"Thanks to full-blooded characters every bit as compelling as the plot, Lina and Doon's search parallels the universal adolescent quest for answers." --Publishers Weekly, Starred
"Well-paced, this contains a satisfying mystery, a breathtaking escape over rooftops in darkness, a harrowing journey into the unknown, and cryptic messages for readers to decipher.The setting is well realized with the constraints of life in the city intriguingly detailed. The likable protagonists are not only courageous but also believably flawed by human pride, their weaknesses often complementing each other in interesting ways." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"While Ember is colorless and dark, the book itself is rich with description. DuPrau uses the puzzle,suspenseful action, and lots of evil characters to entice readers into the story. They will find the teen characters believable and gutsy. Part mystery, part adventure story." --Voice of Youth Advocates, Starred
"Rather than bogging down in explanations of how Ember came to be and how it functions, DuPrau allows the events of the story to convey the necessary information. Even the device of ahidden letter, complete with missing words, is used with such disarming forthrightness that readers will be eagerly deciphering it right alongside Doon and Lina." --The Horn Book Magazine
Doon reached INTO the bag and took out the last scrap of paper. He paused a minute, pressing it tightly in his hand.
"Go on," said the mayor. "Read."
Unfolding the paper, Doon read: "Messenger."He scowled, crumpled the paper, and dashed it to the floor.
Lina gasped; the whole class rustled in surprise.
The mayor took a short breath and blinked furiously. "Disgraceful," he said, glaring at Doon.
"A childish display of temper! Students should be glad to work for their city. Ember will prosper if all ... citizens ... do ... their ... best."
"But Ember is not prospering!"Doon cried. "Everything is getting worse and worse!"
"Silence!" cried the mayor.
"The blackouts!" cried Doon. "The lights go out all the time now! And the shortages, there's shortages of everything! If no one does anything about it, something terrible is going to happen!"
Lina listened with a pounding heart. Could things really be as bad as he said?
Also by Jeanne DuPrau THEPEOPLE OF SPARKS THE CITY OF EMBER
Jeanne DuPrau RANDOM HOUSE NEW YORK
My thanks to the friends who read and commented helpfully on my manuscript Susie Mader, Patrick Daly, Andrew Ranter, Charlotte Muse, Sara Jenkins, Mary Dederer, and Bat Can. My gratitude to my agent, Nancy Gallt, who brought The City of Ember into the light, and my editor, Jim Thomas, who made it the best bookit could be. And my love and thanks to my mother, my first and best writing teacher.
Text copyright © 2003 by Jeanne DuPrau. Jacket design and map by Chris Riety. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by RandomHouse of Canada limited, Toronto. Originally published in hardcover by Random House, Inc., in 2003. First paperback edition May 2004.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: DuPrau, Jeanne. The city of Ember/by Jeanne DuPrau. p. cm.
summary: In the year 241, twelve-year-old Una trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a messenger, to run to newplaces in her beloved but decaying city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. ISBN 0-375-82273-9 (trade) -- ISBN 0-375-92274-1 (lib. bdg.) -ISBN 0-375-82274-7 (pbk.) [1. Fantasy.] I. Tide. PZ7.D927 Ci 2003 [Fie]--dc21 2002010239 Printed in the United States of America 10 9876543 kANDOM house and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc