Sarah's Stars

Jeanne DuPrau. The City of Ember
Random House  $24.00  ISBN: 0-375-82273-9  270 pg.
Reviewed by Hayley, Age 13

Lina has lived in a world of darkness all her life. The streets of Ember are lit only by flood lamps spread throughout the city. These lights are their only source of light, but the generator that is under the city is starting to fail regularly, leaving the people in complete darkness for minutes at a time. The storage buildings are almost empty, the people are running out of food fast. The situation is starting to get desperate. After Linaís grandmother goes berserk looking for something she knows is important, but canít remember what it was, Lina discovers a beautifully carved box, and that her sister is chewing on some paper from within. She takes the old, half-chewed paper and attempts to piece it back together. Lina is convinced that these are very important instructions, so she and her friend, Doon, begin their mission to save the people of Ember before itís too late.

The City of Ember was written by Jeanne DuPrau and published by Random House in May 2003. It has 270 pages and is suitable for intermediate level readers. The City of Ember is a hardcover novel that costs $24.00 CAN (the trade paperback is $6.99). Jeanne DuPrau has since released the sequel, The People of Sparks, in May of 2004. The paperback edition was just released this past April.

I thought the originality of the book was amazing, and I found the story captivating. Even if you donít like Sci-Fi / Fantasy, you wonít be able to put it down; you just have to find out what happens next to Lina, Doon and the City. Until I get my hands on the sequel, the suspense is going to be torture! I think that The City of Ember deserves 5 stars.

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