A friend of mine suggested I read Ender's Game, his favorite book. It's a military science fiction book by Orson Scott Card about Ender Wiggins, a genius little boy, and his two siblings, Valentine and Peter. Ender, and many other children, are being trained by the military to prepare for a third invasion of the "buggers" which are insect-like aliens while his two siblings are back on Earth doing their best to survive. The book really makes you think about empathy, morals, and strategy. Some of the bullying instances are very disturbing, especially considering the age of the children, but they do make you consider what defense is too far or not far enough. (Not for children, but for anyone.) These children aren't exactly normal children though. While I think that most children aren't given enough credit for their intelligence, the children featured in the book are far more intelligent than most children. The military does their best to mold these chosen children into what the military needs to defeat the buggers.They're treated, for better or worse, like adults.
I also think it speaks well to the pressures that probably face those in the military today. Making not just life or death decisions, but deciding what casualties are worth it take a toll on these characters and on those of us in the real world. While those decisions must be made, I can't imagine being one who makes them.
After reading it, I can see how many of my military friends have read it and why it's on the suggested reading list for the Marines. I'm waiting for the sequel, Speaker for the Dead, to become available from the library, so I can read it next.
Have you read it? What do you think?