Yes. I recommend this book.
I was loaned this book from Griffin, and at first I thought it would be just like The Giver. However, after I got through the first couple of chapters where the kids get their work assignments, I didn't have that thought again.
The City of Ember is a little dark, but there are many kind people. The main characters are in sad circumstances, but there was enough hope and small happiness that it didn't get me down.
I loved some of the details of the story. The way the characters save every little thing because it might be useful. I loved the scene when Lina bought her pencils, and then the one after when she and her sister drew with them.
Although I hated the thought of this horrible dark underground city, I enjoyed the adventure of the story. I liked the sweet main characters, Lina and Doon. I think Doon's insight from his father about anger was very insighful, unexpected consequences.
Just a warning, there are two more books in the series, and although certain situations are resolved, it is a bit of a cliff hanger! Griffin has the second book requested from his school library, so lets hope the students get it turned in soon!