Review : The city of Ember – Jeanne DuPrau

Author: DuPrau, Jeanne.
Title: The city of Ember
Lexile: 680


Ember, an aging underground city, is struggling to provide for it’s citizens. The Builders’ plan was for the people of Ember to live underground for 200 hundred years then return to the surface. The first mayor of Ember was given a locked box with instructions for returning to the surface, set to open in 200 years, that was to be passed to each successive mayor. Unfortunately, the box gets lost. Fast forward to the year 241 where Lina and Doon pull out their career choices from a bag the mayor brings to their classroom. Lina and Doon envy the job the each other has pulled so they swap. Lina becomes a messenger running information around town. Doon becomes a pipework laborer fixing the plumbing leaks and the decrepit electric generator. As the story progresses both Lina and Doon learn more about the horrible state of their city. Lina finds a mixed up message in the stuff her Grandmother has kept from their family for years. She and Doon try to decipher the message because they both believe it could be their way out of Ember.


ALA Notable Children’s Books: 2004, Mark Twain Award (Missouri),
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults: Change Your World or Live to Regret It (2010)

Review: Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

Author: Card, Orson Scott
Title: Ender’s game
Lexile 780
Title: Ender’s shadow
Lexile 780
Author’s website:

Ender’s game is about Andrew ”Ender” Wiggin, child genius, and his battle to save our planet. He comes from a family of geniuses; his two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are also identified by the government for their intellect. When Ender is chosen to go to Battle school over Peter and Valentine, their intense family rivalry begins. Peter and Valentine use their intellect to create havoc on Earth by writing political commentary under pseudonyms that allow them to be perceived as adults. In Battle school, Ender struggles because he is very young. Once he enters the competitive squad-based war simulation in zero gravity and is successful, he earns the respect of the children and the adults of Battle school. Does Ender really have what it takes to win the war against the Formics? How will the actions of his brother and sister change his world?
Ender’s Shadow is a parallel story told through the eyes of Bean, Ender’s strategist and ally, in the computer games they play to save the planet. Bean has a rough childhood growing up on the streets of Rotterdam without parents. Sister Carlota saves him from the streets, recognizes his intelligence and finds a way for him to enter Battle school. Once there he earns the respect of his fellow classmates not because of his strength but because of his intellect.


Hugo Awards: Best Novel,Nebula Awards: Best Novel, YALSA 100 Best Books (1950-2000), YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound – Fiction: 1999, Margaret A. Edwards Award 2008

Movies inspired by books

Today one of my patrons wanted to check out The Great Gatsby on DVD. I told her it was not the new movie but she said she just wanted to see the story. Seeing the story is one thing that movies can do, sometimes even better than the book. It got me thinking. This year has so many great books being made into movies I want to highlight some on my school blog and maybe make a physical library display. First on my list of books to review include:

  • Ender’s game
  • City of Bones
  • Great Gatsby

ALA 2013 Great program #1 Ben Bizzle and Go Home Library, You’re Drunk

This was a great presentation about marketing your library. One of the things the presenter, Ben Bizzle, said that has been stuck in my head since ALA is it does not matter how much money you spend on resources like databases and books if no one is using them. He said budget to promote the library. Even just ten dollars a day can make a big impact on the number of people you are reaching. I am not a public librarian but there are plenty of ways I can market my library to reach more people.

Reading and Technology- one librarian's passions