It’s been almost four years since I read The City of Ember, the first in DuPrau’s series about civilization after a series of wars that destroyed much of the planet’s cities, structures, and resources. In The City of Ember, a group of people has been living underground for over 100 years with their entire city powered by generators. A young girl and boy discover the forgotten instructions from the city founders for leaving the underground dwelling and returning to the surface. I really enjoyed it, and thought the movie version (released in 2008) was actually a great adaptation.
The People of Sparks is about what happens once the people from Ember arrive on the surface. Things are drastically different not only from their home underground but from the world we know – many types of technology have been all but forgotten, and there are legends and stories about the way things used to be. It was an interesting vision. Plus, the plot was well-written, the characters were believable, and I want to read the further books – and see the movies, if they make any more! Recommended for 5th grade and up.