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The List

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,581 ratings  ·  688 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (first published April 16th 2015)
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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

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)

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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,581 ratings  ·  688 reviews

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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 audiob
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
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
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
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
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 banish
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Honestly The List is one of the most original MG novels I’ve read in a long time. It has an intriguing concept accompanied by a fairly engaging (although simplistic) story. Unfortunately, it comes with a hefty helping of an unbiblical worldview, which makes it problematic for me as a Christian. I won’t be recommending this one.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-books
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
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
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
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, 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
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
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
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dystopia
Shelves: young-adult, dystopia
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
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
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
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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)
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars, dystopian
This book has definitely given me a bit of perspective. I was able to relate to a lot of things as I'm a writer and words are very important to me. I had over half of it to read today and I got it done because it goes back to the library soon and because I wanted to include it in my monthly blog wrap up. So I read this book A LOT today. #bloggerproblems. Let's get into the review. (And let's not focus on the fact that # are becoming easier for me to use despite the fact I don't like them.)

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
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
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The List is a particular experience. I devoured the book in one sitting (albeit, not unusual for me) and had no trouble keeping straight the many characters, plot-lines, and features specific to Ark's world-building. On the other hand, I didn't understand all the characters, plot-lines, and features specific to Ark. Which doesn't entirely make sense, unless I unpack my statement, so let me get into my review.

As stated in the summary, Letta is the Ark's apprentice wordsmith. Her job is to help re
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
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
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
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
Kailyn Kausen
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
2.5/5 stars

Review to come on
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The Bee's Bookshelf: Favorite Words 6 17 Oct 24, 2017 07:57AM  
The Bee's Bookshelf: Discussion Thread 1 9 Oct 02, 2017 07:11AM  
Around the Year i...: The List, by Patricia Forde 1 15 Mar 06, 2017 11:39AM  

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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
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“How can we dream if we don't have words?” 8 likes
“apples, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. There were no pineapples.” 3 likes
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