City of Ember

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

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.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think Lina and the others do not rebel against life in Ember?
  2. Why do the children of Ember start work at the age of 12 instead of continuing to go to school?
  3. Are the work assignments fair?
  4. What about working in Pipeworks convinces Doon that Ember is in even worse shape than he thought?
  5. Why has no one invented the moveable light (flashlight/candle) in Ember?
  6. Why is Lina’s grandma so determined to find what is missing? What do they find?
  7. Lina believes The Instructions are important. Why doesn’t anyone else?
  8. What do the people of Ember think of their mayor? What do you think?
  9. How did Ember become so rundown?
  10. What do Doon and Lina find in the Pipeworks?
  11. Who is Lizzie and what is her job? What secret does she have?
  12. How do the guards react when Doon and Lina report the mayor?
  13. How do Lina and Doon discover the way out of Ember? What do they find?
  14. Do you think the other citizens of Ember will follow them?

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First Light by Rebecca Stead
The Borrowers by Mary Norton