Who will save us against the aliens? Book review of Ender's Game

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by Tim Burdick on 06 April, 2014

Ender’s Game is a sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card. In the distant future, our hero is a scared and bullied child who only wants to be left alone. Ender, the third child, is chosen to participate in a military school to fight off an invasion of buggers, a horrific alien race.

In this story, military commanders believe that war is not won with better lasers or nuclear weapons. It is the leaders who win the battles. This book explores the training of children soldiers through role playing games to ready them for the final battle and only them are able to learn fresh tactics to fight back and defeat an advanced alien culture. Part of me is a reluctant to recommend this book to young readers, but this story doesn’t glorify war. It presents the horrible realities that training does to soldiers and the sacrifices they make to serve in the military. Child soldiers are the most horrible atrocity if we must sacrifice the innocent to save our world.

Someday I would read this book with my children in hopes that we could discuss issues of how to bridge the gaps between cultures, races, religious groups and maybe, planets.

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