Amazing Kids! Magazine

The People of Sparks

by Jeanne DuPrau

Reviewed by Ryan Traynor, age 11, Emerald Hills, CA

Recommended for ages 9+

The People of Sparks is about a town of 322 people called “Sparks” that has survived a worldwide disaster.  After striving to survive on their own, a group of 400 people emerge from the underground (City of Ember) who have survived the disaster as well.  These people need the people of Sparks to help them with food, shelter and healthcare or they will die in the wastelands. These new people are not familiar with the ways of the people aboveground.  Resentment begins to brew on both sides when sharing of the new world becomes difficult.  The Emberites (people from the City of Ember) feel overworked and underfed and the Sparks people feel angry about having to share their resources. The two main characters, Lina and Doon, are forced to find a way to stop another disaster from destroying both groups of people.  To find out how, you need to read this exciting and interesting book.

Even though this book is the sequel to The City of Ember, the author reveals many new characters and anyone can start this book without reading the first one. I believe that this book is just as exciting and interesting as the first one as it explores how people react when they are faced with sharing in a situation with limited resources.  The characters come alive with the descriptions and I felt as if I was actually in the town, trying to survive in the aftermath of a disaster. It was exciting how the kids were able to bring out the best in people at the end and stop the total destruction of mankind, giving them hope for the future.  The theme focuses on nonviolence being the answer and when to stand up for yourself.

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