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The People of Sparks

(Book of Ember #2)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  48,774 ratings  ·  3,382 reviews
An alternate cover can be found here.

The sequel to the critically acclaimed The City of Ember continues the story of Lina and Doon, who have emerged from the underground city to the exciting new world above. 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.
Paperback, 338 pages
Published 2004 by Yearling
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  48,774 ratings  ·  3,382 reviews

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Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book 6 stars, I would. I enjoyed City of Ember as a fun, quick YA read, but this sequel is just as entertaining, while also being profoundly thought-provoking and insightful.

I loved that the main characters - Lina and Doon - are honest and warm, with realistic struggles: Doon is still working on controlling his temper, and Lina's curiosity and impulsiveness still tend to cause trouble. However, they are both guided by good advice and a strong conscience, paving the wa
Feb 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sequel that holds true to its original characters, but puts them in a totally different situation and set of adventures. If I had one problem with these books, it would be that I suspect the authour starts writing the books with a "what values can I leave the readers with?" idea in her head. But, to her credit, I usually agree with her values (avoiding crowd mentality, being tolerant, solving problems non-violently) and the story is exciting enough anyways.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: apocalyptic, ya
Compared to the first book, People of Sparks comes off very one noted. The message--"War is bad." And that message comes across in the most surface of ways. Lena and Doon lose their interesting personalities and instead become silhouettes. Lena screams, "I want to explore" and Doon yells, "No more war." The book lacks the interest and intrigue of the first book and instead becomes a poor peace call for the world. Given the possibilities of having a previous lost civilization meet one recovering ...more
Sara Saif
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who would listen
Recommended to Sara by: Myself

This is a lovely series. The kind of dystopia where people actually live with the consequences, instead of, you know, evolving into advanced societies with kings/queens/mutants/totalitarian governments that are obsessed with deathly competitions. Get what I'm saying? This feels real. Hundreds of years ago humans were jerks. BOOM. Everyone died and now centuries later, with a significant portion of the population and technology kaput, they are struggling to stay alive and trying to make small adv

Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people looking for good ol' post-apocalyptic kid's books
Shelves: juvenile, sf
Frustrating but ultimately pretty decent sequel to the fascinating "City of Ember", this picks up right after the finish of the first volume, as the entire populace of the dying underground city make their way out of harm's way, into the upper world. "Sparks" covers the travails of the next few months, as the Emberites encounter a small town struggling to get by, with a population even smaller than the 400 survivors of the underground world. There are two major problems with the book I think, fi ...more
I didn't like this book as well as the first one, which I found much more interesting. And I found the "lesson" of the story at times too heavy handed and simplistic. But simplistic isn't always a bad thing in children's stories I suppose. I was mostly bothered that for even those who did not want to fight regarding the disagreement there didn't seem much understanding of the other side or awareness that they didn't have a right to expect a share in provisions others had worked for for themselve ...more
Oct 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
Last fall I raced through City of Ember and really enjoyed the world and the characters. The ending wasn't a cliffhanger per se, but it really left me wondering what would happen much so that I raced out and bought the next book. Sadly, life got busy and it took me another 4 months to finally read the continuation.

In Sparks there are some rather significant changes to the plot dynamics which allow for some intriguing new commentary on humanity and social interactions. We're given a po
6/3 - I started reading this on the train this evening because my other current book was way too big to fit in my handbag and I didn't want to have to carry it in my hands for the whole night, so I chose something more compact and this was it. I managed 31 pages before I met my friend at the train station. From those 31 pages I can already see that it has similarly immature language and that there's going to be a number of lessons to be learned while reading this book. Was DuPrau a school teache ...more
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fifth/sixth grade readers, fans of juvenile literature
Shelves: young-readers
Please tell me that if there really was a war that killed most of humanity, stupid people would not be left in they apparently were in The People of Sparks. Truly, the leaders in both Sparks and in the preceding City of Ember are exceedingly elementary in their thinking. Why wouldn't the people of Sparks just look on the Emberites as newly added, contributing members of their society? Instead of isolating the Emberites, why not allow them to work and better the city of Sparks? But, ...more
Christina Morland
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found The People of Sparks, the second book in the Book of Ember series, to be an even stronger book than its predecessor. Author Jeanne DuPrau’s use of imagery and character development seemed more engaging this time around, and while the first book probably had a more compelling plot for younger readers, this sequel did a better job of wrestling with big questions about human nature.

As a story about refugees and the community attempting to absorb these migrants, The People of Sparks is a great read for discu
Linda Hart
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a sequel to New York Times bestselling dystopian The City of Ember. The first book, Ember, was a story of setting and plot, while Sparks is a story of characters and relationships. The author has done good job of capturing the tensions involved in a refugee situation, especially one where there aren't enough resources to go around--a better job, I think, than most adult books on the topic.

As a Middle school or Young Adult read it opens the door to a good discussion of the difficulties and rewards of poli
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was afraid after the ending of City of Ember, the next books will lose the fantastic, gripping aura the first book has.

At least People of Sparks proved that I was wrong. It is highly exciting, it kept me reading with a heart that beat faster than usual, wanting to know how it all would end, feeling all the basic and even more complicated emotions in my heart as I went through the pages.

