A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A boy lies to play hooky.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some teens smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's little to be concerned about here, but lots to think and talk about.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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