The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau | Teen Ink

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

March 1, 2011
By _KTLS_ PLATINUM, McMurray, Pennsylvania
_KTLS_ PLATINUM, McMurray, Pennsylvania
33 articles 0 photos 9 comments

“Shouts of alarm came from up and down the street, and then silence. Lina stretched her arms out. Was she facing the street or the building? Terror swept through her. I must stand still, she thought. The lights will come on again in a few seconds, they always do.”

Lina’s entire life has been dictated by the lights in Ember. They usually work, but the city is in year 241 now, and sometimes they fail. When they fail, the entire city is plunged into Darkness until someone can get the lights back on again. Ember is the only place with living people – no one’s ever been able to venture outside the city because they have no way of seeing in the Darkness that surrounds them. Lina believes that there are other people out there somewhere, though; she just doesn’t know how to go about finding them. When she finds half-destroyed instructions that seem to hint at what she’s believed all along, she calls upon her old friend Doon, and together they try to piece together the enigma that is Ember.

Ember asks the reader to think about what life would be like if the only way to save humanity was to move a small portion of people underground for a couple of centuries just to ensure that at least someone would survive an impending apocalypse. Even though this book is probably aimed at fifth through eighth graders, I thought it was an interesting, thought-provoking read, and I am interested to see what happens to the inhabitants of Ember in the next book, even if the writing style is a bit juvenile for my tastes. The City of Ember provides readers with a different view of society and shows the audience how people react under the threat of low food supplies and an almost-constant fear. I would recommend this book for both boys and girls with an interest in what our lives could be like in the future.


The author's comments:
I've been doing book reviews for every book I've read lately, and this is one that I read recently. It's about eight years old now, but the message in it is still clear, and I believe that this book is a good one for students who are just starting on the study of man and how different people react to difficult situations differently.

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