Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Diamond of Darkhold (Books of Ember Series #4) by Jeanne DuPrau

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

When a roamer trades them an ancient book with only a few pages remaining, Lina and Doon return to Ember to seek the machine the book seems to describe in hopes that it will get their new community, Sparks, through the winter.Months have passed since young Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow were forced to escape the dying subterranean city of Ember and flee to the town of Sparks, where they must struggle through a harsh above ground winter. The situation seems hopeless until they chance upon a battered, fragmentary book that contains references to a device that could save them and their doomed city. To find that wondrous machine, the pair must descend to a realm where every hope seems but an echo….

My thoughts:
Doon and Lina come up with a plan to try to help their new home city of Sparks get through a tough winter.  Sparks is struggling with it's new population and the general difficulty of winter as well as a lack of medicine for those who are sick.  The two former Emeberites decide to go back to their old city to find out what the builders left for them that is hinted at in the book they bought from a roomer.  They also hope to salvage some food and materials from the city below the ground.

Unfortunately when they get there they find out that their old home has been found by someone else and their mission is nowhere near as easy as they thought it would be.  They both need to use some courage, daring and imagination to find a way out of the situation they find themselves in.

This book had a lot of embedded teaching moments, for example what becomes of a civilization when we lose access to history and technology.  How reading can, and is in some places still today,  a luxury.  How even those who act most confident and exude a mien of knowing it all can be totally wrong.  Just as book three gave a lot of history of how the world came to the terrible point we encountered it in the other books, this book reaches out years into the future and shows how it is possible to regain civilization and to move forward.  How this fictional dark age doesn't mean that all people will give up, how we always retain the will to move forward and make things better.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375855719
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/26/2008
  • Series: Books of Ember Series , #4
  • Pages: 304

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