The City of Ember is a young adult novel that is a fantastic allegory for spiritual awakening, though I have no idea if it was intended as such The story is of a girl who lives in an underground and completely self contained city created by the Builders The population of the city knows of nothing outside the city, in fact, though they speak English many of the words in it like sky are not understood in any terms but metaphorically The problem is that the city is falling apart, the lights are going out, the vast stores of supplies of light bulbs, canned food, and vitamins are running out The reader is in on a worse calamity, namely, that a secret message in a timed lock box that was left by the Builders, which was meant to be handed down from mayor to mayor and that would open just in time to explain to the city dwellers how to get out of the city, was lost many generations back Well, being a young adult novel it s pretty predictable in that the box is in our hero s closet, but a nice turn of events it is found by our hero s baby sister who chews on it for a while before our hero gets her hands on it leaving the message is only partially legible So the bulk of the story is the deciphering of the message, followed by the experience of trying to communicate its contents to the adults, who of course don t accept the message where else is there but here which is the equivalent of all prophets experiences of rejection by the status quo And finally, there is the adventure of eventual escape.This book reworks the universal theme of Plato s cave, and of all mysticism What we think of as the whole universe is but shadow, and further, that to enter that kingdom of heaven you must be like a child The insight that this version of that universal story led me to is part of the answer to why childishness is a necessary component of the transformation Children haven t yet become someone Which means who they are is not yet at stake For some reason our culture has this question what are you going to be when you grow up Think about the hidden structures and assumptions in that question Who are you Have you figured it out yet Is what you do, who you are Is what you believe who you are Is who you associate with who you are I write these questions myself in shadow not in the condition of childishness, and with all of this, as Quaker s say, a notion, i.e not something that I have experienced, but rather something I think But this thing that is mostly a notion for me, that the distinction between notional and experiential living is key to awakening, I am begining in small ways to actually experience. Very interesting and exciting The City of Ember is a dramatic book and the three main characters, Lina, Doon, and Poppy find a dark tunnel where they find a box of matches But they don t know what they are because they haven t discovered movable light yet And I think it is very creative and if you want to know , read The City of Ember The mayor is actually behind some of the problems of Ember Looper, Lina s friend s boyfriend, and the mayor are hiding rare things such as light bulbs, food like peaches, and lots of long gone things Lina and Doon find out and tell a guard but instead get hunted down for spreading vicious rumors But, they go through the dark tunnel and find a way out of Ember and tell their parents, and the three run away from Ember leaving one message. . DuPrau makes a typical first time novelist mistake throughout this book she doesn t trust her reader to infer In other words, she often over explains, following up dialogue and action sequences with redundant descriptions of a character s take on what just happened Another disappointment is that the mystery of Ember unfolds in an entirely predictable manner There are no great surprises DuPrau s characterization of Doon is one dimensional His spurts of rage create the only complexity in an otherwise flat character Lina, on the other hand, rings true as a 12 year old throughout the book, with one exception when her grandmother dies, Lina s grieving process is so brief it feels like the author has ignored something very important The book s strongest element was the setting, Ember Throughout reading the book, I could see the dark, amber lights and the anxious people throughout the city I hope DuPrau will learn from some of her mistakes and produce a stronger sequel Ember is rich with possibilities for a greater story. Before The Hunger Games 2008 there was The City of Ember 2003.Well, that s not exactly true because, to be completely honest about it, before HG there were the Japanese novel 1999 and then movie 2000 Battle Royale from which only the blind would say that HG isn t based upon or at least heavily inspired by Which, don t get me wrong, is totally fine inspiration comes in every shape and form, and if a great book movie inspired HG author Suzanne Collins to write a great series, then power to her and fun to us readers So all is good Back to CE, the reason why I compare it to HG is because when it came out it was to my knowledge the first post apocalyptic YA to ever hit the market In that, DuPrau can only be praised for her originality and avant gardism But there the comparison ends Because if you re looking for poor kids fighting for survival in a beat up world, look somewhere else CE is not about that At all Rather, it is about discovery both self and world , about not taking the truth that s given to us unquestioningly and instead go and look for another one despite all the obstacles along the way So again, if you re looking for point blank survival, full frontal fights and gruesome deaths, you re not going to get it in this book In this sense it is a very clean and very young reader oriented story, which, however, doesn t fail to catch the fancy of older readers as well, and thus transcends all age groups The two main characters, Lina and Doon, are very real, very relatable and very likable the story is very satisfactory, if somewhat a little slow paced at times the writing is very easy reading and will never make you scratch your head in confusion finally, the ending is great and will make you want to pick up book 2 right away.Long story short, it s a winner to me OLIVIER DELAYEAuthor of the SEBASTEN OF ATLANTIS series This books makes you appreciate even the smallest of things that you may take for granted I look forward to seeing how the movie compares with the book My 12 year old son just knew I would love this book He s been hounding me to read it since early last spring Finally, I have read it and Jacob my son was right Omigosh What first hooked me were the vivid character descriptions that show than tell, so the reader can draw their own conclusions The story is told in third person, limited in two different perspectives Lina Mayfleet, twelve years old, sat winding a strand of her long, dark hair around her finger, winding and unwinding it again and again Doon Harrow, also twelve, sat with his shoulder s hunched, his eyes aqueezed shut in concentration, and his hands clasped tightly together So I m busy marking up my paperback copy for examples to share with my own students when it becomes than a coincidence that I m noticing the similarities between Ember, the city, and the Community in Lois Lowry s The Giver But then there is just and and I especially loved the questioning, like Lina s friend Clary s Where does life come from What is life and Doon s father s words of wisdom that sound strangely familiar What you get is what you get What you do with what you get, thought that s the point and Pay close attention to everything, notice what no oneelse notices Then you ll know what no one else knows, and that s always useful. This is for my book report The City of Ember is all about these two regular kids saving their city Doon and Lina had never thought of being twelve years old and getting jobs Lina orriginaly got chosen to work in the sewers as a pipework s laborer,but Doon knew being a messenger wouldn t do anything to help save the city, so he traded with Lina Luckily, Lina just so happened to be a super fast runner and that s why she thought messenger would be a perfect job for her Doon wasn t the kind of boy who loved sports and computer games, he would rather be a quiet gentleman who paid attention to his bug collection all day long, spending time at the library than on the couch, so it wasn t normal for Doon to scream to others, The city of Ember is not prospering,in fact everything is getting worse and worse by the minute The lights go out all the time now and the shortages, the shortages are getting low on everything If no one does anything about it, something terrible is going to happen When Doon and Lina unite together to solve the mysteries of their city, they discover the truths of the past and the present Some people aren t as trustworthy as they seem to be When Doon and Lina figure out the last piece of the puzzle, they re stuck How should the City of Ember know about the great discovery they had made I would reccomend this book to anyone. An Alternate Cover Edition Can Be Found HereMany 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 This book was a huge thing when I was in the fifth grade The film was coming out, and it was one of the pioneers of the YA dystopian genre My sister told me I should read this one, despite my adamant hatred of the similar The Hunger Games I m glad I gave The City of Ember a chance because it s an inspiring, spectacular tale of friendship, shady politics, horrid underground conditions, and the story of how humanity rises again.