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The people of Sparks
Book
2004
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Gr. 5-7. In this engrossing sequel to The City of Ember 0 (2003), young Doon and Lina have led more than 400 people from the underground city of Ember to Earth's surface, where they find the hardscrabble town of Sparks and ask for help. Everything is strange and fascinating to the Emberites, and while the people of Sparks feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of the newcomers, they agree to help them as best they can. Things seem to go smoothly for a while, and then tempers rise: the Emberites feel overworked and under fed, and the Sparks inhabitants feel put upon for having to share their few resources. The tension grows until violence threatens to break out. Once again, Doon and Lina play a large role in events. DuPrau develops the growing distrust between the two groups in a natural manner and convincingly portrays the Emberites' struggle to adapt to so much that is completely new to them. A satisfying follow-up to the first book. --Sally Estes Copyright 2004 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

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) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
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.
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