(F) Ages 15-18, (G) Ages 16 and up, Beyond Books, Book Reviews, Raising Readers, Read-alongs, Reading Guides, Reflections, Resources, Series Posts, Teen/Adult
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Ender’s Game Read Along: A Galactic Giveaway and Contest!

***THE GIVEAWAY PART OF THIS POST IS OVER. ***

ENDER’S GAME POSTS: Introduction, Week 1: Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card, Week 2: Ender vs Peter, Week 3: Science of the Story, Week 4: Conclusions

Also, see our Sci-Fi Writing Contest for Teens and our Sci-Fi Podcast Discussion coming soon.

WHY READ ALONG?

Sci-FiEnder’s Game (The Ender Quintet) by Orson Scott Card.  Tor Science Fiction, 1985.  352 pgs.  Ages 15 and up.

As many of you know, the first book of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card has been adapted to the big screen, and it will be hitting theaters on November 1.  What does this mean to you, dear reader?

First, Ender’s Game is a classic sci-fi text that has earned its place in the sci-fi canon, and influenced writers and genres ever since its publication in 1985.  That includes the YA sci-fi and fantasy craze of recent years, and, as we’ll explore, the Hunger Games trilogy which dominated YA book sales in 2012.  So, Ender’s Game is relevant to young readers today for its own sake as well as the way it is present in current YA and adult books.

Second, because sci-fi has grown in popularity in the last decade, it’s worth a little extra scrutiny by parents and teens.  We’ve invited John Ottinger III, editor of the sci-fi/fantasy review website Grasping for the Wind, to help us explore questions like these: What is sci-fi all about?  Why should Christians care about it?  How can young Christian readers benefit from Ender’s Game, as well as the genre generally?  What should young readers be wary of?

ender movieThird, with Ender’s Game and the second Hunger Games movie hitting theaters in November, now is the time to get educated!   People are going to be talking about the books and movies perhaps more in the next few months than every before–why not join our read along and put it to use for the gospel?  Not only do we hope to strengthen your hope in Christ through this read along, but, Lord willing, we hope teens and adults will be better equipped to talk their friends and neighbors about the worldview and gospel implications.

ONE CAUTION: Ender’s Game is a book that contains violence as well as some offensive language.  It also contains intense, suspenseful situations that won’t be appropriate for some readers.  We would recommend the book for ages 15 and up, though parents and educators will want to judge its appropriateness for young readers on an individual basis.

GALACTIC GIVEAWAY: Sci-Fi Starter Pack

Our guest host, John Ottinger, is both a sci-fi reviewer (for his own site and World Magazine) and an educator for classical homeschoolers.  (You can check out his classical website here.)  In other words, he knows the impact books can have on young minds.  And that’s one reason we invited him to create a Sci-fi Starter Pack for teens and adults.  If you haven’t really spent much time reading sci-fi, these books will help you get your foot in the door…and even if you don’t get converted into a full-fledged sci-fi fan, hopefully they’ll help you appreciate and understand the genre.

While we’ll only be reading Ender’s Game for this read along, we will give away one complete set of the CORE SCI-FI TEXTS below.  Please note that these books almost all contain violence and language inappropriate for some young readers, but they also contain other redeeming qualities that make them appropriate for most teens over 15:

CORE SCI-FI TEXTS

1.  Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet) by Orson Scott Card

2.  Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov

3.  Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury

4.  Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy) by C. S. Lewis

5.  Trading in Danger (Vatta’s War) by Elizabeth Moon

6.  Divergent by Veronica Roth** (Since this post was originally created, the final book in this series has come out.  It contains much more sexuality and other problematic content than earlier books in the series, so we definitely don’t recommend it for young teens and we encourage older teens and adults to use discretion.)

Here’s a printable list with notes for readers who want a printable version to take to the library: SCI-FI STARTER PACK READING LIST.

HOW TO ENTER

Just tell us your favorite sci-fi book or movie character in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win!  (And yes, Luke Skywalker and E.T. count…so there’s a fallback if you can’t think of anyone else!)  We’ll announce the winner next Saturday, Sept 21!

READ ALONG DATES

Sept 14: Announcement and invitation
Sept 28: Chapters 1-4
Oct 5: Chapters 5-8
Oct 12: Chapters 9-12
Oct 19: Chapters 13-15
Nov 1: Writing Contest Begins
Nov. 2o: Finale Podcast

TEEN WRITING CONTEST & SPECIAL GUEST?

To keep up with our read along, please sign up for our biweekly newsletter on the right hand side of the homepage.  You can also like our Facebook page or follow our Twitter feed.  Each Saturday during the read along John and I will discuss portions of Ender’s Game with real teens.  We’ll include discussion questions for you to extend the conversation with your friends and family.

And our special guest?  That will be announced around the time our Writing Contest begins, as we lead up to the Hunger Games release in late November.  We hope to have a really fun finale that will enhance your experience both of the Ender’s Game movie as well as give you insight on the new Hunger Games movie.

So, for now, welcome to our Ender’s Game read along!  If you’re new to our site, be sure to check out Redeemedreader’s previous coverage of The Hunger Games book and movie.  You might also like to see our Top 10 Posts of 2012.  We’ve also done a number of read alongs before if you’re interested in using those for personal or academic reading, including The Hobbit and C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength.

One more thing: a big thank you to college student Kelsey Schoeppler for creating the Sci Fi Read Along image for us!  Great work, Kelsey!

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28 Comments

  1. Pingback: Ender’s Game Read Along and Contest – Grasping for the Wind

  2. How fun! I literally just finished Ender’s Game two days ago! I loved it, but I am having a hard time seeing how they are going to successfully adapt it to a movie. Should be interesting.

