Home, Nov. 2009



Pumpkin Patchin'



The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember is the first in a series of four books. Ember was created hundreds of years ago by "The Builders." It receives its only light from lightbulbs which are on from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. People are beginning to get nervous, however, because the supplies are running out, and beyond their city there is only darkness. Lately there have been more and more power outages.

This book begins on the day when the 12 year old students are choosing their lifelong jobs. The mayor visits their classroom, and each child is able to draw out an available job at random. Doon is very disappointed and even angry when he draws the messenger job, but Lina wishes she had drawn that job instead of pipeworks.

After class, Doon offers to switch with her. Lina is elated. Doon wants the pipeworks job so he can try to get access to the generator to keep the town running. Lina's parents are both deceased, and she lives with her grandma and toddler sister, Poppy, above their grandma's store; partway through the book, their grandma also dies and they move in with a kind woman, Mrs. Murdy. Doon's mother is deceased and he lives with his father above his father's store.

Lina and Doon both enjoy exploring. Doon soon finds a locked door down a darkened tunnel below the city, and Lina begins to gather other information without realizing its importance.

One day, Lina notices her sister chewing on a letter from a decorative box her grandma pulled out of their stuffed closet. She tries to decipher the letter, and with Doon's help (and Clary's help - a matronly friend who runs the greenhouses), she discovers the letter is a set of instrucitons for leaving Ember. She and Doon take a dangerous journey down the underground river, and climb up and out, discovering that their entire city is underground; for the first time, they see the moon and stars and sun, trees, grass, animals, birds, etc. They can't go back the way they came, so, they drop a letter down another opening they find, and that letter is picked up by Mrs. Murdy.

Ruby Holler - Susan Creech

Ruby Holler is about 13-year-old twins, Florida (girl) and Dallas (boy) who are abandoned on the doorstep of an orphanage as infants. They are very active and get into a lot of trouble, so they never last long in their foster home placements.

The Trepids who run the orphanage are emotionally abusive and neglectful.
Sairy & Tiller Morey, a kind old couple take the twins home saying they want one of each of them to go on a trip with them.

In the long run, they don't go on their trips, but in the mean time, they decide to keep the twins.

Z is the Moreys' neighbor. He is hired by Mr. Trepid to find out where the Moreys keep their money. He, however, remains faithful to the Trepids, and in the process, finds out the twins are his children through his ex-wife who left him without his knowledge that they existed.

Not a thickly-plotted book, but the characters were nice.