The Prophet of Yonwood | Teen Ink

The Prophet of Yonwood

May 29, 2009
By Kaitlyn Sturdy BRONZE, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Kaitlyn Sturdy BRONZE, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The Prophet of Yonwood

The book that I read was the The Prophet of Yonwood written by Jeanne DuPrau. The story was written in 2006 and published by Yearling. It is classified in the fiction genre and has 289 pages. The Prophet of Yonwood is about a girl named Nickie who has just lost her great-grandfather. She travels with her aunt to the town of Yonwood, North Carolina where she discovers a town in turmoil, and comes to learn what she truly stands for.

The tone of the story is fear and anxiety. The president of the United States has told the American people that the USA and the Phalanx Nations have reached an impasse. Each country will not give in to each other’s demands and if an agreement cannot be reached they will go to war.

The book begins with a woman named Althea Tower having a vision of fire and destruction. She becomes known in the town of Yonwood as the prophet. Nickie, the eleven year old from Philadelphia who has convinced her mother to let her travel to Yonwood with her aunt is the narrator of the story. The purpose of their visit is to get her great-grandfather’s castle-like house ready to sell. Nickie falls in love with the house and in exploring the different floors finds a girl named Amanda who used to care for her great-grandfather hiding there.

A friend of the prophet named Mrs. Beeson takes the prophet’s mutterings and interprets them in her own words. She insists that the people of Yonwood quit their bad ways and become good, so God would be with them. She in turn becomes the power that enforces policies in the town and makes the townspeople follow them. For those who do not choose to follow the rules they are forced to wear buzzing bracelets that cannot be taken off. Nickie tries to help Mrs. Beeson by spying on other people that are doing wrong. This includes Grover, a young boy who keeps snakes as pets and Hoyt McCoy who has studied the stars. Nickie regrets helping Mrs. Beeson when the rules become stricter and more ridiculous like no lights in the town and getting rid of all dogs because they take the love away from God. She finally finds the courage to confront the prophet regarding the rules and finds out that people who are afraid are willing to believe in anything.

The Prophet of Yonwood is a powerful book that deals with two of today’s most important issues. The first issue is we are living in a world full of terrorism. This is shown numerous times in the book when the president speaks to the American people regarding the Phalanx Nations and the negotiations between the two countries. It leaves you with a feeling of uncertainty and despair. The haunting question on everyone’s mind is; is there going to be a war? The second issue is a religious one. Every time the prophet speaks, the people are expected to follow her commands. There are many false prophets in the world today whose members follow their every order without question. As Mrs. Beeson said, “We’re going to make this a good and godly town through and through.”

In conclusion, The Prophet of Yonwood is one of the most fascinating books I have read. It demonstrates that people who are afraid are willing to believe in anything or anyone, and sacrifice their free wills. It reminds you that even though our lives may become chaotic, we have the ability to think and act for ourselves. I believe that is what Nickie did when she confronted the prophet. This book to me is amazing. I love the way each chapter concludes, it keeps you guessing every time with a few words used as cliff hangers which carry you to the next chapter. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves predicting, science fiction, and suspense. Even though it is the third book in the series, The Books of Ember, it is a prequel rather than a sequel to the other books. The series of books are spectacular.

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This article has 1 comment.

cupcake said...
on May. 16 2013 at 4:35 pm
I love this book. I have read the whole series in 2 weeks! I just can't put them down!