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 multiplatform sci-fi adventure series Voyagers. Visit her website at jeanneduprau.com.
Gr 4-7-This truly superb audio recording of the novel by Jeane DuPrau (Random, 2003) takes place in the dark city of Ember, a decaying place with no natural light surrounded by the vast Unknown. Although ancestors had arranged for information on leaving Ember to be made available after the inhabitants have spent 200 years there, a corrupt mayor lost the information many years before the novel begins. Two hundred and forty-one years later, Ember's electrical lighting frequently fails, supplies are dwindling, and the populace is growing increasingly frightened. Twelve-year-old Doon and his acquaintance Lina are intent on finding a way to save Ember. After Lina finds a mysterious and fragmented paper titled "Instructions for Egress," they think they have a way out. Can they escape from the villainous mayor and his soldiers? Can they figure out the missing letters and words in the message? Do they find their way out of Ember and up to a post-apocalyptic Earth? Wendy Dillon, one of the most talented readers of audiobooks, does an amazing job of creating different voices for each character, has absolutely perfect diction, and skillfully conveys the building suspense. Exceptional care has been taken to faithfully convey the author's excellent tale through a combination of a superior narrator and evocative sound effects. This engaging novel is an exceptional audiobook.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"DuPrau's first foray into fiction creates a realistic post-apocalyptic world. Reminiscent of Robert O'Brien's Z for Zachariah, DuPrau's book leaves Doon and Lina on the verge of the undiscovered country and readers wanting more."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
"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, Kirkus Reviews
"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, Voice of Youth Advocates
"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." The Horn Book Magazine
"The device of a hidden letter, complete with missing words, is used with such disarming forthrightness that readers will be eagerly deciphering it right alongside Doon and Lina." An ALA Notable Children's Book
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