The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

cityofemberduprauThe City of Ember


by Jeanne Duprau 

  • VOYA: 4Q4P M
  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385736282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385736282

Lina Mayfleet loves to run, so when it comes time to get her life job, she prays it will be as a messenger.  The career she draws, however, would trap her underground in the pipeworks.  She’s surprised, then, when Doon Harrow asks her to trade.  Who would want to work in the dangerous pipes instead of flying through the streets of Ember?  After trading, they both are pleased with their jobs and both display great talent for their careers.  Their paths begin to cross repeatedly, however, when both uncover troubling evidence that the city of Ember may be running of resources.  No one else seems concerned, even as blackouts occur more often for longer periods.  Are the generators giving out?  And what will happen when they do?  When Lina takes her concerns to the leader of Ember, however, no one will take her seriously and she and Doon join forces to find answers.  At home, Lina discovers a map that appears to lead out of Ember and into the unexplored and dangerous Unknown Regions.  Can Lina and Doon find a way to the city of light of Lina’s dreams?  And can they convince the citizens of Ember to take a chance before it is too late?

Duprau’s story is well told; young readers will enjoy discovering where Ember is and how it came to be.  The environmental lessons of the book are presented well and rarely feel preachy.  Doon and Lina are exceptionally well developed characters, and readers will to their struggles to be heard and taken seriously.  Many of the adults in the novel are surprisingly clueless and more than a few are ethically challenged, and both make good foils to Doon and Lina’s integrity and dedication.  Almost epic in scope, Emberis a good adventure story with plenty of relevant lessons for the modern reader.  Male and female readers should enjoy the tale equally, and readers of all ages will delight in Duprau’s startling new world.


3 thoughts on “The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

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