City of Ember

City of Ember
Written by Jeanne DuPrau

Publisher’s Summary:
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever!

Primary Source Pairing:
Imagine the world you know is much bigger than you could possibly fathom. According to The Book of the City of Ember, the city’s textbook, “There is no place but Ember. Ember is the only light in the dark world.” Lina and Doon are beginning to realize that their city, the City of Ember, is on borrowed time and the dark world is getting closer.

For this primary source pairing, invite students to do a map analysis of the City of Ember map included in the book. Make paper copies of the map that students can use for reference while reading. As an extension, encourage students to create maps of their school, home, or community.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What size and shape is the map?
  • What graphical elements do you see?
  • What on the map looks strange or unfamiliar?
  • What questions do you have about this map?
  • How does analyzing the map while reading the story help your comprehension?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
City of Ember Map: