought-provoking novel about brinkmanship and the way societies can plant the insidious seeds of war," according to PW. Ages 8-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 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. Meister, Yeshiva of Central Queens, Flushing, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
At the end of The City of Ember (2003), Lina and Doon had found the way out of their doomed underground home. At the opening of this hotly anticipated sequel, they have led some 400 survivors to the village of Sparks, a community of above-ground dwellers only just beginning to see prosperity after years of Disaster-induced privation. Although the citizens of Sparks uneasily welcome the Emberites, the two groups, propelled by suspicion, narrow-mindedness, and misunderstanding, find themselves battling over resources and power in a depressingly familiar dance. A climax such as the ending to the previous tale is by definition followed by an anticlimax, and this offering, deprived of its compelling setting and situation, has lost some of the drive and focus of its predecessor. Still, Lina and Doon remain engaging protagonists, and they are joined by emotionally credible new characters. Although some of the scenes deteriorate into set pieces ("One bad thing after another leads to worse things," muses Lina. "So you do a good thing, and that turns it around"), this fast-paced tale of post-Apocalyptic strife will resonate with new and returning fans alike. (Fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Books of Ember , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
760L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
What Torren Saw

Torren was out at the edge of the cabbage field that day, the day the people came. He was supposed to be fetching a couple of cabbages for Dr. Hester to use in the soup that night, but, as usual, he didn't see why he shouldn't have some fun while he was at it. So he climbed up the wind tower, which he wasn't supposed to do because, they said, he might fall or get his head sliced off by the big blades going round and round.

The wind tower was four-sided, made of boards nailed one above the next like the rungs of a ladder. Torren climbed the back side of it, the side that faced the hills and not the village, so that the little group of workers hoeing the cabbage rows wouldn't see him. At the top, he turned around and sat on the flat place behind the blades, which turned slowly in the idle summer breeze. He had brought a pocketful of small stones up with him, planning on some target practice: he liked to try to hit the chickens that rummaged around between the rows of cabbages. He thought it might be fun to bounce a few pebbles off the hats of the workers, too. But before he had even taken the stones from his pocket, he caught sight of something that made him stop and stare.

Out beyond the cabbage field was another field, where young tomato and corn and squash plants were growing, and beyond that the land sloped up into a grassy hillside dotted, at this time of year, with yellow mustard flowers. Torren saw something strange at the top of the hill. Something dark.

There were bits of darkness at first-for a second he thought maybe it was a deer, or several deer, black ones instead of the usual light brown, but the shape was wrong for deer, and the way these things moved was wrong, too. He realized very soon that he was seeing people, a few people at first and then more and more of them. They came up from the other side of the hill and gathered at the top and stood there, a long line of them against the sky, like a row of black teeth. There must have been a hundred, Torren thought, or more than a hundred.

In all his life, Torren had never seen more than three or four people at a time arrive at the village from elsewhere. Almost always, the people who came were roamers, passing through with a truckload of stuff from the old towns to sell. This massing of people on

the hilltop terrified him. For a moment he couldn't move. Then his heart started up a furious pounding, and he scrambled down off the wind tower so fast that he scraped his hands on the rough boards.

"Someone's coming!" he shouted as he passed the workers. They looked up, startled. Torren ran at full speed toward the low cluster of brown buildings at the far end of the field. He turned up a dirt lane, his feet raising swirls of dust, and dashed through the gate in the wall and across the courtyard and in through the open door, all the time yelling, "Someone's coming! Up on the hill! Auntie Hester! Someone's coming!"

He found his aunt in the kitchen, and he grabbed her by the waist of her pants and cried, "Come and see! There's people on the hill!" His voice was so shrill and urgent and loud that his aunt dropped the spoon into the pot of soup she'd been stirring and hurried after him. By the time they got outside, others from the village were leaving their houses, too, and looking toward the hillside.

The people were coming down. Over the crest of the hill they came and kept coming, dozens of them, more and more, like a mudslide.

The people of the village crowded into the streets. "Get Mary Waters!" someone called. "Where's Ben and Wilmer? Find them, tell them to get out here!"

Torren was less frightened now that he was surrounded by the townspeople. "I saw them first," he said to Hattie Carranza, who happened to be hurrying along next to him. I was the one who told the news."

"Is that right," said Hattie.

"We won't let them do anything bad to us," said Torren. "If they do, we'll do something worse to them. Won't we?"

But she just glanced down at him with a vague frown and didn't answer.

The three village leaders–Mary Waters, Ben Barlow, and Wilmer Dent–had joined the crowd by now and were leading the way across the cabbage field. Torren kept close behind them. The strangers were getting nearer, and he wanted to hear what they would say. He could see that they were terrible-looking people. Their clothes were all wrong–coats and sweaters, though the weather was warm, and not nice coats and sweaters but raggedy ones, patched, unraveling, faded, and grimy. They carried bundles, all of them: sacks made of what looked like tablecloths or blankets gathered up and tied with string around the neck. They moved clumsily and slowly. Some of them tripped on the uneven ground and had to be helped up by others.

