The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
On fear:
“Somewhere inside her, a black worm of dread stirred…could things really be as bad as he said? She didn’t want to believe it. She pushed the thought away” (2003: 18).
On belief:
“Sometimes you can find useful things just by choosing randomly….just reach out and grab something &emdash; in the hope that by accident you might come upon the very information you need. It might be something that another person had written down … just a sentence or two that would be like a flash of light…fitting together things you already know to make a solution to everything” (edited: verbs changed to present tense; “he” to “you”; 120).
On major life transitions when someone takes care of you:
“The day had a comforting feel to it, like a rest between the end of one time and the beginning of another” (141).
On desire:
“She suddenly wanted those things so badly she felt weak” (152).
“She remembered the hunger she’d felt . . . It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. She didn’t want to want things that way” (153).
On earth:
“Light,” she said.
“I see it,” said Doon. “It’s getting brighter.”
The edge of the sky turned gray, and then pale orange, and then deep fiery crimson. The land stood out against it, a long black rolling line. One spot along this line grew so bright they could hardly look at it, so bright it seemed to take a bite out of the land. It rose higher and higher until they could see that it was a fiery circle, first deep orange and then yellow, and too bright to look at any longer. The color seeped out of the sky and washed over the land. Light sparkled on the soft hair of the hills and shone through the lacy leaves as every shade of green sprang to life around them. (255-256)
On life:
“Take a lamp, for instance. When you plug it in, it comes alive, in a way. That’s because it’s connected to a wire that’s connected to the generator, which is making electricity…But a bean seed isn’t connected to anything. Neither are people. We don’t have plugs and wires that connect us to generators. What makes living things go is inside them somehow” (68).
Next: The People of Sparks

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