Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: First published 1977 this edition published by Starscape in 2002
Recommended Age Group: Ages 10 and up
Summary: Ender’s Game is about a boy named Andrew Wiggin who calls himself Ender. The story starts out when he is six and in a special program for really smart kids who, if they advance, will go to school to become an astronaut. These astronauts fight the “buggers” who tried to destroy humans and colonize earth quite some time before. He has two older siblings, something that only happens when it is approved by the government because of population regulations. Ender’s two older siblings Peter and Valentine, were in the program too but got kicked out for various reasons. Apparently they are monitored from a very young age and it is a disgrace to get the monitor removed because this means that you are kicked out of the program. They remove Ender’s and he gets into a fight at school because of it and ends up killing the ringleader, but he doesn’t know it at the time. Ender gets accepted to the school and does very well despite the teachers trying to make it hard for him all along the way. In their minds they think they are helping him to grow by isolating him and making it hard for him to get friends. Near the end of Battle School Ender gets into a fight with some pretty bad kids and ends up killing this guy too, although he doesn’t know it then either. He is chosen to advance many different times in school making the other kids jealous and dislike him. Eventually he becomes the commander of a battle group and he wins every match that they ever play which happens once or twice a day. In the end he is chosen for Command school and is sent to train there. Although before he goes he is aloud to return to earth and learn to appreciate what he would be saving if he would fight for it. He plays in what he thinks are games and wins every time destroying the enemy at seemingly impossible battles. In the end he destroys their world and they all die. Then he finds out what he has done with the battles, that they were real, and what he did to those two boys he got into fights with. He wants to change and have a peaceful life. Meanwhile his siblings are doing a lot of work at home. Peter is trying to take over the world thought the net and a person he created called Locke. His sister Valentine is forced to help him and becomes Demosthenes who changes the way people think about the world. There is a civil war and Peter, as Locke forms a treaty and slowly gains power. In the end Ender and Valentine go to colonize one of the old bugger worlds and he becomes governor. Then they fly around from planet to planet inspecting other colonies and meeting the people there who worship Ender because he saved all their lives.
Personal Notes: I liked this book. It was kind of hard to get into at first and I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone who didn’t already like and read science fiction. But it was good for those who had some sort of background. I liked the way Ender kept trying even when it was hard, it is a good message for young people. However, I did not like the way Card seemed to make every bad thing he did good because it was for a greater cause. I think this may have a bad influence on some of the kids who read it. Overall though I thought it was a great book and that it had a great message. A fun and exciting read.