I probably read this children's science fiction story in the late 1960s, so the similar-sounding 1980 book, "This Time of Darkness" by Helen Hoover can not be it. It may have been a short story, but I am not sure that it was not a short book.

See also for discussions of "This Time of Darkness" Dystopian book: inhabitants of an underground city have no books and don't know the war has ended and Identify Story: Dystopian Children's Novel About Subterranean Class System

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    More information would probably help.... anything you can remember is worth tossing in. – K-H-W Apr 14 '13 at 1:11
  • Sounds like "A Boy and His Dog" (Ellison). TImeframe is right: 1969. (And if you're about to complain that "A Boy and His Dog" isn't a children's story: I say, get real! It's a story about a boy! And his dog! How could it not be a children's story?) – davidbak Dec 2 '18 at 8:23

I'll try a stab in the dark based on the few details given :) - Dark Universe by Daniel Galouye. Doesn't appear to be a children's novel but was published in 1961, is rather short (154 pages) and deals with an underground post-apocalyptic civilization. Features a boy (Jared) and girl (Della). I think the synopsis provides sufficient detail that if someone had read it, they would recognize it.

Nominated for the Hugo in 1962. Still in publication. A Google search for "Dark Universe.pdf" will turn up PDF versions.


Hmm... might be "The City Under Ground" by Suzanne Martel in 1963. It was the primary inspiration for the "Book of Ember" series that came out a few years back.

Additional Info: The city dwellers believe themselves to be the only people left on Earth, but find out that isn't the case. The main character escapes with his brother and encounters a girl from a different city who is telepathic. Anything close?


Another stab in the dark: "Wine of the Dreamers" by John D. MacDonald. It does feature an underground (alien) city, although it's not a major plot point.

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