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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)

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» See also 235 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
The City of Ember is about two kids named Lisa and Doon who are trying to get out of Ember. Lights have been going out, and when you are 11, you must draw a job and do that job for three years. Lisa draws Pipeworks Laborer, and Doon draws Messenger. They trade and are both happy. As the lights are flickering, they are discovering clues to get out. I liked this book because the characters were up for anything to get out of Ember. I recommend this book to people who like fantasy. ( )
  AnnabelN8 | Nov 11, 2015 |
Charming in some ways, but surprisingly short. ( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
To view an annotated bibliography of this title written for EDLI200, expand the spoiler entry below:

Young Adult
Fantasy Fiction
Science Fiction

Estimated age level of interest:
Middle Grades

Estimated reading level:
Grade 5

Brief description:
The city of Ember exists in a world of total darkness. The only light that exists comes from the electric lamps in town and everything beyond the city’s borders is unreachable, shrouded in an impenetrable blackness. But when the power begins to fail and supplies run low, two young people, Lina and Doon, must find a way to save Ember by leaving the city for the Unknown Regions.

At least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and how they appear in this book:
One major characteristic of dystopian fiction described in Chance’s text is that such books often involve “dehumanizing situations and totalitarian governments”. In the city of Ember, citizens do not have a choice in what path their lives take; they have a job assigned to them at a young age and spend the rest of their lives working in that occupation, whether they like it or not. This system has been in places for generations and is overseen by a corrupt mayor who, as the reader discovers, has been hoarding supplies for himself and keeping the truth about how dire their situation is from the citizens of Ember. When Lina and Doon learn of the mayor’s unforgivable activities, they try to go to the authorities with the information only to be treated as criminals for for having done so. Classic dystopian literature, through and through.

Another characteristic of the genre is that the societies depicted often have a populace that lives in a state of perpetual fear and limitation. The darkness that engulfs Ember is filled with mystery, and the prospect of confronting the unknown terrifies the city’s inhabitants. What’s more, as the city begins to experience power outages with increasing frequency, the possibility that their only safe haven could go dark as well throws the city into a state of panic and hysteria. Without a means of transporting a light source with them, the citizens are trapped within the boundaries of the city, prisoners to the light and to their own fears.

In what ways and how well does the book as a whole serve its intended audience?
Lina and Doon are energetic, curious, and determined, all characteristics that one would hope to encourage and foster in young people. They overcome adversity and seemingly insurmountable circumstances to accomplish what others have told them is impossible. And they do so out of a sense of altruism toward the terrified citizens of their city, in hopes of saving them from impending doom. The kindness and tenacity demonstrated by these young heroes affirms for young readers that, despite their age, they are capable of accomplishing great things if they pursue them with passion.

Awards, if any:
ALA Notable Children's Books
Kirkus 2003 Editor's Choice
Publisher's Weekly Flying Start
Borders Original Voices
Child Magazine, Best Children's Books of 2003
Winner for children's literature, California Book Awards, Commonwealth Club of California
Chapman Award for Shared Reading (Esmé Raji Codell)
State readers' choice award winner in: Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Kansas, Indiana, Nevada, Missouri, and New Mexico.

Links to published, professional reviews, if any:
Editorial reviews available through…

Titlewave: http://www.titlewave.com/search?SID=850b167e010758c576cd4aaa33596706

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375822747?ie=UTF8&isInIframe=1&n=28315...

( )
  nphill85 | Oct 12, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 314 (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.
Last words
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References to this work on external resources.

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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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