Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 4: Conclusions

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ENDER’S GAME POSTS: Introduction, Week 1: Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card, Week 2: Ender vs Peter, Week 3: Science of the Story, Week 4: Conclusions

Welcome to Week 4, the finale of our Ender’s Game Read Along!  Today, we wrap up this part of our Ender’s Game coverage.  But before we jump into today’s podcast, be aware that next Saturday I’ll announce the Sci-fi Writing Contest, as well as the authors and critics we’ve assembled for one last panel.  I’m very excited about how that is shaping up, as we plan to discuss Ender’s Game, Hunger Games, and what sci-fi means to YA readers today.

But for today, we look at the end of the book, as well as some of our take away points from the reading experience.  Thanks for reading!


John Headshot 2John Ottinger is a writer, classical educator, and dad.  His reviews, interviews, and articles have appeared in WORLD magazine, Publishers Weekly, Black Gate, Strange Horizons, SF Signal, and Tor.com.  He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Central Florida with research interests in Science Fiction, Christianity, and Southern Literature.  He blogs at Graspingforthewind.com.

Jack 5Jack Mertens is a freshman college student at Louisiana Tech University. When he’s not studying or doing homework, he’s probably reading, writing, playing guitar, watching a TV show, attending a Bible study, or hanging out with friends. He is also a regular contributor to the blog Thousand Mile Walk.

Abby Burns is is also a Redeemedreader intern and a rising college freshman in Richmond, Virginia.  She has had a love for literature her whole life, stretching all the way from Dr. Seuss to Dostoevsky. Unfortunately, like many readers, she had to learn at a young age that she could not survive on eating, sleeping, and reading alone. (She says she gave it her best shot, though!) Now she divides her time between her family, preparations for her first year of college, and work with her youth group.   You can read more of her work at www.wordsoundimage.tublr.com.

And of course, I’m Emily Whitten, mom, WORLD magazine writer, and host for this read along.  You can read more about me in Redeemedreader’s About page.


RR Podcast 38:



Sci-FiAs we finish up our read along this week, we ask some simple questions:

1. What did you think of the book’s conclusion?  How do Card’s ideas of redemption compare to the Biblical idea of redemption?

2.  What did you take away from the reading experience?

3.  What did you think of the violence and language?  Was it something you’d warn others about?  How does Ender’s Game compare to other sci-fi or fantasy books you’ve read in terms of those issues?

4.  A lot of readers are offended by Orson Scott Card’s defense of traditional marriage.  Some have tried to paint him as a hypocrite by finding homosexuality in Ender’s Game, while others are already protesting the movie because of their belief that Card is anti-gay.  What will you say to friends or family who criticize the movie on this account?

What questions do you have about the science in Ender’s Game?  We’d love to hear them in the comments below…as well as your answers to some of our questions!

If you’d like more movie-related reading on our site, do check out our Book Thief review and our read along of The Hobbit.  And don’t forget to join us next Saturday for the last installment of our read along, as well as the announcement of our Writing Contest!

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2 Responses to Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 4: Conclusions

  1. John November 2, 2013 at 8:35 am #


    All very excellent points – thank you for bringing them out.

  2. Brian November 1, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Oddly without knowing the movie was coming out, I just finished reading Ender’s Game for the first time (as an adult/parent) because it was on a ‘must read’ list. And now I stumbled across this site (love it by the way).

    1. I like how Card depicted the burdens and guilt that Ender carries. Even when a person is ‘innocent’ in their initial motivations, but the outcome is very bad. It connects to people because we all have burdens. While the solution that Card gives (and many people buy into) is to redeem ourselves (burdens/mistakes) for what we do (whether innocently or not) is noble, it’s also grounded on very worldly measures of life. The desire to redeem oneself is not only unreachable (on our terms), but it’s also unbearable without dying to self and finding pleasure in God’s agenda (the book doesn’t play out with this in mind though). It makes for a great discussion point, especially as a parent.

    2. My biggest takeaway from Ender’s Game is that our ‘enemies’ aren’t always our enemies. Like Graff wasn’t out to harm Ender but to help him. Yet there are times in life where we need to win people over somehow (various children). And there are times in life where enemies are out for our harm for ‘good’ reasons (buggers) and ‘bad’ reasons (Peter). Ender had to make a determination about his relationships, the threats they posed, and what he’d like to see as the outcome. Those are lessons that we (and our children) need in any relationship (marriage, parent/child, friendships, church, employee/employer, community/neighbors, politics).

    3. The biggest negative wasn’t the language per se, but the what seemed like a forced focus on hitting male genitalia. I assume it was an attempt to connect with a male age demographic, but it was unnecessary. The violence was odd at times, but most of the time was contextually acceptable. Yes, I’d warn parents to use their judgement on the age to recommend it (or at least to know about it while reading it with a child). But it shouldn’t be a big deal for a decerning mature reader. Personally, I’ll be recommending this to my children around age 8-10 +/-. But I can see wanting to know the contents until age 12-13 (reading it separately) to have a discussion.

    4. The book doesn’t support or attack homosexuality or traditional marriage. It’s a non-issue as far as the content of the book (and I assume the movie) goes.

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