This week’s Oldie but Goodie:
by Orson Scott Card
Published in 1985
Who might like it:
I chose this book for this week’s Oldie but Goodie for fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent. First off, Veronica has it listed as one of her fav books, and while I was reading Divergent, I noticed lots of parallel themes and ideas that probably subconsciously came from her love of Ender’s Game.
Here’s a few similarities between Ender’s Game and Divergent:
- Training via competition and ranking
- Physically small protagonist who compensates for size with strength of mind
- An evil character named Peter who torments and bullies the protagonist
- A protagonist who feels like they have to hide their strengths to keep friends
- Corrupt and manipulative authority figures
- Society structure that encourages violence as strength and character building
Ender is identified as a child prodigy and genius, and taken by the government to a Training/Battle School in space for future military leaders. At school, Ender is isolated by his young age, genius, and success. He struggles to find his place as a friend, student, and eventually leader whilst being attacked by other students at the Training/Battle School.
What I Love:
Ender is one of my favorite characters of all time. The way his brain works is fascinating. The struggles he faces make you want to wrap him in your arms and give him a hug. And ultimately, he is one of the most admirable characters I’ve ever encountered for his strength, integrity, and sympathy for others.
The setting of a Training/Battle School in space is one of the coolest settings ever, perhaps only rivaled by Hogwarts. Despite the violence at the school, I wanted to go away to Battle School so I could play their intense game (a form of zero gravity laser tag) and earn my ranking in the mess hall.
There is some cursing as well as intense violence. Though the violence is no worse than Hunger Games in my opinion. I’ve had middle school boys read this book, with a warning ahead of time.
After over 25 years, they are finally making Ender’s Game into a movie!!! I’m so excited!
Here’s a link to the cast list:
Some highlights of the cast:
- Boy from Hugo = Ender
- Harrison Ford = Colonel Graff
- Abigail Breslin = Valentine
- Ben Kingsley = Mazer Rackham