Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
New York Tom Dougherty 1977 324 p.
TAGS: Margaret A. Edwards Award, Science Fiction
This is a brilliant science fiction novel written by Orson Scott Card. Although the story begins on Earth, most of the book is set in Battle School somewhere in space. Battle School was needed to ward off the third invasion from the “buggers”, the bee-like invaders that would be coming back to finish off the Earth. This school was looking only for the very best leaders and those leaders had to be children.
The Wiggin’s family has more than the allotted two children on Earth and Peter, Valentine and Andrew, are all very gifted children. When they were very young they each wore a micro-chip in their neck so that the International Fleet could watch their every move to see if they were fit for Battle School. Peter was brilliant but far too cruel, Valentine brilliant and driven but a little too soft and both were denied. Ender, as Andrew was called, was somewhere in the middle so he was allowed to be a “third child”. Ender was selected and taken to Battle School at the age of 6. Early on, he displayed extraordinary powers in the virtual battles on the computers and actual combat in a zero gravity battle room. Ender advanced fast by never losing a battle, showing great skills of leadership, problem solving and a smidgeon of compassion.
Card’s use of children rather than adults to train is interesting. He capitalizes on knowing that children are controlled by adults so at times Ender is manipulated and deceived. In spite of that he rises to become a great leader, just what they wanted and Ender takes the role serious. His training in commander school is grueling and Orson Scott Card has a masterful surprise ending that will make readers clamor for more.
This book has great themes of childhood lost, ethics of power and the greater good. The story is told in both Individual and Omniscient point-of –view which will delight the reader. There are some issues with violence and inappropriate language so that this book would be most appropriate for middle school and beyond. Readers of all genres will enjoy this easy to read, fast paced, compelling story.There are several covers for the this book I read the one with Ender on the front which would appeal to the younger teen. The newer cover art has more mysterious feel to it and would appeal more to the older teen.
Quality 5Q Popularity 5P Grade JS Lexile 780