Ender's Game - Ender 1 Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ender's Game - Ender 1

The book tells the story of Ender, a "Third" child who is chosen to go to battle school in order to later join the war between the Human race and the Buggers (Formics). Ender Wiggin is the third child in the Wiggin family, in a time in which only two children are permitted per married couple. In school he is always considered to be a "Third" and is being abused by other children, and even in his home he is being abused by his own brother, Peter. His older sister, Valentine, tries to protect him from Peter, but is not always successful.
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After getting involved in a fight and hurting another child badly, Colonel Graff visits him in order to ask why he did that. When Ender tells him he hurt him in order to prevent future fights, the Colonel suggests he joins the Battle School - Earth's program to train children to become warriors in the battle between Earth and the aliens, the Buggers. Ender agrees and leaves soon afterwards.
In Battle School, Ender first has to fight in order to be considered more than a "child". He is the first to join a battle team - a team that practices and fights other teams in a "space battle" game created by the teachers - and is the first to start practicing his own group. He even acquires a few friends in the process.
After deciding that he didn't want to continue "playing by the teacher's rules", Ender is being transferred to Command School, where he learns from the greatest space commander Earth has ever had- Mazer Rackham. As he makes progress, he gains command on his own team of pilots, which includes his only friends from Battle School, and plays a game in which he needs to destroy the Buggers. Once Ender wins the game and destorys all the Buggers, he discovers that it was never a game, but the reality.
Realizing that he destroyed an entire race, Ender refuses to leave his bed for any reason. The only one who changes his mind is his sister Valentine. Together they find their way to one of Earth's colonies in space, in which Ender's find the last egg of a Bugger that exists. He promises the queen inside that he will find her a new home, no matter what happens.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked the book because it's about humans. It's about children and teenagers and human philosophy of "shoot first, talk later". It shows huamn weaknesses and human strengths through these three brilliant childern (Ender, Peter and Valentine). It's also easy to connect to the characters and feel for them, which makes it even more likeable.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was the scene in which Ender finds the last Egg. The settings of the scene was taken from a game he's been playing during his time in Battle School, and was made specifically for Ender. In the game itself, in the end of that scene, he'd realized he hates what he becomes, just like he does after the war is over, but finding the egg and promising to protect her and allow the creature inside to hatch allows him to find forgiveness for what he's unknowingly done and eventually leads the way to peace in the galaxy. The scene itself was very touching and well written.

Opinion about the main character: What I liked about Ender was that on the one hand, he can be the perfect killer, a grown up who can make his own decisions reegrading a whole planet, but on the other hand, he is still a child. He doesn't forget his values or shuts his conscience down altogether, but allows himself to feel and find the balance between his two different sides.

The review of this Book prepared by Shir a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Earth is being invaded my aliens called buggers. The military has been recruiting children of above the ordinary to attend battle school, in hope of saving humanity from extinction. Ender, the most brilliant of all, leaves Earth for battle school.
At battle school Ender is isolated, bullied, and alienated. He quickly moves into the a leader rank at an abnormally fast paste. Every rule the battle school had, is now being broken, not by the students, but by the teachers. Something is going terribly wrong, a leader is needed for the real army. Every student knows it. After Ender has learned everything battle school has to offer, he moves to command school. Then, finally, he meets someone who can outsmart him by every move, Mazer Rackham, his new teacher. Ender, then, battles in computer simulation with the help of his familiar friends from battle school. Day, after day, Ender battles the computer simulation, and day by day the computer is more difficult to defeat, learning every from every move he makes. Ender falls into deeper exhaustion. The final test that will reveal if Ender is right for the army begins. Ender feels as if nothing matters, he no longer cares about fighting with honor, any longer.
The review of this Book prepared by Katy Leung

Alexander (Ender) Wiggin is the illegal third child (due to the rapidly increasing population of earth, each family is only allowed two children) of the Wiggin family, with older brother Peter and sister Valentine. He is only six at the beginning of the book. The first part of the book takes place on Earth, where certain young people are selected to train as space fighters. These young people have "monitors" implanted in the back of their necks, where the recruiting officers can monitor them from. When they reach a certain age (it varies from student to student) these monitors are removed. Depending on what the recruiters thought of the student, they are then taken to Battle School, a military base-like spaceship. Ender Wiggen starts the book with the monitor, but very soon has it removed, and is taken to Battle School.

The reason for training so early is that humankind expects an attack from the "buggers", green bug-like aliens that attacked in years past. Ender is trained by Colonel Graff. He is placed into a training squadron as soon as he arrives at Battle School. The squadrons have a normal routine, which consists of wake up, eat, and battle one another, eat, battle some more, train on the simulators (only for older, more experienced squadrons), eat, battle even more, and sleep. The battles were one of my favorite bits of the book. Each student was required to get into a large suit that, if hit by enemy fire, would freeze up. Ender soon invents and masters many techniques to be used in the battle room, earning the respect and hatred of many students. Ender is soon promoted to the leader of a squadron with many of his former "superiors" in it. They dominate the battle room, and Ender is once again promoted to Command School.

