The random musings of Kate Grace
It was a friend that recommended reading Ender’s Game through chopped statements of “…I know it’s SciFi, BUT…”. I finally caved one afternoon while taking my nieces on an Aunt Kate Date to Barnes and Noble.
I felt comfortably sure my nieces (ages 7 and 4) were settled into a couple of books in the kids section and would refrain from wreaking complete havoc on B&N (The Limited Too had not been so lucky just 20 minutes prior… imagine rows of clothes racks falling domino style with Addison, age 4, walking all “Reservoir Dogs” style through the center of it). So I took off to the Information desk to have someone direct me to the SciFi section. Uncharted territory for my tastes.
Three minutes I was away from the kids section. Three minutes. I walked back with Ender’s Game in my hand and went to collect the girls. “Look what I did, Aunt Kate!” That statement spawns both excitement and utter dread in the gut of an adult responsible for a 4-year-old. Particularly one that single handedly just destroyed a clothing store.
Sure enough, she had found herself a sticker book she had no desire to take home because she had already completed all the stickering. Lucky for me, a B&N employee was hovering nearby and played the omnipotent witness to me telling the 4-year-old we now had to put away the book she wanted to buy and buy the one she vandalized (I used a different word) and the subsequent tears that followed. Hers. Not mine.
The tears did it. I had to get her the Dora book she had her heart set on, but that nosey B&N lady wouldn’t walk far enough away for us to make our escape. And given my current financial status, I could not afford to get both the Dora book and the forever-tainted sticker book while also picking up Ender’s Game. But just like that 4-year-old, my heart was set on my book. It was already in my hand, and all.
So I did what any former Borders employee would do in a B&N… I took the used sticker book and stuck it behind some large-sized Italian cook books in the bargain book section and got the hell out of dodge.
It was an easy read for the most part, and didn’t necessarily feel like SciFi (No Battlestar Gallactic nuances). I could not, however, get over the fact of how young the main characters were!. Ender, one of the youngest, is called on to be the great General Patton of intergalactic warfare while his sister and brother (barely older than he) become the great philosophic talking heads of the international political scene.
This PARTICULARLY kills me because the first draft I wrote of my novel showed our heroine at age 11. The feedback I got from some: “Not old enough for YA. No thanks.” I wanted to email these people back and say, “Ummmm… Ender Wiggin was 6 years old when he started his journey to saving the galaxy by age 12!”
Instead I said, “Thank you for your time and feedback!” Because that is always the correct response! (No exceptions, aspiring writers!)
If you have not read Ender’s Game, it’s a staple for so many reasons. Particularly if you are embracing characters meant to do great things at a young age. The believability in which Ender Wiggin and his purpose come across are sensational given how… well, sensational it is.
Who knew a a 12-year-old could be a last hope for destroying an intergalactic enemy?!?! Though I’m sure The Limited Too and that Sticker book feel differently after meeting Addison.