I just finished reading Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember. From the very beginning, DuPrau pulled me into the underground City of Ember. I could smell, taste, and feel the city. As the book progressed, the growing tension throughout the city seeped out of the pages and I found myself becoming increasingly anxious for the citizens of Ember as their power and supplies begin to dwindle and the once wealthy City of Ember finds itself on the brink of collapse.

The two protagonists, Doon and Lina, are lovable, Doon with his ceaseless sense of doom (is his name just a coincidence?) and Lina with her childlike innocence and determination. DuPrau’s writing is clear and straightforward and her use of imagery conjures up just the right emotions. Although written for a middle grade audience, the themes of family, friendship, sense of community, and doing what you know is right resonate with audiences of all ages.