Living in a small city deep underground is a difficult life. There are blackouts. As each year rolls by, more and more things are falling apart. Supplies are running out. And the fear is growing that the lights will go out forever.

Immerse yourself in the amazing world of The City of Ember as Luna Mayfleet and Doon Harrow follow the clues to discover the wonderful mystery of the city had has been lost for generations.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember

Author: Jeanne DuPrau

Age Range: 8 – 12

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Series: City of Ember (book 1)

Paperback: 270 pages

Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook

It’s assignment day. On the last day of school when kids are twelve, they are given their job assignments. This is the job that they will work, regardless if they want to, to keep the city alive. Lena is anxious. She desperately wants the messenger job, but is disappointed when she draws Pipeworks laborer from the hat.

Her luck quickly changes when Doon agrees to change assignments with her. He wanted to be an electrician’s helper. But Pipeworks is better to him than wasting time running around the city delivering messages to people. Doon is always serious and going on about the city falling apart. Fearing that increasing frequency of the lights going out will eventually led to them going out forever. Doon is convinced that he can fix the problem.

Lena is happy-go-lucky and excited to get to see the city, running up and down through the streets delivering messages. But when she discovers a mysterious box in the back of her house, everything changes. It appears to be an old message from the builders of the city with instructions for how to get out. But the message has been damaged. So she connects with Doon and they search through the clues left behind by the builders to find the truth.

But the mayor of the town will hear nothing of it. The past has been forgotten and he doesn’t believe their interpretation of the damaged note. He’s grown fat and lazy, secretly stealing the supplies of the town for himself. He is not about to have two pesky kids ruin everything for him.

This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in a long time. It is such a unique and fascinating world. The characters are interesting with solid, individual motivations. I especially love the map of the city in the front of the book. As I read, I constantly flipped to the map to see exactly where the characters were in the city.

I’ve very excited to dive into the next book of the series. I highly recommend all young readers check out this fantastic fantasy.