    I think I am going to choose Ender’s Game as my favorite sci-fi book too!

  3. I also wanted to add that in addition to the violence, there is some profanity and crudeness in the book that I decided would be inappropriate for my 11-year-old who will absolutely love this book when I let him read it in a few years.

  4. Elizabeth D. says

    According to the local library, Lord of the Rings is sci-fi, which would make my favorite character be Faramir. But I’ve always thought that was a bit of a stretch, so I’ll say Meg Murray from A Wrinkle In Time.

  5. Antonis Matakos says

    Now, I was a bit confused as to which book I should choose as my favourite… is it Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun series? Or maybe one between The Forever War and Star My Destination, both books that I could not put down when reading them…. But then it hit me! My favourite SF book is actually a graphical novel! Alan Moore’s Watchmen is for me one of the best things I have experienced in my life and it gets my full vote. And if I have to pick a favourite character out of it, then Andrian Veidt is my choice!

  6. I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but I love C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, so my favorite character would be Ransom. My favorite book from the series is That Hideous Strength, but only after rereading it in light of the advice of a pastor who said it was all about marriage and male/female roles and relationships. It makes so much more sense in that light!

  7. The first sci-fi book I read was Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy and Marvin the Paranoid Android is still my favorite character.

  8. Marijo Taverne says

    I really like Karen Hancock’s Legends of the Guardian King series. And I really like Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I love Perelandra by C.S. Lewis.

  9. Bob Heren says

    I’m a big sci fi fan, so I’m excited about this. I’m amazed at how many people have never read Ender’s Game, so I’m glad the movie is coming out and re-sparking an interest in it (the rest of the series isn’t quite the same, but Ender’s Game is incredible). I would say that my favorite science fiction trilogy (because one book wouldn’t do the series justice) is the Golden Age trilogy by John C. Wright. He’s a catholic author, so his book is clean (unlike a lot of sci fi) and it’s an amazingly intricate and creative story.

  10. Am excited about the ENDER’S GAME movie. Good cast and the trailer looks great, although those can be misleading, but still — hoping for the best.

    As for favorite Science Fiction characters — I’ve always been intrigued by Duncan Idaho from the DUNE books. He had such a small ‘role’ (although important) in the first book but he kept being brought back again and again (in later books) as a clone. Not sure the Atreides family would be the same without him.

    Recently listened to READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline and really enjoyed his main character, Wade Watts, especially when voiced by Wil Wheaton (‘Wesley Crusher’ from “Star Trek: the Next Generation”).

  11. Joshua Butcher says

    I have always been partial to Charles Wallace, from Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” quintet.

  12. Josiah says

    Favourite Sci-Fi character in book or film? Wow, that’s a tough one.

    Film: (Does TV count?) William Adama from Battlestar Galactica (2004 one), or Walter Bishop from Fringe.

  13. Anna S. says

    I haven’t read a lot of sci-fi, but I really enjoyed Enchantress From the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl. Very thought-provoking.

  14. Pingback: Bookmarks 9/17/13

  15. I have always loved Ransom, especially in “That Hideous Strength.” One of the best lines from the trilogy: “I am become a bridge.”

  16. Tiffany says

    I have been wanting to read this book for awhile. Guess this is extra incentive.

  17. I would LOVE to win the C.S. Lewis trilogy – the others are great bonuses!

    Mal from Firefly/Serenity, and Kayley. Duncan Idaho and Paul Atreides from Dune. Sarah Connor in Terminator. (Yes – going back a ways there) Ripley from the Alien franchise. Most of these are movies.

    I read the Dune series until it got gratuitous. In fact I went on a fiction fast for almost two years to cleanse my mind of some of the really inappropriate images and culture that occurs in a lot of paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy fiction. I’m considering the read along of Ender’s Game, because my eldest son has read it.

  18. I used to read sci-fi a Long time ago, before I became a Christian. I am only now starting to enjoy it again, and I would love to add these to our school library collection. Reading Divergent now, and enjoying it. But I have to say (since I haven’t read Lewis’ space trilogy) that Paul Atreides in Dune, was my favorite character.

  19. I wonder if I will be able to enjoy the movie much, knowing the ending going in. For me, the twist was the thing that made the book pay off. (It was good in other ways, too, but yeah.)

    My favourite sci-fi character would have to be Jean-Luc Picard. I’m not sure why, but I have good memories of watching the show with my dad as a kid. What a great giveaway!

    Now I want to go re-read the Space Trilogy! I read That Hideous Strength first, not knowing it was part of a series, and never read them all in the proper order.

  20. My favorite sci-fi books are the C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy, and of them, That Hideous Strength.

  21. Hi Everyone! This is John from Grasping for the Wind. Though I’m not eligible to win this awesome SF starter pack, I wanted to put my two cents in and name MY favorite science fiction character. You may never have heard of him as he mostly only appears in short stories, but Nicholas van Rijn of the Polesotechnic stories by Poul Anderson is my current favorite. A galactic merchant, he manages to embody self-interest and self-sacrifice at such different times and in such different ways that I find him intriguing – though I don’t always approve of his actions.

    And of course, for a movie character, how can I not like HAN SOLO?

    And to my fellow Browncoats, remember, “We’re still flying!”

    And Bob H. above, did John Wright write that series before or after he became a Catholic? He used to be an ardent atheist, so his progression from anti-faith to faith is an intriguing one to watch him work through in his novels. Have you read his newest SF series? The first two books are out now. I was fortunate to review both; my mind was blown.

  22. My favorite sci-fi book is actually a trilogy: the space trilogy by C.S. Lewis. I tried, but I couldn’t pick just one.

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