Ender's ShadoweBook - 1999
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From Library Staff
Rbrightone Dec 03, 2009
This is an amazing book for people of any age. Its a thought provoking read and a fun fantasy at the same time. Definately in my top 5.
226 p. (Gr 8+) In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
From the critics
AgeAdd Age Suitability
ThePistachioKing thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
black_chicken_135 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
Maureen Candice Goetz thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over
yellow_cat_1993 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99
QuotesAdd a Quote
I don't care if I pass your test, I don't care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat so can I. I won't let you beat me unfairly- I'll beat you unfairly first.-Ender
“Alai suddenly kissed Ender on the cheek and whispered in his ear, ‘Salaam.’ Then, red-faced, he turned away and walked to his own bed at the back of the barracks.”
"I'll lie to him."
"And if that doesn't work?"
"Then I'll tell the truth. We're allowed to do that, in emergencies. We can't plan for everything, you know."
"They found me through the ansible followed it and dwelt in my mind. In the agony of my tortured dreams they came to know me, even as I spent my days destroying them; they found my fear of them, and found also that I had no knowledge I was killing them. In the few weeks they had, they build this place for me, and the Giant's corpse and the playground and the ledge at the end of the world, so I would find this place by the evidence of my eyes. I am the only one they know, and so they can only talk to me and through me."
If you could make them feel as you can make me feel, then perhaps they could forgive you.
“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them.”
Violence: Several murders occur over the course of this book - some of them children.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: Violence and neglect directed against children.
Violence: lots...fist fights zero gravity fight Ender breaks a guys arm and crushes a boys arm and it crushes his lungs and heart
SummaryAdd a Summary
So much better than Ender's Game! Despite being a mini super-genius, Bean is a more accessible and resonant protagonist. Great summer read!
Genius kid, aliens, video games and fake battles with no gravity to train for war, and a whole space station! How cool, right?
After being attacked by aliens for the second time, Earth’s government is preparing for a third encounter with the creatures known as the ‘buggers’. Six-year-old Ender Wiggin, the youngest of three brilliant children, has been monitored by the military for his suitability as a potential commander in the upcoming war. Surpassing expectations, Ender is taken to interstellar Battle School where he learns the arts of military strategy and leadership, practicing his skills in simulated war games while leading an isolated and lonely existence of his instructors’ design.
Readers will quickly come to sympathize with Ender; he misses his family, wishes for friendship and acceptance, doesn't want to hurt anyone, and above all wants to be a good person. Ender's deepest fear is not of the buggers or death in battle, but of seeing his sadistic brother's tendencies in himself, a dread triggered by Ender's strong survival instincts and calculated acts of self-preservation. As Ender is forced to defend himself, and his brother Peter struggles to master his own violent impulses, their sister Valentine observes that the brothers are “Two sides of the same coin, but which side is which?” (p. 238) Ender's Game raises the question of what makes killing a crime: the act itself, or the motivation behind it? Good fiction refrains from delivering a moral lecture, instead leading readers to ask themselves difficult questions, and teens will appreciate the absence of pat answers in this novel as they work out their own views.
Ender's genius is evident in his unusually independent and innovative thinking, and his ability to adapt to new situations. He is creative and elastic, pushing beyond perceptual barriers to find original ways of solving problems. As a leader, Ender wisely trusts his soldiers to develop winning strategies through play and experimentation. It soon becomes apparent to the reader why risk-taking children, not yet entrenched in restrictive patterns of thinking, are the government's hope to save the human race from destruction.
The novel touches on a plethora of topics ranging from religious oppression to colonisation. The importance of communication, perspective and understanding are underscored with the revelation that the entire bugger war is due to the failure of the two sides on these counts.
Trust, deception and manipulation run through the adult/child relationships in the book. The Battle School trains students to be weapons in a war for the common good, and treats them accordingly without indulging individual desires. Teen readers will relate as adults in their lives enforce decisions about school and socializing that are more in line with long-term societal values and expectations than the immediate wishes of the teens themselves.
Ender's Game balances the inherent excitement and action of battle with psychology and politics, exploring diverse, complex characters and the relationships between them. Set largely in outer space with gifted protagonists aged six to sixteen, this lengthy and multilayered tale will appeal to strong readers of all genders, especially those with an interest in war, computer games, outer space, or fiction involving moral dilemmas. The final part of the book is a moving meditation on guilt and forgiveness, with a surprising and complicated chance at redemption. Teens entering the age of independence and deliberation will take heart from the novel’s message that whatever mistakes they have made in the past, be they crimes or ignorant acts of recklessness, the future is still theirs to shape.