Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Publisher: Yearling Books
Lina and Doon live in a world of darkness. With just flickering lanterns and feeble house lights, the City of Ember lives in fear of the darkness closing in. When Lina and Doon receive their assignments as city workers, they find out that the city is in worse condition than most people have imagined. Blackouts in the city begin to increase in length and frequency. Resources disappear and citizens worry how much longer they can survive on the limited stores. There are contagious problems with thievery in the government. Then, Lina finds a clue from the city’s founders. Together, Lina and Doon work together to make meaning of the clue, hoping it will lead the City of Ember to a brighter tomorrow.
The City of Ember is an intriguing tale. Jeanne DuPrau, the book’s author, skillfully develops the eerie setting of Ember, a singular light in a world of blackness. The book begins with a sense of fearful urgency, and this tone prevails throughout the book. Though the plot could be described as a bit slow at first, this pace ultimately works to the advantage of the story because it emphasizes the unique personalities of the characters and the gravity of their situation. This book piques the interest of readers as they consider the heavy decisions Lina and Doon wrestle with on behalf of their town. The City of Ember provides a thrilling read for people anywhere from the late elementary years into adulthood.