The Prophet of Yonwood (Ember, Book 3)

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Prophet of Yonwood (Ember, Book 3) Book Poster Image
Don't look for much Ember here. But OK for tweens.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A boy lies to play hooky.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some teens smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's little to be concerned about here, but lots to think and talk about.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybatlady April 9, 2008

You have to read this after reading the other two in the series.

Jeanne DuPrau weaves an intricate story of the events leaading up to the City of Ember. She drops clues along the way, and then neatly tidies them up at the en... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byGUY3457786 October 9, 2010
Teen, 15 years old Written May 22, 2010

(Very) Slow pace

Was okay as a teen, younger children who enjoyed the first two books will definitely find it boring as the pace is excruciatingly slow at times, and has absolut... Continue reading

What's the story?

The world is staggering toward war once again. The President has issued an ultimatum to the Phalanx Nations, there are bombings and other terrorist acts, and people live in fear as they prepare for the worst.

Nickie is sick of it all, so she gladly jumps at the opportunity to travel to Yonwood, North Carolina, with her aunt to ready their ancestral home for sale. Nickie, however, has other plans -- she hopes to convince her family to keep the home and move there, away from the city and the war.

But the war has come to Yonwood too, as an old woman has visions of destruction, and her friend, Mrs. Beeson, interprets these visions as commands from God to insulate the town with goodness. Nickie wants to change the world, and helping Mrs. Beeson root out wrongness in the town seems the way to do it.

Is it any good?

Fans of the Ember series may be in for a disappointment. Despite saying "The Third Book of Ember" on the cover, this book has absolutely nothing to do with Ember until the very last, tacked-on chapter connects some of the characters with Ember some 50 years after the conclusion of the story.

Ignoring Ember, though, and taking the book on its own terms, this is a fascinating allegory with much to say to 21st-century children growing up in a world filled with terrorism and religious fanaticism. As in the previous book in this series, The People of Sparks, the ways in which fear can lead essentially well-meaning people down the road to totalitarianism, intolerance, and acquiescence to evil are made clear. Less believable are the events in the larger world, especially the mystifying hints around what causes the country to pull back from the brink.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about war and its relationship to religion. How can misunderstanding and differences in belief lead to fighting? Could someone like Mrs. Beeson really gain power this way?

Book details

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate