Book title: Scifi book about escaping from underground city. Young adult book.
April 25, 2005 8:28 AM   Subscribe

I remember reading a book about a young girl living in an underground city. She decides to escape for some reason, and ends up taking a young boy with her too. They journey up to the surface, evading capture by some sort of authority figure. Help me! I want my daughter to read this. (It's a young adult book)

The other details I remember: I read it in paperback. The cover had a picture of the girl and boy running toward the reader, and some sort of citscape in the background. In the end, the get to the surface and end up living on a farm. I seem to remember the word "light" or something related to light in the title. Any help is appreciated.
posted by cosmicbandito to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it The City of Ember?
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 8:36 AM on April 25, 2005

I'm pretty sure it's This Time of Darkness, and it's great!
posted by hazyjane at 8:38 AM on April 25, 2005

I'll second The City of Ember. The second book in the series, The People of Sparks, wasn't very good. The City of Ember, though, was an excellent read for both me and my wife's students.
posted by xorowo at 8:45 AM on April 25, 2005

HazyJane Scores! Askmeta delivers in 10 minutes flat! I loved this book when I read it, and haven't been able to remember it for years. Thanks!
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:16 AM on April 25, 2005

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:56 AM on April 25, 2005

"Run, Runner!" Best line ever.
posted by knave at 10:27 AM on April 25, 2005

Wow, I would definitely have said City of Ember, too. The plots sound amazingly similar.

You should read both and compare. I loved City of Ember--it reminded me a bit of The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall, one of my favorite kids' books ever.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:28 AM on April 25, 2005

I just had a similar search for this book, and ended up getting it on Amazon.

Nice to know I'm not the only one.
posted by Sheppagus at 10:29 AM on April 25, 2005

I've never read either of these books, but check this out:

From the Amazon review of "Time of Darkness":
Eleven-year-old Amy lives in a decaying underground city. Ignored by her mother and under surveillance by authorities because she can read, Amy reluctantly finds herself befriending Axel-a strange boy who claims to have come from a mythical place called ...Outside. Is Axel crazy? Amy knows there is no such place as Outside. Later: the children going to "training dorm" to learn a "skill" (things like how to make the City's uniform thong sandals or pipe repair)

From the Amazon review of "City of Ember":
Twelve-year-old Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet seem to be the only people who are worried. They have just been assigned their life jobs--Lina as a messenger, which leads her to knowledge of some unsettling secrets, and Doon as a Pipeworker, repairing the plumbing in the tunnels under the city where a river roars through the darkness. But when Lina finds a very old paper with enigmatic "Instructions for Egress," they use the advantages of their jobs to begin to puzzle out the frightening and dangerous way to the city of light of which Lina has dreamed.

At first I concluded there must have been some plaigerism going on, but after some thought, I figure the similarities can be explained. If you're going to write a sci-fi book for pre-teens, you're likely going to have a best friend, probably of the opposite sex. You would be tempted to stage an "escape", as many children that age are starting to feel burdened by their lack of freedom. And how would two kids figure out the secret before anyone else unless all the adults they were brainwashed to believe their world was all there was. Underground pipes and contraband literature just flows from that.

Cool coincidence though. For another good "escape" book for kids, I highly recommend Sophie's World. That one blew my mind as a kid, and I've never quite recovered.
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:36 AM on April 25, 2005

all the adults they were brainwashed... Sorry.
I hope my post wasn't a derail, since the question's been answered.
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:59 AM on April 25, 2005

Follow up to City of Ember: People of Sparks My 11 year old daughter loved both books.
posted by jazon at 11:06 AM on April 25, 2005

I love AskMe.

I've been trying to find this book for forever and all I could come up with on searches was The City of Embers.
posted by Specklet at 11:16 AM on April 25, 2005

Sophie's World is cool.
posted by kenko at 11:24 AM on April 25, 2005

Again, in the unlikely event that MEFI fails, there is always this site for such questions.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:47 PM on April 25, 2005

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