Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

I am often asked by parents and other teachers about the Hunger Games trilogy and when I would have students read it.  I was comfortable last year with my sixth grade students and selected fifth grade students reading them.   I am moving to fourth grade this year and I have already decided not to promote this series to this age group.

I will explain to my students that these books fit in a genre called dystopia and there are other books I am happy to let them read.  The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau is in this category.  Lina and Doon live in an oppressed city that is running out of resources.  They find a coded message and decide to save their people.

Update June 2014: this year when I read this book aloud, my students kept changing their thinking about what was happening in the book.  Here is a printable form with sentence starters so students can write about it.

I know there are other books in the genre that are appropriate in the middle grades.  Please recommend yours in the comments.

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  1. I love this book! It also has a movie.

    1. I read the book and watched the movie with my stepdaughter. The movie was okay, but we both liked the book better. It was a better movie adaptation than some, but not as good in my opinion.

  2. I do the Gregor the Overlander series for my read aloud in 4th grade. They are also Suzanne Collins books but meant for a younger age than the Hunger Games. This is what I recommend to parents that are looking for something similar. It is still in Ms. Collins's theme of war's effects on children, but very good!! Careful! There is one part in Book 2 I believe that is a little graphicly gruesome. My kids still enjoyed it regardless.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion. I always read books before introducing them to students, but it's nice to have a warning up front.


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