Bulldog Library

City of Ember

on February 22, 2013

YA F DuPrau    •    AR Reading Level: 5.0    •    AR Points: 9.0    •    Quiz #69274


In the City of Ember, everyone goes to school until they are twelve.  On their last day of school, they choose a job at random from an old cloth bag.  Lina wants nothing more than to be a messenger.  Doon hopes for a job in the pipeworks where he might get a glimpse of the aging generator, the city’s only source of power.  When Lina draws pipeworks and Doon draws messenger, the two classmates decide to change jobs.

In the pipeworks, Doon learns that the situation in Ember is more dire than most people know.  The generator is failing; it is only a matter of time before the generator stops working and the lights of ember go out forever.  Now Lina and Doon must find a way out of Ember guided only by a document that is so badly damaged that it is nearly unreadable.

A novel set in a dystopian future, The City of Ember is a very interesting book.  This book, like the note Lina finds, is a riddle to be solved.  Readers will journey with Lina and Doon as they discover the truth about the city of Ember, how it came to be and if there is a way to escape the dying city.  The reason why the city of Ember was built is only alluded to in this book.  Presumably, readers will learn why Ember was needed in subsequent volumes of this series.  Readers who enjoy dystopian novels, such as The Giver and The Hunger Games, will likely enjoy The City of Ember.   However, be forewarned before starting this book: The City of Ember has a very exciting cliffhanger ending!  Upon finishing this book, you will want to immediately start reading The People of the Spark to find out what happens next!

Genre: Dystopian Fiction  •  Interest Level: grades 4-8

2004 ALA Notable Children’s Books

DuPrau, J. (2003). City of Ember. New York, NY : Random House.


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