Sunday, November 27, 2011

City of Ember

Duprau, J. (2003). The City of Ember. New York: Yearling.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Residents of the City of Ember begin to panic when the electricity and generator begin to fail. They must figure out something quickly before the lights go out for good and the Emberites are left in dark, dark world.


What is life like for a person in the City of Ember? For starters its pitch-black, all the time, except for the old lights strung across the city. You choose your job out of a bag filled with little papers with different jobs written on them. You stand in line for hours at the warehouse for supplies just to be told that the city has recently run out of the requested item. You are constantly worried that the lights will go out for good as rumors of the generator failing permeate the city.

Lina and Doon, citizens of Ember, are intelligent, curious, and hopeful. Brought together by their shared concern about the eminent blackout, Lina and Doon work together to find out more about the inner-workings of the city. Doon's father gives them cryptic adivce to live by:

"The main thing is to pay attention. Pay close attention to everything, notice what no one else notices. Then you’ll know what no one else knows, and that’s always useful.

Join them in their search for truth and a brighter future in a world consumed by darkness. Will Lina and Doon succeed in saving the people of The City of Ember?


  • ALA Notable Book
  • Black-Eyed Susan Award, 2005-2006
  • Borders Original Voices
  • California Book Awards, Commonwealth Club of California
  • Chapman Award for Shared Reading (Esmé Raji Codell)
  • Child Magazine’s Best Children's Books, 2003
  • Children's Literature Association of Utah Book Award
  • Kirkus Editor's Choice, 2003
  • Land of Enchantment Book Award, New Mexico
  • Mark Twain Award, 2006
  • Nevada Young Reader’s Award
  • New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • New York Times Bestseller List (Children's Paperback Fiction)
  • Nutmeg Children’s Book Award, Connecticut
  • Publisher's Weekly Flying Start
  • William Allen White Children’s Book Award, 2006
  • Young Hoosier Book Award, Indiana

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