Bound To Stay Bound

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 City of Ember
 Author: DuPrau, Jeanne

 Publisher:  Random House (2003)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 270 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 295832 ISBN: 9780375822735
 Ages: 10-13 Grades: 5-8

 Fantasy fiction

Price: $20.76

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a messenger, to run to new places in her beloved but decaying city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.00
   Points: 9.0   Quiz: 69274
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 5.10
   Points: 15.0   Quiz: 33867

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity

   School Library Journal (05/03)
   Booklist (04/15/03)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (09/03)
 The Hornbook (05/03)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2003 The Builders of Ember left instructions for its future, but those instructions have been lost for generations; now Ember has a mistaken memory of its past and no understanding of its future. Light is artificially generated, food is grown in greenhouses, and order is maintained through a rigid system of rules and regulations, rites and rituals. Orphan Lina Mayfleet and her classmate Doon Harrow have turned twelve, and the rules of Ember state that the friends’ school days are over and their work days have begun. A trade with Doon makes Lina a messenger, speeding through the streets of Ember; Doon goes to the Pipeworks to maintain the underground substructure that supports the city. The two notice what the adults apparently do not: Ember’s food supply is dwindling, the lights that keep the darkness at bay often fail, and the mayor’s reassurances are specious. When Lina finds a nearly indecipherable artifact with directions out of the city, she brings it to Doon, and together they embark on a perilous journey to find the way beyond the dark. Lina and Doon’s quest for truth has a strong beginning and a solid pace; unfortunately, the storytelling loses its way, stuttering over coincidence and hard-to-believe revelations. Characterizations are a bit thin, but while the adults appear stupefied by the artificial glare, Lina and Doon (despite their single-minded intensity) are still likable players. The conclusion is overly convenient, but the opening pages, with images of the lamplit city isolated by impenetrable darkness, offer a powerful visual that will draw readers into Lina and Doon’s adventure. - Copyright 2003 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 05/01/2003 Gr 4-7-DuPrau debuts with a promisingly competent variation on the tried-and-true "isolated city" theme. More than 200 years after an unspecified holocaust, the residents of Ember have lost all knowledge of anything beyond the area illuminated by the floodlamps on their buildings. The anxiety level is high and rising, for despite relentless recycling, food and other supplies are running low, and the power failures that plunge the town into impenetrable darkness are becoming longer and more frequent. Then Lina, a young foot messenger, discovers a damaged document from the mysterious Builders that hints at a way out. She and Doon, a classmate, piece together enough of the fragmentary directions to find a cave filled with boats near the river that runs beneath Ember, but their rush to announce their discovery almost ends in disaster when the two fall afoul of the corrupt Mayor and his cronies. Lina and Doon escape in a boat, and after a scary journey emerge into an Edenlike wilderness to witness their first sunrise-for Ember, as it turns out, has been built in an immense cavern. Still intent on saving their people, the two find their way back underground at the end, opening the door for sequels. The setting may not be so ingeniously envisioned as those of, say, Joan Aiken's Is Underground (Turtleback, 1995) and Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993), but the quick pace and the uncomplicated characters and situations will keep voracious fans of the genre engaged.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2003 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 04/15/2003 Ember, a 241-year-old, ruined domed city surrounded by a dark unknown, was built to ensure that humans would continue to exist on Earth, and the instructions for getting out have been lost and forgotten. On Assignment Day, 12-year-olds leave school and receive their lifetime job assignments. Lina Mayfleet becomes a messenger, and her friend Doon Harrow ends up in the Pipeworks beneath the city, where the failing electric generator has been ineffectually patched together. Both Lina and Doon are convinced that their survival means finding a way out of the city, and after Lina discovers pieces of the instructions, she and Doon work together to interpret the fragmented document. Life in this postholocaust city is well limned--the frequent blackouts, the food shortage, the public panic, the search for answers, and the actions of the powerful, who are taking selfish advantage of the situation. Readers will relate to Lina and Doon’s resourcefulness and courage in the face of ominous odds. - Copyright 2003 Booklist.

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