While this is going on, back on Earth, Peter has convinced Valentine that it is time for them to assert themselves. So they take on the guise of adults and, with the aid of the "net", start to assert their views. Soon, Peter attempts to take over the world.

Back in Command School, Ender meets Mazer Rackham, whose heroic charge defeated the second wave of buggers. He begins to train on the simulators.
The review of this Book prepared by Melissa Shauer

At Battle School, the war games are everything to the kids at the school. Their lives revolve around playing those games, and so the meaning of the word itself shifts from a voluntary fun experience to a necessary and crucial aspect of life. Those games and their implications caused a fellow student, Bonzo's, death and created rancor and jealousy throughout the school. In the first invasion, the buggers, an alien species, had attacked Earth and devastatingly wiped out almost the whole population of the human species due to the Homo sapiens' lack of technology. Then in the second invasion, the buggers, yet again, severely decreased Earth's population, but not as much as the first. Now, it's the third invasion, and the humans aren't taking any more chances. Because of a deficiency of knowledge caused by the impossibility of communicating with another species, the humans are afraid that the buggers will destroy them. So in an act of fear, they decide to wipe out the buggers before the buggers can wipe the humans out. As a result, the international military forces are picking child geniuses to be the commander of the Third Invasion.

And who did they pick? Ender Wiggin, a boy whose brilliance never ceases to cause resentment.   Ender Wiggin, the third in a family of child geniuses, was the chosen one. His older brother, Peter, who later controls the world, was not chosen for he was not compassionate enough while his older sister, Valentine, the later widely-known political writer, was not chosen for she was too compassionate. So naturally, Ender was the one. Each child chosen was to attend special schools in space to learn how to become the best possible leaders they can be. During Ender's remarkable progression through Battle School and Command School, he plays games that become debilitating to Ender's health. He can't sleep, he barely eats, and he is forced to be a leader and not a friend to those whom he cares for. Ender destroys the buggers because he wants the games to end for good, and he is successful, but if he had ever known that it was not a game he never would have participated.
The review of this Book prepared by Anita Poon

Ender Wiggin is a five-year-old boy living on an Earth several decades in the future. His intelligence far surpasses that of his parents and schoolmates, and yet he is constantly tormented by both his classmates and his older brother, Peter. When offered the chance to go to the space-set Battle School, a school dedicated to training child geniuses to become military strategists in the upcoming war against the "Buggers," a vicious alien race, Ender jumps at the chance.

However, Ender doesn't know that by accepting this course, his life will go ways he can hardly imagine. In Battle School, Ender faces the same challenges he did at home...tormentors, struggles with his own identity, and the like. As Ender takes up these challenges, facing them as best he knows how, over it all looms the Battleroom, the focus of the Battle School itself. The children are divided into armies, forced to fight battles intermittently in the school, for schoolwide glory and experience. However, as the teachers steadily break the rules, pushing the game entirely out of its original proportions, Ender is forced to wonder if the Battle Room is just part of a game.
The review of this Book prepared by Melissa

Ender Wiggen is a young genius, persecuted at school and beaten at home by his older brother Peter. When he is called up by the International Fleet to spend his childhood and adolesence trainging to save the world, the only thing Ender is sure of is that it can't be any worse. Ender spends the years studying war, tactics,and hand-to-hand,combat surpassing his peers, and even his superiors. In the end, Ender defeats the alien menece, saves the world, and becomes jaded with life. He has lost his innocence, defeated every obstacle, and bears the weight of having killed billions, two with his own hands. A classic story of innocence lost and self discovery.
The review of this Book prepared by Erik Crisanti

Ender, a young genius is Earth's best and last chance to fight off the alien's that threaten human existence. The problem is Ender is only a child and first he has to get through the rigor's of a Battleschool (with it's weightless battleroom designed to prepare leaders), and the other students. Can Ender save humankind?
The review of this Book prepared by gardener

This is one of my all time favorite novels. It is about a child named Andrew Wiggin, called Ender. It spans several years of his life showing us who and what he is, while showing us how he is trained at Battle School and Command School. The premise is simple, some years before aliens attacked humans and almost won. They are an insectoid race we call "buggers". The military is trying to train a battle commander for the fleet in space to save humankind from destruction. They watch Ender for some time, then take him to Battle School at age six and begin to educate, train and shape him into what they need. Ender is the best of the best. He is a genius, yet also a young child still. They alienate, test and push Ender to the very edge of his ability and sanity(in some ways). Next, they send him to Command School(much earlier than most go) and have him play simulations of controlling the fleet by computer and a new communication devise called an ansible(instantaneous communication regardless of distance). Toward the end they are pushing him so hard he is getting sick, having nightmares and hardly eating. Still they push him. On his final day in "command school" they give him a challenge so difficult Ender gets tired of the "adults" cheating by giving such difficult and overwhelming odds. He destroys the home planet of the enemy he is fighting in the "simulation". He is only eleven years old. BIG SPOILER AHEAD:   At the end of the battle he discovers he has won the war with the buggers by destroying their entire race. He had been commanding the fleet for some time, thinking it was a simulation game. He has committed genocide without even realizing he was fighting. Everyone on earth wants to "control" the boy hero/genius that is Ender Wiggin. To keep from being used Ender must not return to Earth. Instead he departs on a colony ship destined for one of the empty bugger planets. The colony is successful and Ender discovers something interesting. He finds a cocoon with a queen bugger in a place the buggers designed for him. They had come to know him thru his dreams and spoke to him is the only ways they could. He takes the cocoon and carries it for many years from planet to planet, searching for a place the buggers can coexist safely with humankind........
The review of this Book prepared by Aimee

