Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 8X4.960741
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.
Paperback, 289 pages
Published on May 8, 2007 by Yearling
ISBN-10: 0440421241
ISBN-13: 9780440421245
18 Book Reviews
  • night21
    night21Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 9:01 am11 star
    This would have been an interesting book if all the stuff in like the last two pages was elaborated on! There was something about an alternate universe at the end, but it only lasted one page! The rest of the book was extremely boring.
    • jhinkle6
      jhinkle6Monday, May 16, 2016 at 6:58 am22 stars
      I did not like this book because it was slow, no climax and Jeanne Duprau put all of the important stuff in a couple of pages.
      • mibarra
        mibarraMonday, May 16, 2016 at 6:56 am33 stars
        The characters are Nickie and Grover. This is 50 years before Ember was made. The problem it that there is a lot of tourist. I didn't like this book that much. There was not much of a climax.
        • amartinez4
          amartinez4Monday, May 16, 2016 at 6:52 am22 stars
          I did not like this book at all because the author crammed everything at the end. There was no climax and no action. It was boring. When I started readin this book I thought that it will get better but towards the end nothing was changing.
          • mrupp
            mruppTuesday, April 12, 2016 at 9:45 am44 stars
            This book was awesome. I honestly thing that this was better than the ones with Lina and Doon. I give it an A+
            • dogedogman
              dogedogmanSaturday, September 12, 2015 at 8:01 pm
              i am number 1 fan of jeanne dupraeu i read the first two books at school ive been looking for this book for a year all ready and i found it now. ill do anything for this book. the details are very good and specific i love the action .
              • roxyWednesday, September 9, 2015 at 5:02 pm
                this book is really good becouse the first two series were really interesting and fun so,I recomand you to read it.
                • idklearnin
                  idklearninWednesday, September 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm44 stars
                  This is a really well written prequel to the other books in the City of Ember series. It not only explains how Ember came to be, it also tells a completely different story that eventually leads to the founding of Ember.
                  • books Friday, November 14, 2014 at 4:06 pm
                    i have only read the 1st book of this series and it is awesome i hope to buy the rest of the series and read them all i really really really want to figure out what the last of the series ends up i love the first book
                    • mchoverbord
                      mchoverbordTuesday, September 30, 2014 at 6:48 pm44 stars
                      This is a very interesting and well written book. It captures my attention every chapter I Read. I would recommend this book to any one who has read the prevues 2 books.