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Where do we draw the line between doing what we’re told to do and doing what we know is right? The main characters Lina and Doon, in Jeanne DuPrau’s dystopian scientific novel, The City of Ember are forced to make this choice.

The City of Ember was first published in 2003 and made into a movie in 2008. It is the story of 12-year-old protagonists, Lina and Doon, who are forced to disobey the rules when they discover a way to potentially save the people of the failing city of Ember.

From the Book Jacket:

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?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The City of Ember for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom. it is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

The City of Ember is a fascinating book that really makes you wonder and think. It is suspenseful and engages the reader to want to continue. This is the first book in DuPrau’s series and it ends with the reader wanting more. It is a great book to hook your reluctant readers to choose to continue the series on their own.

There are a lot of STEAM ideas that can be correlated with this novel and it will lead your students to examine what we may be doing to our Earth that may cause catastrophe down the line. It’s a great thought-provoking novel to use in the classroom, small groups, or in a homeschool setting.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

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