by Jeanne DuPrau
In Ember, children are given assignments when they reach a certain age, at which time they discontinue their other education and become trained in a specific task. 12-year-old Lina is thrilled when she has the opportunity to be a messenger – a person who runs around the city all day delivering messages to people because they do not have other means of communication (no cell phones – gasp!). But Lina, along with her friend Doon, find bits and pieces of deception, mystery and catastrophe as they work on their new jobs, and it seems that only they can save the people of Ember from darkness and decay. As city blackouts get more and more frequent, fear seeps into the city. Lina and Doon try to find answers to help. Who are the mysterious builders who created Ember? What is the important message Lina finds in an old, decaying black box? Why is Ember’s mayor unwilling to take action to help the people of Ember? Is there a way out of their city that no one knows about? Young readers will be entranced as they follow Lina and Doon along their way and make an amazing discovery about Ember and the world beyond. This book won several awards, including a William Allen White award from the kids of Kansas, and was made into a movie. DuPrau has written 2 sequels and a prequel as well.
Reviewed by Jennifer