The People of Sparks by Jeanne Duprau, 338 pages
young adult, It's the End of the World II, book 2 of a trilogy +1
If you haven't read The City of Ember, much of this review won't make any sense, or it may give away major plot points. Go back and read The City of Ember if you like young Young Adult or like dystopian, post-Apocalyptic fiction, especially if you are looking for titles for It's the End of the World Challenge II.
When Lina and Doon emerged from the City of Ember the adventure was just beginning. This book gives a look at what was going on in the world while they were in Ember. The major theme here is war, and how it starts, and how difficult it can be to avoid. the author sets up a situation where neither side is right, or wrong, just different and it makes it hard for the reader to take sides and allows you to see that each side has their justified reasons for thinking the way they do.
I thought this was a great little book for kids - my 11 year old son liked it, and was enjoyable for me too. It's not an adult book but it was nicely done for young teens and preteens. There is lots of fun for modern readers as the roamers scavenge for artifacts in destroyed towns, finding things like an ancient bird statue, painted pink that appears to be standing on one leg.
The next book in the series, The Prophet of Yonwood, is actually a prequel to the first book that sets up the situation. The last book, The Diamond of Darkwood, continues after The People of Sparks.