Publisher and Year: Yearling (2003)
Number of pages: 270
Descriptive Annotation: The City of Ember is a story of a city that exists without natural light. There is this city which was built during a time when human existence was at risk. Due to a mishandling of instructions, a city below the surface existed for over 241 years. At this point, the city had grown sparse in resources. Two twelve year olds, Lina and Doon, become the heroes of the city as they make the discoveries leading to the outside world. The pair find a letter that was left by the builders of the city on how to leave. After a dangerous journey on boats down a river, Doon and Lina find a journal that details the history of the city and how to leave. Together they (and Lina’s toddler sister, Poppy) make the difficult hike up a steep cliff that leads to the outside world. From there, they have a view of the city. The book ends by them sending a letter to the people of Ember on how to escape the rapidly deteriorating city.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: Being a chapter book, this text is not for younger readers to read on their own. With the main characters being twelve year olds, it is possible that students around that age will be able to envision themselves in that role. The story goes over responsibilities, bravery, adulthood, and resource scarcity and therefore provides for multiple talking points. The way in which the book is written allows for the city of Ember to be an intriguing place to imagine.
Interdisciplinary Connections: It is possible to incorporate fine arts into this reading by creating a map of the city or particular images of locations within the city.
Other Information: Overall, Jeanne DuPrau created a novel that is engaging to readers of all ages. For the readers who prefer series books, this is book one of four. Each of the books follow nicely after each other and provide insight into a world that does not actually exist but does seem possible.