The Prophet of Yonwood

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The Prophet of Yonwood
First edition cover
Author Jeanne DuPrau
Country United States
Language English
Series The Book of Ember series
Genre Young adult, Science fiction novel
Publisher Random House
Publication date
May 9, 2006
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
Pages 289
ISBN 0-375-87526-3
OCLC 61295777
LC Class PZ7.D927 Pro 2006
Preceded by The People of Sparks
Followed by The Diamond of Darkhold

The Prophet of Yonwood is an apocalyptic science fiction novel by Jeanne DuPrau[1] that was published in 2006. It is the third "Book of Ember" of the series, and a prequel to The City of Ember. It is set about fifty years before the Disaster and the establishment of Ember, and approximately three hundred years before the events of The City of Ember, The People of Sparks and The Diamond of Darkhold.


  • Nicole (Nickie) Randolph - An eleven-year-old girl visiting Yonwood with her aunt to prepare for the sale of Greenhaven. She eventually becomes one of the founders of The City of Ember.
  • Grover Persons - A local boy with a love of nature (especially snakes) whom Nickie befriends.
  • Althea Tower - Seeing a vision at the beginning of the book she is referred to as 'The Prophet'.
  • Brenda Beeson - A community leader who interprets the words of The Prophet and implements them in Yonwood as 'the war on evil'.
  • Crystal - Nickie's aunt who is keen to sell Greenhaven and leave Yonwood as soon as possible.
  • Amanda Stokes - The former carer of Greenhaven's owner who Nickie finds hiding in the house. She is later sent by Mrs Beeson to look after The Prophet.
  • Otis - A dog being kept hidden by Amanda and is later cared for by Nickie.
  • Hoyt McCoy - An astronomer opposed by Mrs. Beeson.


Community Crisis. As with all books in the Ember series, there is an underlying crisis within the wider community, nation, or, in the case of The Prophet of Yonwood, world. The tension between the US and the "Phalanx Nations" is a major contributing factor to the behaviour and motivations of the characters, especially Mrs. Beeson and Hoyt McCoy.

Loss of Civil Rights. The coming crisis (i.e. war) serves as justification to implement Mrs. Beeson's "war against evil." The book explores how rights can be voluntarily given up in the name of a safer community, even to the point of creating a rigid, dictatorial society where individual rights are subordinated.

Outsiders. In addition to Nickie, Hoyt McCoy is seen as an outsider. His position differs from Nickie's in that he regularly voices his opposition to the "war against evil." Both Nickie and Hoyt are, however, able to see the error in the way Yonwood is governed and it is through their actions (i.e. the actions of an external party) that the community is reformed. McCoy's actions are credited with providing the impetus to avert the coming war.

Absent Parents. Again, in common with the rest of the Ember series, the protagonist is deprived of at least one parent. Nickie is in the temporary care of her aunt, Crystal, and as with DuPrau's other lead characters, she develops a surrogate parental relationship in order to obtain support and guidance.