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City of Ember

by Jeanne DuPrau  |  Grades: 5-8  |  Lexile Level: 680 

City Of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! 

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues before the lights go out on Ember forever!


"Thanks to full-blooded characters every bit as compelling as the plot, Lina and Doon's search parallels the universal adolescent quest for answers. An electric debut!" --Starred Review, Publishers Weekly  

"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 likeable protagonists are not only courageous but also believably flawed by human pride. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for the next installment." --Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews  

"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." --Starred Review, Voice of Youth Advocates


Nominated to 28 State Award Lists! 
An American Library Association Notable Children's Book 
A New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection 
A Kirkus Reviews Editors' Choice 
A Child Magazine Best Children's Book 
A Mark Twain Award Winner 
A William Allen White Children's Book Award Winner

A Biographical Note About Jeanne DuPrau

JEANNE DuPRAU is the New York Times bestselling author of the City of Ember books, which have been translated into multiple languages and are a time-honored staple in elementary school classrooms. She also wrote Escape the Vortex, part of the multi-platform sci-fi adventure series Voyagers. Visit her website at

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau: