The City of Ember

By Jeanne DuPrau,

Book cover of The City of Ember

Book description

Ember is the only light in a dark world. But when its lamps begin to flicker, two friends must race to escape the dark. This highly acclaimed adventure series is a modern-day classic-with over 4 MILLION copies sold!

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the…

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. (learn more)

Why read it?

3 authors picked The City of Ember as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book is closer to MG than YA, but great all the same. It takes place underground and the lights keep going out. How creepy is that! I couldn’t wait to find out why they were down there and see if they could get out! While I was reading it, I kept wondering what happened? What made them go underground, and why did they stay? I won’t tell you what happens, but I will say this book was thought-provoking and a really fascinating read.

The premise of this book is the first thing that drew me in – the city of Ember is shrouded in darkness, and the lamps that provide the only light have begun to dim. Two kids discover an ancient message that may help them save the city while also revealing its mysterious origins. I found myself racing to the end of this book to discover the secrets of Ember, and, like a lightbulb flickering to life in a dark room, the payoff was incredibly satisfying.  

From Christyne's list on for children with mind-blowing plot twists.

This book often gets overlooked because of its “juvenile” stigma, however, there’s much more than the cover! The characters are on the younger side, but the worldbuilding is great through their eyes. Readers get a good feel for how the underground society works and provides a good glimpse into some things we take for granted. While later books in the series get further away from the underground world, it’s all worth a read.

Want books like The City of Ember?

Our community of 6,000+ authors has personally recommended 10 books like The City of Ember.

Browse books like The City of Ember

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dystopia, worldbuilding, and New York City?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dystopia, worldbuilding, and New York City.

Dystopia Explore 242 books about dystopia
Worldbuilding Explore 76 books about worldbuilding
New York City Explore 634 books about New York City