The City of Ember

The City of Ember

Book - 2003 | 1st ed
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In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a messenger, to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385736282
Characteristics: 270 p. : map ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Novel Version - Check out the graphic novel by Dallas Middaugh!

List - Lexile Levels 600-690
SFPL_MollyM Mar 08, 2018


From the critics

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Mar 22, 2021

I would rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars! The City of Ember is about an underground city in which the people lived in a town of amazing lights for a long time. However, the city is now falling apart. The power goes out frequently, shrouding the city in darkness. The supplies and food for the people of the city are running out, leaving the people of Ember with limited options… Lina Mayfleet, a twelve-year-old girl living in Ember dreams to be a messenger on Assignment Day to explore new places in the city. Will Lina find a way out of Ember before the supplies run out and the city falls into complete darkness?
Lina is a curious and headstrong character and it is exciting to see her interact with other characters. The imagery feels like you are living in the darkness of the City of Ember. I highly recommend this book for 8 year-olds and up! It is filled with action and cliffhangers that will keep you reading!

Dec 08, 2020

City of Ember is from the perspective of 2 twelve-year-old kids looking for another world. All their life, Lina and Doon are told there is only one city, the City of Ember. But when everyday necessities are in low supply to the People of Ember, Lina and Doon are forced to look for help; possibly meaning leaving all they have every known to save their city. A mysterious box with a chewed up map, a greedy mayor, and a stone with an E carved into it, provides hope for Lina and Doon. Highly suggested to ages 9+. I loved this book! Adventurous, and truly well written. I cannot wait to finish the series!

Nov 30, 2020

City of Ember, written by Jeanne DuPrau, follows the story of two friends in their underground electronic society. The twelve year-old characters are forced to escape without being caught by their corrupt mayor. By following instructions that were written over 200 years ago will they even be able to escape? I really liked this book and it was written wonderfully. The storyline folds and flips as you read through the novel. I would recommend this book to an age group of 10-14 because it is a thicker book and deals with adult content.

Mar 16, 2020

Very much geared to a young children's audience.

Nov 08, 2019

This is a great book!

Sep 25, 2019

"The city of Ember was made for us long ago by the Builders. It is the only light in the dark world. Beyond Ember, the darkness goes on forever in all directions."
I read the graphic novel version of this book first, and fell in love with the story and setting. The city in question lies literally shrouded in darkness, and it is dying. Two twelve year olds discover a lost set of instructions which may save the residents of Ember- and they're determined to figure out what they mean and how they are meant to help the residents. DuPrau thinks of everything here- how the townsfolk acquire their jobs, how they grow their food, where their energy comes from, and even the storerooms that the legendary "Builders" left to them. The big twist is discernible, if you really sit and consider what's really going on behind the scenes, but it doesn't lessen the enjoyment of the story and the direction of the plot. The story is slow in parts, and feels like there's more filler than necessary, but that could just be due to the fact that I read the graphic novel first, which distilled all the important points down into a manageable size. The characters are real and relatable. The city is described and fleshed out in great detail, and you can see how the days and nights are spent for the residents of this dark city. It seems appropriate and understandable to any child over the age of nine or so. My ten year old really enjoyed it, and we're excited to get to the next to see what happens!

Sep 01, 2019

This book is amazing. Highly recommend y'all to read it.

Jul 11, 2019

The book is very interesting all together. In a way one could see this book as a message of light and hope. It makes you feel so good in a way that not many books can. And although it does get a bit boring and stretched out at times, it’s a lovely story, with a plot line that glows like a lantern in the dark.

Apr 06, 2019

I give it a yeet out of 10

Jan 04, 2018

This has been and always will be one of my favourite books!

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Age Suitability

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Feb 06, 2021

al22_ thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jan 08, 2019

blue_dog_8171 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 99

yellow_cheetah_1848 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jun 27, 2018

orange_cat_2945 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jun 05, 2017

violet_dog_8695 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

May 06, 2017

kinglee273 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 99

Oct 17, 2016

Bacon304 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Apr 14, 2016

black_bear_749 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Apr 14, 2016

jdjonny thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Nov 10, 2015

luvsing thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Nov 10, 2015

city of ember is a really realy really old city. one part the power had shut down.

ps i only read a part of the book lol

Jul 21, 2015

This book is about a young girl and boy named, lina and doon. There city is underground.There is light bulbs that are hung from the top of there city. Lina and doon have assigned jobs from there high school. Lina works in the pipeworks and doon is a messenger. Doon asks lina to switch jobs and they did. Lina and doon find a document that has bin chewed up. They find out the message and it is the way out of ember! They follow the instructions and enter, the real world. The see a hole in the ground! The look down and there is the city f ember at the bottom. The write a message and drop it down the hole. And hopefully someone inds it.

Jul 12, 2015

This book is about two kids, Lina and Doon who are a couple of the people who live in the city of Ember. They are both very curious and their curiousity takes them out of ember the underground city with failing food and power. Then they will be able to lead the others out as well.

Jun 25, 2015

Two twelve years old are trying to find their way so they can get out of their underground city.
Will they ever find their way out of ember the underground city?

Sep 24, 2012

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

Blue_Baboon_132 Aug 19, 2012

Lina wants to be a messenger but instead has to work underground.

May 04, 2012

The City of Ember is a magical story about two teens who finds their way out of a dark, underground city

Apr 18, 2012

In the City of Ember, lived two young teenagers named Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow. Surronding their city is nothing but total darkness. For 200 years, the citizens of the City of Ember lived in a world of amazing lights. But now, the buildings are crumbling, the supplies are decreasing and worst of all- the lights are starting to go out. When Lina finds an old box whos content may save the city from going to utter darkness, she discusses it with Doon. And unfortunately, as the contents of the box were ancient and that Lina's little sister has chewed on it, there are holes in the paper. The papers seem to be instructions for something..... can it be intructions to save their city?

lucky Jan 24, 2009

A young girl lives in a city where the lights are turned off at the exact same time every day, and where the generator that powers those lights is breaking down. Surrounding them is nothing but total darkness. Will she be able to save the whole city from living in utter darkness?


Add a Quote
Sep 19, 2013

But Ember is NOT prospering!!

Apr 25, 2013

“There is so much darkness in Ember, Lina. It's not just outside, it's inside us, too. Everyone has some darkness inside. It's like a hungry creature. It wants and wants and wants with a terrible power. And the more you give it, the bigger and hungrier it gets.”
― Jeanne DuPrau, The City of Ember

Blue_Baboon_132 Aug 19, 2012

Excellent just great

May 04, 2012

totally read it

Apr 19, 2012

A wonderful, interesting, action-packed book that gives this series off to a great start.


Add Notices
Apr 25, 2013

Violence: pushing and shoving, mild

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