Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Prophet of Yonwood (Books of Ember Series #3) by Jeanne DuPrau

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

It’s 50 years before the settlement of the city of Ember, and the world is in crisis. War looms on the horizon as 11-year-old Nickie and her aunt travel to the small town of Yonwood, North Carolina. There, one of the town’s respected citizens has had a terrible vision of fire and destruction. Her garbled words are taken as prophetic instruction on how to avoid the coming disaster. If only they can be interpreted correctly. . . .
As the people of Yonwood scramble to make sense of the woman’s mysterious utterances, Nickie explores the oddities she finds around town—her great-grandfather’s peculiar journals and papers, a reclusive neighbor who studies the heavens, a strange boy who is fascinated with snakes—all while keeping an eye out for ways to help the world. Is this vision her chance? Or is it already too late to avoid a devastating war?
In this prequel to the acclaimed The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, Jeanne DuPrau investigates how, in a world that seems out of control, hope and comfort can be found in the strangest of places.

My thoughts:
While reading The City of Ember and The People of Sparks I wondered how the world got to point where they needed to build an underground city to preserve humanity.  This book had a interesting story embedded in the framework of how our world let things escalate to the point that weapons of mass destruction were unleashed upon countries, causing civilization to lose so much.

Nickie and her aunt go to clean out the home of Nickie's great-grandfather.  Everyone is wary of strangers and thinks anyone could be a terrorist.  After a woman has a vision while taking her wash off the line, the citizens try to interpret her sketchy proclamations to save themselves.  In the small town, things after thing is outlawed in the effort to save the town from the coming destruction.  They get rid of music and dancing, lights and dogs, all following the prophets rants.  At first Nickie wants to help the woman who is trying to rid the town of evil to protect them all, but then she begins to question how God could want all these things done in his name.

A lot of questions about how the world reached the point it has when we see it for the first time in The People of Sparks are answered here.  Through the forward and the afterward some of the missing pieces are filled in.  This book opened up a lot of discussion points for having faith, using your own common sense, following the crowd and believing in yourself, and the importance of working things out and using your words.  It offered a very bleak picture of what can happen if we allow our pride to get too wrapped up in our dealings with others.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739331095
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/9/2006
  • Series: Books of Ember Series , #3
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jeanne DuPrau has been a teacher, an editor, and a technical writer. The People of Sparks is the sequel to The City of Ember and her second novel. She lives in Menlo Park, CA, where she keeps a big garden and a small dog.

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