This book kept me hooked constantly. The voyage the children made out of their city had me putting myself in their shoes trying to imagine how they could conjure the courage to attempt the unknown. This writer takes care to paint a picture of the envirnoment, mood, colors, temperature and tension of the inhabitants of a city that is slowly dying and they are helpless to know that there is anything they can do about it. This book would be great for the classroom because it develops higher order thinking skills, causes the reader to make predictions, ponder cause and effect, develop empathy for the characters and inspire discussion of "what if" our world ever could lead to the condition of the city of Ember and choosing to do the right thing rather that following self interest. Great reading, don't pass it up and be sure to get the sequel, The People of Sparks.