Shelly's Reviews > The City of Ember

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
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Sep 19, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: extra-ten, yal-utopian
Recommended to Shelly by: Jacob Unsicker
Recommended for: Anyone who love <u>The Giver</u>.
Read in September, 2008

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 more 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 more 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 more and more and more. 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 more 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."
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Alicia (new) - added it

Alicia Monroe Let me know how you like this book. Several of my students have told me about it, and I'm thinking of adding it to my "to read" list.


Shelly I've read the first 40 pages today... am completely engaged and see a plethora of connections with The Giver. Plus... it's full of those SnapShots and teaching moments. I made an entry in my Writer's Notebook so I'd have a sample for my students before I begin collecting for the second grade. :)


Anna I was thinking the exact same thing when I started reading this!!! There are a LOT of similarities between Ember and The Giver. I am surprised more people have not mentioned this. I think both books can stand alone just fine but since Ember came after The Giver, I have to wonder why there hasn't been more debate about how original some of her ideas actually were.


Nadia This is so interesting. I've been reading reviews about this book and started to wonder about it's possible comparison to the setting Lowry made in the Giver. I'm looking forward to reading the book soon with my 4th graders and seeing if there is any parallel between the two.

In reading this book as a read aloud (mostly for pleasure in my case), would you say there are any particular places/descriptions that are worthy for discussion based on your experience reading it with your kids?


message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Cook-osting My son Jacob, 13 also recommended this book to me!


message 6: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Cook-osting My son Jacob, 13 also recommended this book to me!


Shelly Nadia wrote: "This is so interesting. I've been reading reviews about this book and started to wonder about it's possible comparison to the setting Lowry made in the Giver. I'm looking forward to reading the boo..."

I wrote to Jeanne Du Prau and asked her if she got her ideas from reading The Giver. Her manuscript was finished long before The Giver was published. I think its interesting how themes and concerns can be so universal. :)


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