|The City of Ember Reissue Edition
Contributor(s): Duprau, Jeanne
ISBN: 0375822747 ISBN-13: 9780375822742
Publisher: Yearling Books
Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: May 2004
Annotation: The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.
"From the Hardcover edition.
|Library of Congress Subjects: |
|BISAC Categories: |
- Juvenile Fiction | Science Fiction
|Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11|
|Book type: Juvenile Fiction|
|Physical Information: 7.50" H x 5.25" W x 0.50" (0.45 lbs) 270 pages|
|Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.
"From the Hardcover edition."
Contributor Bio(s): anne DuPrau has written several books of nonfiction for children and adults. She has been a teacher, an editor, and a technical writer. The City of Ember is her first novel for middle graders. She is currently working on the sequel at her home in Menlo Park, California, where she keeps a big garden and a small dog.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall)
The city of Ember has no natural light, and the blackouts of its antiquated electrical grid are coming more and more frequently: ""disaster was right around the corner."" So thinks Doon, a curious twelve-year-old who, along with his spirited schoolmate Lina, determines to save the city. The writing is agreeably spare and remarkably suspenseful; fans will be pleased to know that there's plenty of room for a sequel. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2003 #3)
Unlike the rundown dystopia of Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue, the darkness of Ember is essentially literal. Its people, by and large, are honorable and civilized; its governance is democratic if quasi-theocratic; its economy frugal but fair. But there is no natural light in Ember, and the blackouts of its antiquated electrical grid are coming more and more frequently: "running out of light bulbs, running out of power, running out of time--disaster was right around the corner." So thinks Doon, a curious twelve-year-old who, along with his spirited schoolmate Lina, determines to save the city. On a deliberately limited canvas, first-novelist DuPrau draws a picture of a closed society, all of its resources taken from vast but emptying storerooms, with no travel possible beyond the lights of the city. The writing and storytelling are agreeably spare and remarkably suspenseful, and rather than bogging down in explanations of how Ember came to be and how it functions, DuPrau allows the events of the story to convey the necessary information. There's a contrivance or two in keeping the narrative moving, but even the device of a hidden letter, complete with missing words, is used with such disarming forthrightness that readers will be eagerly deciphering it right alongside Doon and Lina. The two protagonists are good sorts, distinctively if not deeply etched, and fans (note: there will be many) will be pleased to know that while Doon and Lina's mission is triumphantly concluded, there's plenty of room for a sequel. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2003 March # 2)
In her electric debut, DuPrau imagines a post-apocalyptic underground world where resources are running out. The city of Ember, "the only light in the dark world," began as a survival experiment created by the "Builders" who wanted their children to "grow up with no knowledge of a world outside, so that they feel no sorrow for what they have lost." An opening prologue describes the Builders' intentions-that Ember's citizens leave the city after 220 years. They tuck "The Instructions" to a way out within a locked box programmed to open at the right time. But the box has gone astray. The story opens on Assignment Day in the year 241, when 12-year-olds Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow draw lots for their jobs from the mayor's bag. Lina gets "pipeworks laborer," a job that Doon wants, while Doon draws "messenger," the job that Lina covets, and they trade. Through their perspectives, DuPrau reveals the fascinating details of this subterranean community: as Doon repairs leaks deep down among the Pipeworks, he also learns just how dire the situation is with their malfunctioning generator. Meanwhile, the messages Lina carries point to other sorts of subterfuge. Together, the pair become detectives in search of the truth-part of which may be buried in some strange words that were hidden in Lina's grandmother's closet. Thanks to full-blooded characters every bit as compelling as the plot, Lina and Doon's search parallels the universal adolescent quest for answers. Readers will sit on the edge of their seats as each new truth comes to light. Ages 10-13. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2003 May)
Gr 4-7-DuPrau debuts with a promisingly competent variation on the tried-and-true "isolated city" theme. More than 200 years after an unspecified holocaust, the residents of Ember have lost all knowledge of anything beyond the area illuminated by the floodlamps on their buildings. The anxiety level is high and rising, for despite relentless recycling, food and other supplies are running low, and the power failures that plunge the town into impenetrable darkness are becoming longer and more frequent. Then Lina, a young foot messenger, discovers a damaged document from the mysterious Builders that hints at a way out. She and Doon, a classmate, piece together enough of the fragmentary directions to find a cave filled with boats near the river that runs beneath Ember, but their rush to announce their discovery almost ends in disaster when the two fall afoul of the corrupt Mayor and his cronies. Lina and Doon escape in a boat, and after a scary journey emerge into an Edenlike wilderness to witness their first sunrise-for Ember, as it turns out, has been built in an immense cavern. Still intent on saving their people, the two find their way back underground at the end, opening the door for sequels. The setting may not be so ingeniously envisioned as those of, say, Joan Aiken's Is Underground (Turtleback, 1995) and Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993), but the quick pace and the uncomplicated characters and situations will keep voracious fans of the genre engaged.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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