Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The List” as Want to Read:
The List
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The List

by
3.64  ·  Rating details ·  3,354 ratings  ·  803 reviews
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.

On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting a
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (first published April 16th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The List, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Michael Absolutely.

The two are different editions of the same book. The List is the name of the edition of the book in the United States, while The Wordsmith …more
Absolutely.

The two are different editions of the same book. The List is the name of the edition of the book in the United States, while The Wordsmith is the edition that was published by Little Island Publishing in Ireland.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,354 ratings  ·  803 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The List
Emma Giordano
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Update: May 19, 2019

I have reread & completed The List and am settling on a rating of 3 stars. Though I adored the writing and structure of the world, the plot and characters ended up being a letdown. I wish the story had more development in almost all aspects (characterization, environmentalist themes, plot) and the ending felt rushed and unfinished. I really thought I had the potential to LOVE this book, but it was just okay!


DNF at 73%

Ultimately, I made a bad choice to listen to the audiobook
...more
Justin
Jan 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know, man. This just felt like a mashup of a lot of classic dystopian novels rolled up into one, but it never really got close to the level of any of the books it was trying to be. A little bit of The Giver with some Fahrenheit 451 maybe some 1984 and then some elements of any other dystopian novel. This just never took off for me for some reason.

I was definitely drawn to the idea of the book and the world it described. The thought of a world controlled by language and what words must b
...more
Trish
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is relatively hard to rate. Why? Because on one hand, the plot is very predictable, while on the other, the story itself and how it was written is quite beautiful and I was deeply touched by some of the people and what happened to them.

The story is set in the far future as we gather from some memories and tales of some of the older people. Global warming is not a myth and has led to the polar ice caps melting. Floods and other natural catastrophes have brought mankind to near extinctio
...more
Bradley
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-shelf, sci-fi
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

This is a middle-grade book about the dangers of limiting your vocabulary! So get your dictionary and... oh, wait, it's not about that at all!

It's *actually* about a SF dystopian world after all the ice melted and the dangers of wrong thinking made the scared Noa build an ark, stuff all his people aboard, and be very, very careful about striking certain words out of the common lexicon of regular words.

Our young protagonist, Letta, is a journeywoman who's job is to
...more
Jenny Baker
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
“1984 meets The Giver”

3.5 stars

I just love dystopian novels and when I read the summary of this, I knew I had to read it. I’m so glad that I did! It’s an entertaining read even if there’s a lot of familiarity to it. Some of the references are obvious, but it’s a refreshing twist on a few well-loved classics.

Speech is limited to five hundred words, so dialogue makes everyone sound like non-native English speakers. Words such as “please” and “thank you” aren’t list words. Desecrators are bani
...more
Julie Carpenter
If you are a lover of middle grade fiction I highly recommend this book! I started reading it with my children and they enjoyed it. Then we left on vacation and I tried to continue reading it to them and my nephew joined in. He usually loves to run and be on the go but sat quietly listening and begging to hear the rest of the book. Unfortunately we didn't get to finish it together because vacation ended. But he has asked me a couple different times if I'd finished it and what I thought. I ended ...more
Clara Lamarca
Apr 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Thanks Netgalley for this Arc but unfortunately, it didn't go at all well for me.

This is the first time in my life as a reader that I wanted to not finish a book. Really, this was a true ordeal for me. I have hesitated many times whether I should put it aside or not, and maybe I should have. Because this book gave me absolutely NOTHING. No emotions, no turmoil, just, simple boredom and then, because I was so bored with it, it made me actually angry and I started to pick out all the flaws. Probl
...more
Snooty1
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
For a middle-school book...this was INTENSE!
I couldn't put it down for a second!

Imagine a world after climate change has been ignored and the water levels rise? The dystopian future isn't so hard to imagine, and the inhabitants of the "ark" are controlled with language. They are kept ignorant of the words and are therefore unable to communicate.
Genius really...and absolutely terrifying. To keep people wordless, you keep them imprisoned.

Our heroine, Letta, is a wordsmith apprentice, privy to th
...more
Chelsies Reading Escape
I requested a review copy of this from Netgalley because of the cover. I don't usually read Middle Grade because I usually dont connect to the characters and their decisions, but the cover kept catching my eye so I ended up requesting it. Thankfully, the main character Letta wasnt immature like I thought she was going to be. She was a likeable and well developped character, but I dont know if her bravery was very realistic, especially considering her age. I was afraid for her.

