Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card ISBN: 978-0812550702, Tor Science Fiction (July 15, 1994)
Set in a not so distant future, humanity is embroiled in wars between the three dominant blocks of power: the Hegemon, the Polemarch and the Strategos, when contact with an alien race of insect like beings, which humans name the Formic, erupts into war. Humans put aside their differences and create the International Fleet, or IF, in order to combat the alien threat. The Formic possess more sophisticated technology than humans, but curiously seem to lack any means to communicate. Alien prisoners that are captured simply die. Humanity seems to be on its way to extinction when one man, Mazer Racham, is able to lead the humans to a victory that no one really seems to understand. The Formic are defeated and pushed back into their own space. Many decades later, the IF is in search of tactical genius to lead them against the Formic in an anticipated “third invasion.”
Andrew Wiggin’s parents were not expecting to give birth to tactical geniuses, but after both older siblings are tested, the International Fleet requests that the couple have an unheard of “third child.” Both Peter and Valentine, the older siblings, are geniuses, but Peter, a budding sociopath, lacks the compassion that is needed to understand the enemy, and Valentine displays too much compassion. Ender combines the traits of both compassion and ruthlessness, and after he seriously injures another boy in order to obtain a lasting victory against the bully, Colonel Graff decides to take him to Battle School, an installation that orbits the Earth. In Battle School, highly intelligent children are trained in battle strategy and form platoons that are led by the most talented of their number. The school administration employs ruthless techniques in order to prepare the students, but Ender knows that if he wants to survive, he must be the best. The hopes of an entire world are riding on his shoulders.
Information about the author:
Andrew Wiggin’s parents were not expecting to give birth to tactical geniuses, but after both older siblings are tested, the International Fleet requests that the couple have an unheard of “third child.” Six year old Andrew “Ender” Wiggin may be humanity’s last hope against an alien race, but first Ender must survive battle school.
Great historical leaders, dictators and military battles
Do the ends ever justify the means?
Reading Level/Interest Age:
Grades 7 and up
I would make sure that all material was purchased in accordance with my library’s collection development policy and make sure to keep a file containing positive reviews for books that I thought might be challenged. In the event of a challenge, I would actively listen to the parent’s concern and ask if they had read the book. I would then explain why the book had been added to the collection and provide with the reviews and a copy of the collection development policy. I would affirm that they are within their rights to limit what their children read, but that other parents also have the right to determine what their children can read. If all else failed, I would provide the parent with a reconsideration form.
Reasons for inclusion:
This book was a Hugo and Nebula Award winner. The movie is due to be released later this year.