Ender Wiggen is a six year old genius, goes to battle school in space to learn how to fight the buggers. He commands 40 children while he is there, they are forced to go to stage mock battles with each other. Some kids there hate him because he is so brilliant, he kills one of them in self defence. He is tricked at the age of 11 into destroying a entire species.
The review of this Book prepared by stacey

Ethical dilemma. Ender Wiggin, a "third" or forbidden 3 child in a family, encompasses the traits of his brother, who was deemed to viloent and dangeroud, and sister, who was too compassionate and loving, thereby becoming recognized as the great hope for saving our race from alien invasion. Ender is a complete character, with an active conscious and generous spirit, yet driven to survive and succeed and prove to everyone that he is NOT just like his brother, while often forced to draw on that aspect of his personality, then retreat to the part of himself that is his sister for solace. Ender is a natural leader, with the traits of loyalty, fearlessness, or even better, controlled fear, uncertainty (he is, after all, a small boy), great courage, and, of course, thanks to his sister, a healthy dose of compassion. It is for this reason that he is duped into destroying another race we do not entirely understand, by being "trained" in the form of a game, that is all too real in life. Ender's game explores collective morality in conflict with individual morality, and gives another stunning argument for personal integrity, as is Card's hallmark. Ender must learn who he is, and then, cliche that it is, "learn thy (his) enemy", in order to defeat them. In doing so he also learns to have compassion for them, thereby leading to book 2, Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game is more than a must-read. It is a must re- and re- and re-read.
The review of this Book prepared by C Todd

The book Ender's Game is by far one of the best books I have ever read. The main character, Ender, is brought up to a military school out in the asteroid belt. He is trained to fight the upcoming war with an alien species. Even though this is what the book is based on, it doesn't play a major role. This is a book on how Ender deals with his problems and situations. A great read for any age.
The review of this Book prepared by Stephen Pendlebury

It is as much a mental tour de force as it is an emotional one. A young boy becomes the last great hope for earth. But it is a earth were he is a second class citizen by his birthright. While brillant and cunning Ender is also a young child facing the rattle of man hood at an age when he should not have too.
The review of this Book prepared by alexander t eteuati

Many decades ago, an alien race invading our solar system were stopped only by the genius of a single commander. Ever since, the Earth's most brilliant and capable children have been recruited into an orbiting Battle School to learn how to save humanity from a possible next invasion. The main character, Ender Wiggin is found at age 6 and is pushed through Battle School and kept isolated to grow his military genius at the fastest rate. His childhood is molded so he becomes a tool to destroy the enemy. Meanwhile his manipulative brother works in a subplot to gain political power on Earth with the unwilling help of Enders loving sister.

This book has a staggering sweep to it with fast action and very realistic characters in extraordinary circumstances. The ending is one of the most heart renching, tragic and yet satisfying ever in SF writing. This begins the Hugo and Nebula award winning series of 4 books about Ender and a further series of parrallel novels about Battle School and Earth politics.
The review of this Book prepared by Simon Tanner

A child is taken to Battle School in space, where he is taught, along with other children, how to fight off the "buggers" (insect-like aliens). He is told that if he does not fight and kill them all, they will come back to earth once more and destroy it.
The review of this Book prepared by Michelle

Ender Wiggin, a young boy is taken to be trained to be a military genius to protect Earth against invading Buggers. This is the story of his training and personal growth and change - the story of an extrodinarily remarkable boy in exceptional circumstances. While it sounds cliche, this book is far from cliche and cannot be adequatly described - read it yourself for a book you'll never, ever forget.
The review of this Book prepared by Bonnie

Ender is just a young boy when he is taken to battle school, to be trained to become a great military leader. He proceeds quickly through school, being pushed by the teachers, in the hope that he will be the one to save the Human race from the aliens that invaded human space, the Buggers. The fate of the human race rests in the hands of this child military genius in the final battle against the Buggers.
The review of this Book prepared by Beth

This is a story of a little boy who turns out to be a military genuis.
He's trained to be the ultimate strategist, just in time to fight the buggers,
a race of intelligent insects who almost wiped out humanity. This little boy
is trained to lead the entire human fleet.
The review of this Book prepared by Steve

Chapter Analysis of Ender's Game - Ender 1

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 29.4%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10.6% Tone of book    -   depressing/sad FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   great warrior Training/Apprent.    -   Yes Working up the ranks of...    -   armed forces If an invasion, from Earth/human POV:    -   fighting overt invasion (attacking aliens) War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   lasers Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid Really unusual traits?    -   Super genius


Spaceship setting:    -   a space station Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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