Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Librarian's Pick of the Week: Ender's Game

Title: Ender's Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 13+
Age: 1991

"A space-age Lord of the Flies thrill-ride."

Synopsis: Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

Review: This new young adult edition of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens, includes an original postscript by the author in which he discusses the origins of the novel. is all about leadership. The novel asks: What does it take to successfully lead men into battle? The buggers have invaded Earth twice. The last time mankind survived only because of the brilliance of Mazer Rackham, commander of the International Fleet. Years later, a third invasion is feared and a new commander is sought. Ender Wiggin is only six years old when he is plucked to succeed Rackham and sent to the space station Battle School. He is isolated, ridiculed, bullied, and persecuted-but he survives and thrives. Using his astonishing intelligence, the boy learns to be a top-notch solider and, despite his youth and small stature, is quickly promoted up the ranks. By the age of 12, Ender learns the art of command and earns the respect and fear of his fellow soldiers. This audio version was created in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the novel and it's a gem. The audiobook is narrated by a full cast. Stefan Rudniki is particularly good as Ender. Despite Ender's age, this is not a children's novel. Its profound themes (and mild profanity) call for intelligent teens who appreciate a complex novel. - School Library Journal

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!


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