Melissa's Reviews > Ender's Game

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
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's review
Feb 18, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, great-ya, young-adult, classic, dystopian, great-reads-other, science-fiction, crcpl, ztlib, college-bound-reading
Read in February, 2009 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Aspects of the work that appeal, or do not appeal to teens:
One of the significant themes of the book is that adults are shortsighted. Ender’s tale ends happily in a sense, but he is not afforded the freedoms of childhood because of the strains under which he is placed. Students seem to appreciate knowing that even those adults with their best interests at heart are not infallible and can make terrible mistakes.

Developmental markers or assets: Youth as resources - Achievement motivation – Responsibility - Planning & decision-making

Are the characters believable?
Ender’s character is believable to varying degrees. Ender has relatively normal worries (school, making friends, avoiding bullies); however, his thought processes are those of an older teen (and a gifted one) rather than a kid up to the age of 12 – 13. This is particularly the case when Ender is supposed to be a child. Occasionally this is a problem as the rule of thumb I was taught was to push books in which the protagonist is about 2 years older than the child… Ender then creates a conundrum: his literal age is young, but his thought processes are advanced. It is possible, however, that this will first appeal to a specific audience (those who are already open to sci-fi novels), but this is a story that truly transcends its setting and Ender’s age may create problems for those more reluctant or resistant readers.

How would you promote this book to teens?
I’d pair it with Harry Potter first. Students will see parallels between Ender and Harry’s lives in that both lived the first several years of their lives without understanding how unique their abilities are and are then enrolled in a school to teach them how to best use those abilities.

In addition, I think that this could be thematically paired with The Lord of the Flies in that the students have created their own faulty hierarchy through the influence of the adults, but enforced of their own volition. As in Lord of the Flies, this hierarchy is both perpetuated and falls apart because of the violence of the children.

VOYA codes:
3P, 4Q, JS

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