In the center of the field, where the smell of new cabbages and fresh dirt and chicken manure was strong, those at the front of the crowd of strangers met the village leaders. Mary Waters stepped to the front, and the villagers crowded up behind her. Torren, being small, wriggled between people until he had a good view. He stared at the ragged people. Where were their leaders? Facing Mary were a girl and a boy who looked only a little older than he was himself. Next to them was a bald man, and next to him a sharp-eyed woman holding a small child. Maybe she was the leader.

But when Mary stepped forward and said, "Who are you?" it was the boy who answered. He spoke in a clear, loud voice that surprised Torren, who had expected a pitiful voice from someone so bedraggled. "We come from the city of Ember," the boy said. "We left there because our city was dying. We need help."

Mary, Ben, and Wilmer exchanged glances. Mary frowned. "The city of Ember? Where's that? We've never heard of it. "

The boy gestured back the way they had come, to the east. "That way," he said. "It's under the ground."

From the Hardcover edition.

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The People of Sparks (Books of Ember Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 589 reviews.
scottroberts More than 1 year ago
At the end of THE CITY OF EMBER, Lina and Doon found their way out of their dying city. Now most of the Emberites have followed them, and are ready to begin a new life in a world they know nothing about. They never knew they were underground, and things on the surface are strange to them. The Emberites are taken in by a village called Sparks, and at first all seems to go well- but soon tensions grow up between the two different peoples. While Doon watches the troubles, tries to help and instead becomes embroiled in the worst of it; Lina wanders off in search of the white city she has so long dreamed of. These are characters you come to care about, to root for. The Ember series has much to say about hopes and dreams, fears and prejudices, and our very instinct for survival.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read the book of ember......YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! It is the second in the series. It is full of adventure and excitement! Lina and Doon get caught in a fire in Sparks! Check it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to do a book Report on it and i loved it so much now i have read it 4 times.
Morbrymom More than 1 year ago
This is a children's book that all adults should read. It has a deeper meaning of people learning to accept each other's differences. This is a very easy but good read.
Cristina Wyatt More than 1 year ago
This boook is so awesoe! I'm only on page 27, and I already love it! I just can't put it down! I Luv this series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! READ IT! READ IT! READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
Guest More than 1 year ago
The People Of Sparks starts off slow, and you may have thoughts of quiting, as I have. The middle of the book is very interesting. That where you start to question what will happen next. Thats one of the things I like about this book, that you will feel you never want to put it down. I've stayed up 'till 2:00am reading the book because it was so intriguing. The closer to the end you get, the more urge you have to read it.If you do read this book, read it all the way through. Just because its not interesting in the beginning, doesn't mean its boring throughout the whole book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great books, a must read series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read the first book you will love this book it is like the same but a little bit better then the first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am only 12 but this book was great. It made total sense and had a lot of suspense. I read the first book of this series and it was great, then this book connected right into the first book. I was told not to read the 3rd book so now im on the 4th book and it is great. This is a must read series by jeane duprau. Awesome book. READ READ!
XxBookLoverxX More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. I have to Admit, though, I liked the first one better. But this isn't a bad book. Far from it. Infact, this is a great book, just not as thrilling and adventrous as the first. In this one there is the adventure.. The adventure of the people of Sparks and the Emberites getting through their differences, the mystery of the Weapon, and more that I don't wish to reveal to those who havn't read it. I do ive it a 4 star rating though! Read it! You might like it more than I did! READ!!!!!! Yours Truly, XxBLxX
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our class read the first book and it was amazing. I highly suggest this book to anyone who loves suspense and action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In our class we are reading it and already I love it a lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the greatest book series I've ever read! A must read for lovers of mystery and suspense, it completely deserves 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good and I recomend it to anyone who's patient. I didn't like that the book didn't have any action at all until the mid-end of the book. I liked the suspense of it when it happened. This book has been a very good book. I found myself reading it whenever I had time to. Kinda like how Lina drew on her spare time with the blank pages at the end of the book. I didn't like that at the end Torren didn't admit that he was the one who threw the tomatoes at the wall. This book is espiacally good book to those who are learning about the human footprint. It sends a very clear message of how that might be how we have to live in the future if we do't take action now. I give this book four and half stars. Read this book and I bet you'll agree with me. thanks for reading my review on this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok, this was the most coolest book EVER!!! i really luv science fiction, and the ember series are the best!
Maddie Giordano More than 1 year ago
i loved this book all of the books in the ember series are GREAT i reccomend this to allllllllllllllllllllllll ages I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really good I don't remember much of it, but I remember that was really good. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best sequal ever and it was just as good as the first one. The author just as good descriptions as in the first book. I really hope that third book is just as good i haven't got a chance to read yet but if I do I am sure I will like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best bookever love the sieris
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Id totally read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall pretty good. The First book was better, but I can't wait to read the third. A lot of new characters, but also many returning characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great! Can't wait to read the next one " The Prophet of Yonberg"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nannananianana im gonna start a fight. Nanananan were all gonna get in a fight. So so what im still a rockstar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sounds really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)