Fiction Friday

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So I wrote one post for Fiction Friday on my friend Amanda’s blog, The Teaching Thief, last year and then I don’t know what happened! So this year, my goal is to try to be a more faithful blogger. I read books all the time, but I rarely stop to write about them because I am off to find the next book. This year, I decided that I was going to go back in time and finish up some series that I started, but never got around to finishing. You know the ones. You start one book of the series but it is such a long wait until the next books that you have to find books in between which causes you to stumble onto another book series and distracts you from ever going back to the other series. It’s a problem for me. So many good books… so little time.

So without further ado… the series I decided to finish first is the City of Ember series. Read the first book again with my students this last year, and have now finished The People of Sparks, and The Prophet of Yonwood.

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In The People of Sparks, by Jeanne DePrau (pronounced Jean DuPro) Lina, Doon and the rest of the City of Ember find themselves in a world that they don’t understand. They are begrudgingly taken in by the people of Sparks, a small village/town that just started prospering after a long struggle because of the big disaster that the wars and plagues caused on earth. Everything starts out great with the people of Ember working for the people of Sparks in exchange for food and lodging. After some time, the people of Sparks start to worry that the people of Ember are going to literally eat them out of house and home. Incidents start happening to the people of Ember and a build-up of tension leads to a big standoff. Tough decisions have to be made as Doon and Lina try help their people.

Honestly, I will admit that I usually love the first book of a series more than any other book and this one is no exception, but I did enjoy reading it and for those kids who love familiar characters, this book will keep them reading no doubt. Where the overall message of the City of Ember was curiosity leads to wisdom, I think the overall message of the people of Sparks is understanding leads to accepting. The people of Sparks could not understand why the people of Ember were so ignorant of the world around them and made the assumption that they were stupid because of it. I think the book has a great overall message to both kids and adults alike.

Fast Facts:

  • Read Aloud 3-6
  • Readability 5.1
  • Guided Reading Level U
  • Lexile 760L
  • Chapter Book
  • Fantasy/Science Fiction/Series

9780375875267_xlgIn The Prophet of Yonwood, by Jeanne DePrau, the U.S. is in a verbal conflict with the “Phalanx Nations”. The entire United States is on high alert as rumors of terrorists and spies, and imminent war dangle over U.S. citizens heads. Even the people of the small town of Yonwood are not spared from the worry. To make matters worse, Althea Tower has had a vision of terrible distruction and Brenda Beeson has made it her job to take the mutters from Althea’s unconscious lips (messages from God) and translate them for the town. If the town is to be saved, she thinks, there must be no sin. So she sets out to eradicate sinners from the town.

The story is seen through the eyes of a girl named Nickie who is traveling with her Aunt Crystal to her great-grandfather’s house in Yonwood. He has recently passed away and Aunt Crystal wants to fix up and resell the house. Nickie has three goals as she heads towards Yonwood. First, she wants to make this house her home so that her family can get out of the city. Her mom works hard, her dad is always gone working on projects for the government, and so she is left feeling alone. Her second goal is to fall in love, and her third is to do something helpful for the world.

As the story is played out, Nickie struggles to do what is right. Is right following Brenda Beeson and helping her find “sinners” so that she can slap horrible bracelets on people until they either change their ways or agree to move out of town? Or is right protecting those she loves and cares about including Otis, the dog she falls in love with, and the snake loving Grover?

The hardest thing with this third book of the series is that you have to read to the very end to see how it connects with the first two books. I can see how some students might want to ditch the book at first before finishing. City of Ember is by far still my favorite in the series, but these other books were enjoyable to read as well.

Fast Facts: 

  • Read Aloud: 3-6
  • Readability 4.3
  • Lexile 760L
  • Guided Reading Level R
  • Chapter Book
  • Fantasy/Science Fiction/Series

Happy Reading ;D

Rebecca Rèe

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