Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember Books in Order

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Written by American writer Jeanne DuPrau, The City of Ember series — also called The Books of Ember — is a post-apocalyptic series for young people. It is a survival tale, a story of friendship, resilience, and humanity facing greed and corruption.

Reading The City of Ember Series in Order

The third book in the series is also a prequel to The City of Ember, taking place approximately 300 years before the main story. So you can choose to read in publication order, chronological order, or even skip the prequel or keep it for after the trilogy.

As always, it is advised to follow the publication order on the first reading.

The City of Ember series in publication order

The City of Ember (2003)
The People of Sparks (2004)
The Prophet of Yonwood (prequel, 2006)
The Diamond of Darkhold (2008)

The City of Ember book series by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember series in chronological order

The Prophet of Yonwood (2006)
The City of Ember (2003)
The People of Sparks (2004)
The Diamond of Darkhold (2008)

More about The City of Ember series

The Story of The City of Ember

Young Lina and Doon live in a strange city. Built underground, the city is artificially lighted. But energy and food are running out, and the despotic leaders don’t care about the future. One day, Lina discovers a secret message that she tries to decipher. It seems to explain how to leave this place. Despite the threats, will Lina and Doon manage to escape their doomed city? Is another world within their reach? A world where they can live in the sunlight…

How many books are there in The City of Ember series?

The City of Ember series is composed of four novels, published between 2003 and 2008.

Has The Books of Ember series ended?

Yes, The Diamond of Darkhold was released in 2008 and served as as a conclusion to the series.

One inspiration behind The City of Ember

In an interview with The Buffalo News, author Jeanne DuPrau talked about what inspired her to write “The City of Ember”, and in her own words:

It had something to do with having grown up in a time being afraid of nuclear war. People building bomb shelters in their backyards, magazine articles on what the effects of nuclear war might be, that the human race might be wiped out, made a big impression. I did not sit down and say to myself: “I am going to write a story about an underground city that functions as a bomb shelter for the human race.” It was an intriguing idea where a city was dark and people didn’t know any other place in the world existed. It’s still kind of a mystery to me how that came into my head.

Is there an adaptation of The City of Ember?

The 2003 novel City of Ember has been adapted into a film in 2008, starring Saoirse Ronan as Lina, Harry Treadaway as Doon, and Bill Murray as the mayor. However, the movie performed poorly at the box office, so no sequel was ever planned.

A few years later, in 2012, the first book was adapted into a graphic novel by artist Niklas Asker.

About the author of the City of Ember series

Who is Jeanne DuPrau?

Jeanne DuPrau is an American writer, best known for the City of Ember. She wrote her first book when she was only six, called “Frosty the Snowman.” Since, she continued to write and write.

She graduated as an English major and has been a teacher, an editor, and a technical writer (writing about how to use computers). During all this time, she was still doing her own writing, on the weekends or whenever she could, and often, her works were published.

Jeanne DuPrau lives in California, where she likes to garden.

What has she written beyond The City of Ember series?

Jeanne DuPrau also wrote several non-fiction book, including The Earth House (1993), a young-adult memoir.

On the novel side, she published: Car Trouble (2005), a man named Duff Pringle who travels across the country for a dream job; and Voyagers: Escape the Vortex, the fifth book in the Children’s series Voyagers.

What to read after The City of Ember?

Want more post-apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy adventures? You can read those series:
The Mortal Engines Quartet by Philip Reeve
The Amtrak Wars by Patrick Tilley

You could also want to read:
The Tomorrow series by John Marsden
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman