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Ember Series #1: The City of Ember
by Jeanne DuPrau


p.34 Lina sat in the big armchair and waited. No one came. She got up and wandered around the room. She bent over The Book of the City of Ember and read a few sentences: “The citizens of Ember may not have luxuries, but the foresight of the Builders, who filled the storerooms at the beginning of time, has ensured that they will always have enough, and enough is all that a person of wisdom needs.”

p.34-35 She flipped a few pages. “The Gathering Hall clock,” she read, “measures the hours of night and day. It must never be allowed to run down. Without it, how would we know when to work and when to go to school? How would the light director know when to turn the lights on and when to turn the lights off again? It is the job of the timekeeper to wind the clock every week and to place the date sign in Harken Square every day. The timekeeper must perform these duties faithfully.”
     Lina knew that not all timekeepers were faithful as they should be. She’d heard of one, some years ago, who often forgot to change the date sign, so that it might say, “Wednesday, Week 38, Year 227” for several days in a row. There had even been timekeepers who forgot to wind the clock, so that it might stand at noon or at midnight for hours at a time, causing a very long day or a very long night. The result was that no one really knew anymore exactly what day of the week it was, or exactly how many years it had been since the building of the city--they called this year 241, but it might have been 245 or 239 or 250. As long as the clock’s deep boom rang out every hour, and the lights went on and off more or less regularly, it didn’t seem to matter.”

p.50 “bald as a peeled potato”

p.105 “You’re so lucky to be a messenger, Lina,” she said. “Is it fun? I wish I could have been one. I would have been so good at it. My job is so boring.”
     Lina turned and looked at her. “Isn’t there anything you like about it?”
     Lizzie pursed her lips in a tiny smile and looked sideways at Lina. “There’s one thing,” she said.
     “What?”
     “I can’t tell you. It’s a secret.”
     “Oh,” said Lina. Then you shouldn’t have mentioned it at all, she thought.

p.? Although he’d often found something interesting in these searches, he’d never found anything important. Today was no different. He did come across a collection called Mysterious Words from the Past, which he read for awhile. It was about words and phrases so old that their meanings had been forgotten. He read a few pages.

Heavens above      Indicates surprise. What “heavens” means is unclear. It might be another word for “floodlight.”
Hogwash
     Means “nonsense,” though no one knows what a “hog” is or why one would wash it.
Batting a thousand
     Indicates great success. This might possibly refer to killing bugs.
All in the same boat
     Means “all in the same predicament.” The meaning of “boat” is unknown.

NAMES:
Murdo, Lemander, Cole, Evaleen, Callay, Sadge, Merral, Arbin, Swinn, Clary, Morethwart, Larket, Arlin, Doon, Lina, Podd