The pace wasnt fast
...more
Esther
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

If you're looking for a highly unique book, stop here, don't look further! This book is all about WORDS. About talking and understanding words, with little references to the flood from the Bible where Noah built an Ark. This story was so clever, so unique and it was actually kinda creepy to bestow a world where spoken language is minimalized little by little...

A longer review can be found at Bite Into
...more
Erin Sky
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The List is a fascinating dystopian tale of a post-apocalyptic society in which language is limited to only 500 words. And falling. The leaders of Ark--a relatively save haven in the midst of chaos and wilderness--believe words are to blame for the cataclysmic Melting, hiding the impending disasters behind pretty lies and false promises until it was too late.

Now, only the aging wordsmith and his young apprentice, Letta, are allowed to use words that are not on the List--collecting and protecting
...more
Karen’s Library
When I read the synopsis of The List, I thought it sounded like a unique dystopian post-apocalyptic tale and knew I wanted to read it. It turned out to be The Giver meets 1984 meets Fahrenheit 451. It wasn't unique at all and felt more like a mish mash of every dystopian I've read.

Letta is an apprentice wordsmith in a society with a vocabulary of only 500 words. Her job is to furnish the LIST of words to all the residents of Ark. Using words that are non-list can get you banished from Ark.

In Ar
...more
Jenna
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dystopia
Shelves: dystopia, young-adult
3.5 stars
Patricia Forde's The List is pretty much a darker version of The Giver. Our protagonist Letta is an apprentice to the Wordsmith, the one who receives and stores all the words humans have created. The other job of the Wordsmith is to create The List, 500 words that people are allowed to speak; all other words are forbidden.

At some point in the future, after climate change has devastated the earth, John Noa creates the Ark, a place where survivors can come and live. This comes at what ma
...more
Stacey
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

"In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.

On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But
...more
Gabrielle Schwabauer
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book.

Two months ago, I stopped being able to speak as a result of a mysterious medical problem. So I started learning ASL instead. My friends and I are trying to learn properly, with correct grammar and such, but for a long time we simply collected vocabulary so I could communicate. So when I read the synopsis of the book, I was intrigued. "Trying to say everything that needs to be said with only 500 words?" I thought. "This is my life right now!" I was curious to se
...more
Sara
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, arc
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

'The here and now is only the smallest part of who we are. Each of us is all that we have been, all our stories, all that we could be'.

Letta is an apprentice wordsmith in the city of Ark, a dystopian world where all technology and animals have been destroyed in a great flood. Her job is to distribute 'The List' a set of 500 words that the citizens of Ark are allowed to use. All other words are censored. So what would life be like
...more
Pamela ✨I Blame Wizards✨
This suffered from 'Divergent' Syndrome: An interesting concept that didn't really follow through with sustainable, believable reasons for its main plot device. Despite there being some interesting use of language and an important call for children to improve their vocabulary, the characters weren't interesting or deep enough to sustain my interest.
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Finished reading: July 14th 2017


"There's always truth in dreams. Don't you know that? We have to learn what they mean, that's all."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
...more
Shadowdenizen
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
07-06-17- Pre-Read. Still more thanks to Netgalley. The cover art, coupled with the description, made this a no-brainer of a request for me!!
Mel (Epic Reading)
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend that if you like dystopian teen fiction you need to read it. The basis for the book is that climate change killed most of the world off and a few select people who saw it coming prepared for it. These people are led by one man named 'Noa' who created a place called 'Ark' that is a sanctuary. Lots of cute nods to Noah's Ark and other biblical stories (without being preachy at all!). The big thing about this community of people is that they can ...more
The Captain
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this middle-grade sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

This book caught me eye because of the premise and the comparisons to the giver and fahrenheit 451. I loved the concept. It takes place in post-apocalyptic America. Climate change has caused the sea levels to rise. The community of Ark is one of the last places where humans survive.

This village is controlled in every way by its founder, John Noa. One o
...more
Judy
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this book and feel that middle-graders will certainly love it. Yes, it is fairly predictable with a strong, lovable heroine and, of course, a villain who, if not stopped, will destroy the new dystopian world made after 'The Melting'. Well-written and very readable - I didn't want to put it down.

Ark is the last safe place on Earth after The Melting, where climate change caused the waters to rise and flood much of the world. Everyone in Ark is required to speak List - language redu
...more
La La
First of all, I don't know why this is being marketed as a Middle Grade title because it reads nothing like a MG, and it is so draggy that age group will drop it like a hot potato before they are a quarter way done. I don't even see it making the mark as a YA either because it bored me to tears and I am an adult. This is a shame, too, because the premise is stellar.

