Ender’s Game Read Along: A Galactic Giveaway and Contest!


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.


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.


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:


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.


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!


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


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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  1. […] I’ll be a co-host of the Redeemed Reader Ender’s Game Read-Along in September and November as we gear up for the release of the movie version November 1. I hope you will join for me, Emily Whitten, and a panel of teenagers as we explore the depths of Orson Scott Card’s classic novel from a Christian perspective. While you are ther, win a SF Starter Pack that includes Asimov, Bradbury, Moon, Lewis and Roth as well as Ender’s Game, just for commenting! […]

  2. Kim on September 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    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. Kim on September 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    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.

    • emily on September 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Yes, good point, Kim. I’ll clarify that in my post!

  4. Elizabeth D. on September 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    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 on September 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    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. Heather V.T. on September 14, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    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. Dean on September 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    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 on September 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    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 on September 15, 2013 at 6:56 am

    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. Lucy on September 15, 2013 at 7:41 am

    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 on September 15, 2013 at 7:44 am

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

  12. Josiah on September 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    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. Janie Cheaney on September 16, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I’m not eligible to win, but my favorite sci-fi character is Capt. Malcolm Reynolds, of Firefly.

  14. Tristan Turner on September 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    My favorite sci-fi character is Boba Fett

  15. Anna S. on September 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm

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

  16. Josiah on September 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I forgot about Captain Mal from Firefly. That’s another great character!

  17. Bookmarks 9/17/13 on September 17, 2013 at 7:53 am

    […] Ender’s Game Read Along: Redeemed Reader is hosting a fun and insightful read along for the classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game, which is hitting the big screen on November 1st! […]

  18. Allison on September 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

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

  19. Tiffany on September 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm

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

  20. Sara on September 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    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.

  21. Carol Scott on September 19, 2013 at 6:09 am

    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.

  22. Steph on September 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    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.

  23. Kae on September 20, 2013 at 6:03 am

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

  24. Sarah Hershberger on September 20, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Character: Tris
    Book: Divergent/Insurgent/Allegiant

    Pick me please 🙂 and thank you for this contest. 🙂

  25. John on September 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    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.

  26. Ethan on September 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    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.

  27. Jon on September 24, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Perelandra by C.S. Lewis is my favorite Sci-fi book

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