The People of Sparks by JEANNE DUPRAU
Reading level: Ages 9-12
When teenagers Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow lead their people up out of the Earth, fleeing their dying underground city of Ember, everything is new and a little frightening to the refugees--the sun and the moon, birds, trees, fireā?¦and the people of Ember are strange to the 322 citizens of Sparks, one of the few towns on Earth to survive the time of The Disaster.
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How can they feed and house the 400 Emberites, the leaders of Sparks wonder, when they have just begun to be able to feed themselves comfortably? But if they donā??t, these underground people with no survival skills will surely die in the wastelands. They take them in as best they can, but grumbling and bad feeling grows on both sides. Lina returns from a failed search for her persistent vision of a city of light to find the town, egged on by the power-hungry young thug Tick, once again at the point of war, forgetting how the Earth has been destroyed before. But Lina has seen the devastation left by The Disaster, and so she risks a brave move of reconciliation, and when Doon exposes Tickā??s trickery, the two sides join as the new people of Sparks.
In this exciting and solidly constructed sequel to The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau moves the story on entrancingly, bringing along her cast of characters from underground and adding new dimensions and relationships as the action escalates to a satisfying conclusion that still allows for further volumes in this fine fantasy. (Ages 10 to 14)