Books for kids: City of Ember series

 And I continue reading (well outside my preferred comfort genres) through the dystopian world in a desperate bid to tap into the momentum created by 'The Hunger Games' obsession at the moment.  I've been trying to find dystopian books for children in upper primary.  Kids who might like 'The Hunger Games', but it is not entirely suitable for them (although I do have to say that many of the Year 6 kids I teach who are good readers, have read the series).

A colleague got me onto this series by Jeanne DuPrau.  I have enjoyed them a lot and it so great to finally get a series of books that I can confidently recommend to strong readers (from age 10 up) knowing that they are both interesting and suitable.

In the City of Ember the generator lights the city, but beyond the city limits are the Unknown Lands, in complete darkness that never ends.  It is only in the city that the light can be found, but the generator is failing and the city has no candles or matches.  The city is familiar to us in so many ways, but it is small and supplies are starting to run out.  13 year old Lina comes across a strange document that might hold the answers to her many questions about Ember and her best friend has made some puzzling discoveries in the underground pipe works that keep the city functioning.

There are four books in the series ('City of Ember', 'The people of Sparks', 'The prophet of Yonwood' and 'The diamond of Darkhold').  'The prophet of Yonwood' is probably the weakest as it is a prequel to the first book.

It is in the other books in the series that you understand much more about the city and why it is there.  Action packed series with a plot that keeps moving along but without making the storyline predictable.


Tasmanian said…
I know this is a really old post Jenny, but one of my piano students told me she read Hunger Games in her Grade Five class as the class text! I have sent her mum links to several of your posts on books for her age. Thanks for all the research.
Jenny said…
Yes this remains one of my fave dystopian books for upper primary. I don't think I'd read the Hunger Games to Year 5 ...

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