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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember

by Jeanne DuPrau

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Books of Ember (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,337310619 (3.87)235
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» See also 235 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 311 (next | show all)
Accidentally got hooked into this because it has one of the most intriguing prologues of all time. I recommend this novel to someone who wants a child to read The Giver but they're too young, too academically unprepared for its vocabulary, or too intellectually immature for its concepts. This is an accessible novel, much less disturbing and controversial, about discovering the truth about your society (the greed lurking in what you thought was benign government), persevering enough to make a difference (and needing to break rules to do so), and it provides an excellent resource for teaching literary analysis at a lower level than Lowry's Giver. Now that I've discovered it, I will use it to differentiate instruction on the skills for which I use The Giver. I'll have both novels going at once, this one for the students who need extra support and something a little less complicated.

I also recommend this to the type of person who really appreciated Lowry's The Messenger. However, Ember is in no way the same league as Lowry, so I'm not really recommending this to adults as excellent literature. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
A terrific book, simply and beautifully written. I like books that make it clear there is (or could be, or should be) a sequel in the works, but that don't drive the reader out of her mind by not answering any of the questions raised at the very beginning. (I'm sure it's not just YA books that often do this, but they're what I'm reading most lately.) Also, I was glad to see lots and lots of female characters of all ages, interests, and abilities -- and I don't think anyone's "accusing" this of being a "girl" book. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
My kids and I enjoyed listening to this book, but while it was fun and somewhat suspenseful, it didn't really blow my mind. There are a few things I don't really buy about Ember as a city, one being that in more than two centuries, no one managed to figure out how to make a torch or a flashlight. I mean, really. Even if the builders of the city didn't think to include portable lights (which I find doubtful being that they were building a city with no natural source of illumination), are the people who live there so lacking in curiosity and imagination that they couldn't have figured this out in all of those years? Same thing with learning how the generator works. I also find it strange that they know the word "sky" but not the word "heavens."

There are some decent lessons in this novel, but DuPrau kind of beats us over the head with them. Can young adults not handle subtlety? Maybe they can't, but how are they going to develop the skill if they never get any practice at it? And while I'm at it, I'm a little confused about the YA designation. Are twelve-year-olds "young adults"?

The ending was cinematic (although unlikely), but when we finished the book, my kids didn't say, "Let's get the next one!" Instead they said, "Now that that book's done, let's listen to the Chronicles of Prydain again!"

Now that I read my review, I wonder why I gave it three stars, but all three of us did look forward to our next opportunity to listen and the kids chose this over Wild Kratts this afternoon, so that's got to count for at least one star, I think. That and I think maybe DuPrau is making a reference to Plato's Simile of the Cave, which I think is kind of cool (although if she is making this allusion, it's way more subtle than anything else in the story, so maybe the connection is accidental). ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jul 29, 2015 |
A 12 year old girl and boy team up to save their doomed city. Some peculiar speculation involved but the author handles the emotional scenes - the death of a grandmother, families facing separation, fear of the end of the characters' world, and discovery of a new dawn - are very well done. I don't think of this as YA fiction but it's pretty heavy for middle school readers. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
I loved this book so much in elementary school that I reread it in high school. The thoughts of a girl and realizations of a world beyond their city is just so entertaining to follow. I would recommend this book to any of my students for independent reading. This book and its sequel are appropriate for third through seventh grade.
  Sarah.Lew | Apr 30, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 311 (next | show all)
While a book like ''Faerie Wars'' diverts young readers from their daily lives, one like ''The City of Ember'' encourages them to tackle the most ambitious tasks. Hard work can save the day, it promises. It's an old-fashioned lesson that is somehow easier to swallow when delivered in a futuristic setting.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanne DuPrauprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Riely, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
When the city of Ember was just built and not yet inhabited, the chief builder and the assistant builder, both of them weary, sat down to speak of the future.
In the city of Ember, the sky was always dark. The only light came from great floodlamps mounted on the buildings and at the top of poles in the middle of the larger squares.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375822747, Paperback)

It is always night in the city of Ember. But there is no moon, no stars. The only light during the regular twelve hours of "day" comes from floodlamps that cast a yellowish glow over the streets of the city. Beyond are the pitch-black Unknown Regions, which no one has ever explored because an understanding of fire and electricity has been lost, and with it the idea of a Moveable Light. "Besides," they tell each other, "there is nowhere but here" Among the many other things the people of Ember have forgotten is their past and a direction for their future. For 250 years they have lived pleasantly, because there has been plenty of everything in the vast storerooms. But now there are more and more empty shelves--and more and more times when the lights flicker and go out, leaving them in terrifying blackness for long minutes. What will happen when the generator finally fails?

Twelve-year-old Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet seem to be the only people who are worried. They have just been assigned their life jobs--Lina as a messenger, which leads her to knowledge of some unsettling secrets, and Doon as a Pipeworker, repairing the plumbing in the tunnels under the city where a river roars through the darkness. But when Lina finds a very old paper with enigmatic "Instructions for Egress," they use the advantages of their jobs to begin to puzzle out the frightening and dangerous way to the city of light of which Lina has dreamed. As they set out on their mission, the haunting setting and breathless action of this stunning first novel will have teens clamoring for a sequel. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

» see all 4 descriptions

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