Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.
Is Ender the general Earth so desperately needs? The only way to find out is to throw him into ever-harsher training at Battle School, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins. He will grow up fast.
But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. His two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Among the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
Review: The problem with this book is that it has a very specific target audience, and I am not it. Ben read it as a smart young teenage boy and loved it; I read it as a smart middle-aged woman, and appreciated the groundbreaking (for 1977/1985) aspects of video game warfare, but despaired over the treatment of poor, sweet little Ender. I was also offended that only one girl made it to Battle School, and (spoiler alert), she's the only one who cracked up at the end. I get that this book was written in the early 1980s, but the ratio of girls to boys (1 to about 300) seemed completely unfair. It was an interesting story, and I became invested in the character of Ender, and was happy to see how he made great progress even given the intentional stressors in this life. But the bullying and subsequent violence was really hard to read about.
Rating: 4 stars