City of Ember

“The trouble with anger is, it gets hold of you. And then you aren’t the master of yourself anymore. Anger is.” – Jeanne DuPrau, City of Ember


City of Ember written by Jeanne DuPrau

Published by Yearling in 2003

BLURB: Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness…

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?

My Take On It: This is one of the books that I read with my son for his school’s Battle of the Books that I previously posted about. I generally like dystopian novels and so I was excited to see one written for children. The story was really good. It got my son and myself engaged and excited to read more. Lina and Doon, our main characters, are only 12 years old when they are thrust into responsibility and jobs that contribute to society in the city of Ember. I was able to start a conversation with my son about whether or not he would be ready to go out and get a job and take care of his siblings in a year and a half. Ha ha! He is a lucky boy that he doesn’t need to do that. It was also exciting for both of us to speculate on how the mystery would be solved and what would happen. It was a story that showed how courageous and strong you can be no matter how old you are.

My 5th grader is a great reader. He is above grade level and he doesn’t “need” me to read with him. I am not saying this to brag (even though mom bragging is ok in short doses). I am saying this because it is such a great opportunity to bond with your kids. All of my kids enjoy either reading to their parents or with their parents. In fact, even when I don’t read the book with them they like to come and tell me about what they’ve read. I hope with all my heart that this fosters a continued love of reading throughout their lives.

So if you haven’t read a book with your kid, do it! And if you need a good recommendation for 4th to 6th grade age group, City of Ember is a good one to start with for a boy or girl!

What books have you and/or your children read that you’ve loved?






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