I met Ender Wiggin in eighth grade. If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve mentioned him before. I could write a series of blog posts on Ender, but I have some specific points to make about this series, so let’s get started.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
You may have heard of the movie, and I urge you to forget you ever did. The books are nothing like the movie. If you’re a die hard reader, you’ll understand.
Ender Wiggin is a character in a sci-fi novel series created and written by Orson Scott Card. I am not a sci-fi fan beyond Star Wars, and that’s only for the original movies. And yet, I attest to the fact that Ender Wiggin shaped who I am today.
Who is Ender Wiggin?
Ender Wiggin is a boy genius chosen to attend the elite Fleet School, a training academy developed after Earth was invaded by an alien species during the Formic Wars. (Think very Star Wars-y stuff except we’re battling aliens instead of the First Order.)
Spoiler alert: Ender believes he’s participating in a training module and ends up saving the universe by destroying the alien species known as buggers.
I tell you this because the point of this post is tell you about the world of Ender Wiggin as a whole. The stories in the Ender Wiggin series stretch from the first Formic War all the way to the end of Ender’s life and encompass stories of his brother, sister, and friend from Fleet School.
That’s the broad picture. Here’s what I want to talk about.
Young People Should Read These Books
As with much science fiction, heavy themes are draped in manageable, relatable analogies. I didn’t know what a hegemony was until I read these books. Once I learned the word I started seeing them everywhere, particularly when learning about WWII and the atrocities of the Holocaust. Because of Ender Wiggin, the horror of what happened to Jewish people suddenly became clearer, tangible, and real.
This book opened my eyes to the struggles and inequalities of the world through the relatable story of Ender Wiggin. I was Ender’s age when I first read these books, and I struggled with school just as Ender did. That’s how Ender Wiggin became my friend. I didn’t know I was learning, which is the beautiful secret weapon of these books.
I look back on Ender Wiggin today, and my mind is freaking blown. Ender taught me so much inadvertently that shaped me to be a better thinker and to view my world from a wider perspective. All young persons should read these books.
Connecting with Ender Wiggin
I know it’s sometimes hard to get young ones to read, so I urge you to check out the audiobook editions of these books. The audio versions are performed, which means there’s an entire cast representing the characters. It’s a beautiful performance of a great story. I highly recommend all of them. The talent is first rate. Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, and Gabrielle de Cuir to name just a few.
I’ve read all the books and yet I go back to the narrations over and over again. It’s as if the characters are speaking directly to me. Once again, Ender is showing me the world, and there’s still so much to see.