The books are set in a post-apocalyptic world. The world is healing; things start to get better,
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book did a really good job of capturing the tensions involved in a refugee situation, especially one where there aren't enough resources to go around -- a better job, I think, than most adult books on the topic. The tensions were clearly presented, and the emotions were well shaded and realistic. While the book did slide a bit towards having people turn out to be "good guys" and "bad guys," I think it's not any more so than any political discussion; I'm sure most readers hate certain actual ...more
Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy young adult lit
Recommended to Holly by: Lark
I really enjoyed the simplified concepts of war in this book. It discussed how war begins and how to stop it before it goes to far. Choosing good is hard and even harder when we are physically or emotionally hurt by someone else. It made me think about making the right choices in tough situations. It's nice that you learn small bits about the "disaster" but that is not the focus of the book. I liked the way Lina and Doon both carried on through this book. They went there separate ways and came b ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Now freed from the slowly darkening City of Ember, Lina and Doon lead about 400 citizens across the war ravaged wasteland until they stumble upon Sparks. Faced with abandoning these people to the wastes or taking them in, the Town Council votes to adopt of the people of Ember for six months, until they can learn to fend for themselves.

Fear of food shortages and rising tempers lead to traded worlds and animosity between the two peoples, and soon, there's the threat of violence. Doon,
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this series.
Aug 18, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
In this sequel to "The City of Ember", 400-odd Emberites leave their dying city for the outside world. There, they find a village named Sparks, and ask for help. Of course, it's not that easy. The population of Sparks is only about 300, and is inclined to be suspicious of these strange, pallid, undersized people who seem to know nothing of the basics of life. Then, too, there's a limit to how much spare food they have... On the other side, the Emberites have difficulty coping with weather and ha ...more
Clara Biesel
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really, really like this book. I read The City of Ember years ago, and knew there were sequels, but hadn't gotten around to reading them. While Ember explored fascinating ideas of equality and scarcity, The People of Sparks is a post-apocalyptic narrative in which the solution is not to take up arms and destroy the oppressors, (as in most YA of this genre) but for everyone to do the hard, sacrificial work of coming together to solve the problems of a troubled world. The way it deals with us vs ...more
George Kulz
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I like how this book in the series is a more complete story, as opposed to the first one. Also, I like that this is a completely new adventure with the same characters from the first book, so that this book could stand alone on its own. And, I like the messages of this book, although they seem a bit heavy handed at times. The best image of all was the ending, which I won't give away in case people haven't read it yet, but it's a nice tie-in to the first book, as well as a simple symbol of hope f ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was so much better than the first one.
I LOVE the main characters. Lina and Doon they're just... GOOD. Good people. They're brave with great morality.
I liked Kenny and Maddy's characters. They were so wise and lovable.
Caspar seemed to me like a bad cartoon villain, twisting his mostache and laughing in a weird way. He was a joke.
I HATED Torren. At the end, after all that happened he didn't say thank you or sorry. HATED HATED HATED. So immature!
Tick was a douchebag. So happy he
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade readers
This is the second book in the series. It's good, not great - a bit too preachy in places and the conflicts were overly inflated and deflated a bit to perfunctorily at the end.

Also, I was surprised that the many skills that the people of Ember had were not put to use in helping to design more advanced technology. If they were able to fix it, they would have at least some idea how to create it (pumps, electricity, food production, etc.)

In addition, I felt that many of the characters
Andrew Munroe
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
After rereading this book from last year I found how cleshay the book really was. I thought it would be as good even better the second time I read it.
Brandon O'Neill
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youthlit
A great follow up and moving ahead of the story. Can't wait to see where it goes from here.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I wasn't expecting to read this, and I'm not sure how well it moves the story. But it does offer a nice explanation of hatred and bigotry.
Jessica Hall
The book The People Of Sparks by: Jeanne Duprau, the second book in the series is a book about the pickup of when the people of Ember finally left the darkness of their town. They started exploring the nature around them for they have never seen such things. Soon after the people of Ember left, they came upon a small village called Sparks. The people of Sparks were very confused and concerned when they saw all of the people walking around there village. The people in Sparks were really generous ...more
Vishal A
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"It looks as if those people have never seen the sun as they gazed deep into the Sun's heart." That is an important quote from the book People of Sparks written by Jeanne Duprau. The book The People of Sparks was very well thought out and detailed with many different twists and turns that you would never imagine.
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 s
Just Call Me Kathy
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: twenty-13
The first book was an okay read. I did like the world building, though.

Because I intended to know what happens next, I picked the second book right away. And going through the first part of the book I made a conclusion that I would like this better than the first. And I did!

The story follows right away from where the first book left. The second book showed the struggle of the Emberites to learn, adapt, and live in the new world they are now in.

The pacing in this book was
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Although not as strong as the first book in the series, People of Sparks is an interesting continuation of The City of Ember. Lina and Doon still figure prominently in the above-ground, post-apocalyptic community that is struggling to regain its foothold in the world. Overwhelmed by the Emberians, the outnumbered and unprepared citizens of Sparks begin by taking in the new families and giving them food and shelter, but the situation quickly deteriorates as scarcity and resentment build within both gro ...more
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Jeanne DuPrau spends several hours of every day at her computer, thinking up sentences. She has this quote taped to her wall: "A writer is someone for whom writing is harder than it is for other people" (Thomas Mann).

This gives her courage, because she finds writing very hard. So many words to choose from! So many different things that could happen in a story at any moment! Writing is

Other books in the series

Book of Ember (4 books)
  • The City of Ember
  • The Prophet of Yonwood
  • The Diamond of Darkhold
“When someone has been mean to you, why would you want to be good to them?' 'You wouldn't want to. That's what makes it hard. You do it anyway. Being good is hard. Much harder than being bad.” 329 likes
“People didn't make life, so they can't destroy it. Even if we were to wipe out every bit of life in the world, we can't touch the place life comes from. Whatever made the plants and animals and people spring up in the first place will always be there, and life will spring up again.” 35 likes
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