Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Card, Orson Scott.
New York : Tom Doherty Associates, 1999.
ISBN 031286860X

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Bean appeared first on the streets of Rotterdam. He was a tiny child for his age, but his mind more than made up for his physical size. He used his mind to survive rather than his strength, joined a gang, and made it the example for all other gangs in the city. Eventually, he gained the notice and the enmity of Achilles, an older brilliant child with a disposition towards manipulation and control . . . one who would kill anyone who ever saw him in a moment of weakness.

Eventually, Bean came to the notice of Battle School, the interstellar school for child military genius' that were being trained to defeat the "Buggers," the insect-like alien race who threatened the existence of the entire human race. Bean was accepted to Battle School, as was Achilles. Eventually, Bean was forced to subdue his rival and humiliate him to the point that Achilles was thrown out of Battle School.

Bean, meanwhile, became the right hand of "Ender" Wiggin, the "best of the best." and the head of all the generals. Bean was the steadying force behind Ender. He was the one who, despite being the youngest and smallest, always excelled and watched and learned. He was the one who stepped in and led when Ender was too sick and exhausted to lead. It was Bean who understood the truth, who figured out that the 'test' battles were directing real men in real ships who were dying against the Buggers. He was the strategist and may have really been the Best of the Best, always there, always ready to step in at a moment's notice. He was Ender's Shadow.

Sam Marsh  (Colorado Blue Spruce Children's Award)

Booktalk #2

The world is in chaos. Aliens have invaded twice almost wiping out the human species. Who's to say a third invasion won't take place. The world government has a plan, and it involves Ender Wiggin. Ender is six years old and already knows more than most adults. He is sent to battle school with other kid geniuses. There, it's all about "The Game". It's a game with soldiers and commanders battling in anti-gravity. That's how the government can tell if you have what it takes to fight for them. But even in battle school Ender is different and moves up in the rankings faster than anyone in history, graduating four years early. They move him to a secret facility only a few know about. Will Ender have what it takes to save the planet or will he fail miserably while the human race fades into oblivion?  (Rachel W., student)

SUBJECTS:     Extraterrestrial beings -- Fiction.
                        Imaginary wars and battles -- Fiction.
                        Science fiction.


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