For good solid story telling there were too many coincidences, especially in finding the item that brought about the climax. The sci
...more
Danielle Steenrod
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I stumbled across this book on Netgalley, I had not heard of it before. I was originally drawn in by the cover; it is just so pretty! In The List’s description on Netgalley, it is compared to the likes of Fahrenheit 451 and The Giver. Being a huge fan of both of these books, I knew right away I just had to read this book! I am so glad I got approved to read an advanced copy of this! I just adored the story!

The List is a middle grade dystopian novel that deals with censorship. This is the ty
...more
Billiebumblebee
Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This middle grade dystopian novel was good. Not fantastic but definitely enjoyable. What carried the story through the most was the very interesting concept and world, but it was very typical and followed the standard dystopian recipe. You know, the heroine with a tragic past who meets some rebels and wants to overthrow the authorities who are limiting the people of their power. Packed with death, action and uncovered secrets of course.

So it was predictable and our heroine Letta wasn’t really a
...more
Morris
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-reviews
“The List” is a middle grade dystopia with a good premise: words are dangerous and by limiting them you can control how people spread ideas. The city of Ark has 250 approved words, and it is up to Letta to keep the meanings of the others. The problem is that the narrative is muddled and slow because so many other issues are tackled but not given any depth. Everything from religion to the environment to prisoner’s rights are thrown in and it keeps the story from flowing well. I would stick with “ ...more
Alatea
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
What did I just read?!

I mean... I kinda liked the idea (view spoiler)

So. I liked the world. I kinda liked the idea. I even kinda liked the characters (despite the fact that they were pretty limited and static). But th
...more
Greenglasses
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG, where to start? this book was insane! I loved it so,so much! this book is set in a dystopian future where everyone can only speak list, that 500 word language if their community. I am absolutely speechless, this book has left me shocked and I can wait to read 'The last word'! I think that the real message in this book is Girl Power. Letta (like letter!) is the wordsmith and she goes against everything that she has brought up to believe all in the name of justice. she honestly sounds like a ...more
Kailyn Kausen
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
2.5/5 stars

Review to come on www.kailynkausen.com
...more
A.S.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017

the bandar blog
Patricia Forde's The List is a middle-grade dystopian novel being released today in the United States. It was originally published in the UK and Ireland in 2015 under the title  The Wordsmith , and due to popularity, will now be released to those of us in North America (huzzah!). It's billed as "Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens," and frankly, I don't think they could have described it better.





a sheltered beachside society, the power of language, and a power-hungry dicta

...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Bee's Bookshelf: Favorite Words 6 19 Oct 24, 2017 07:57AM  
The Bee's Bookshelf: Discussion Thread 1 10 Oct 02, 2017 07:11AM  
Around the Year i...: The List, by Patricia Forde 1 15 Mar 06, 2017 11:39AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Het Werkstuk – of hoe ik verdween in de jungle
  • Oerstoer Over de wolharige mammoet en de rest
  • Pirouette in Paramaribo
  • Miljonairskind. Het geheim van het onderhuis
  • Die zomer met Jente
  • Homme en het noodgeval
  • Het raadsel van de zee
  • Tikker
  • Bob Popcorn
  • Niemand ziet het
  • Wat je moet doen als je over een nijlpaard struikelt
  • Sprookjes met de kleur van henna
  • De gouden kokosnoot
  • Lepelsnijder
  • Naar de wolven
  • Kleuren: Een tentoonstelling over kleur & kunst
  • Miss Eenhoorn
  • Onze toekomst is nu!: Strijd met Greta Thunberg voor het klimaat!
See similar books…
128 followers
Patricia Forde lives in Galway, in the west of Ireland, with her husband Padraic and two teenage children. She has previously published Picture
Books and Early Readers for children in Irish and in English. She has written two plays and several television drama series for children and
teenagers. In an earlier life, she was a primary school teacher and the artistic director of the Galway International
...more

Related Articles

Want to encourage young readers to keep up their reading habits? Look no further than this year's buzziest YA and middle-grade graphic novels....
55 likes · 15 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“How can we dream if we don't have words?” 8 likes
“If we give ourselves up to our feelings, aren’t we destined to make the same mistakes all over again?” 3 likes
More quotes…