I was first introduced to this book by my 7th and 8th grade English teacher, Mr. Senger. He started reading it to us out loud in 8th grade just before Christmas, and as it turned out, I switched schools instead of returning in January. I checked the book out at the library and read the entire thing in my parents’ formal living room on a pink couch that, to this day, I cannot remember ever sitting in before or after that book.
Ender’s Game sucked me in in that way that (previous to this book) I’d only heard that some books can do. I had a hard time connecting with reality for several days after finishing this book.
I reconnected with it in high school, when I caught a pot-smoking friend of mine reading it under his desk during Bible class. I took it from him and three pages was enough to convince me I not only needed to re-read it, but own it.
I read it to my delinquent boys in the woods at night before bed. Within three nights, my group’s night time culture became the best in camp (and remained far after the book was over, because those boys followed me to the end of any book after I introduced them to Ender’s Game). I taught it my first year of teaching freshman and I’m fairly certain it is the sole reason any of my students actually liked me. I immediately figured out a way to work it into my curriculum for every single grade, despite its 7th grade reading level. Sidenote for you: the author lives about forty-five minutes away from me; I’ve never actually met him.
I don’t know what it is. I’m not going to summarize it, I’m simply going to say it is just that good. If you read it (or have read it) and don’t like it, you and I might get along okay, but in the back of my mind, I’m consciously assuming something is wrong with you.
I have a very hard time picking favorites of anything. I like things in categories and even then, typically I label things in “Top 5’s.” Favorite is difficult for me. So Ender’s Game is listed as my favorite book under the following criteria:
- It is the first book I read all the way through in one sitting.
- It is the first book I ever re-read.
- It is the one book I’ve read and recommended the most.
- It is by far, the favorite among all of my students.
- When it comes up, randomly, in conversation among semi-strangers, it is an instantaneous bond of friendship that requires no explanation.