Customer Reviews for

A War of Gifts (Other Tales from the Ender Universe)

Average Rating 3.5
( 79 )
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5 Star

(22)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Scott Card has written a powerful tale that transcends age

Zack Morgan is in his dad¿s church listening to his father preach when a man enters and forces him to go with him to his house where he will be tested to see if he is qualified to attend Battle School. Zack is a pacifist, indoctrinated in his father¿s religion by the w...
Zack Morgan is in his dad¿s church listening to his father preach when a man enters and forces him to go with him to his house where he will be tested to see if he is qualified to attend Battle School. Zack is a pacifist, indoctrinated in his father¿s religion by the whip marks on his back. Tests show he has the brilliance needed and wanted to attend the school. He promises the testers he will go but he won¿t fight.-------------- He keeps that promise and preaches at the slightest opportunity although most of the students passively ignore him. When a Dutch student gives a gift to another Dutch boy in the name of Sinterklaas, Zack reports it because he knows that it is forbidden to practice religion in Battle School due to the belief that is to divisive. Christians start exchanging gifts in the name of Santa Claus but when the Muslims begin praying in public they are arrested. The Christians stop exchanging gifts and life goes back to normal except that Zack is treated as a Judas pariah. Ender Wiggin takes matters into his own hands.------------- For such a small novella, the story line is loaded with social themes including religion and how it is practiced, parental abuse, eliminating things like religious practices so that the students learn to fight as a group with no divisiveness to split them apart and weaken morale. Zack is a master manipulator who goaded the Muslims into praying in public because he had a desperate need to get home. Orson Scott Card has written a powerful tale that transcends age and makes a perfect holiday gift.----------- Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Not Really Part of the Series, so Why is it #5?

I was expecting two things when I shelled out $6.49 for this book on the NookColor: a sequel to Children of the Mind, and something more substantial than a 70-page short. This is not the author's fault; this smacks of a typical ruse on the part of the publisher. While I...
I was expecting two things when I shelled out $6.49 for this book on the NookColor: a sequel to Children of the Mind, and something more substantial than a 70-page short. This is not the author's fault; this smacks of a typical ruse on the part of the publisher. While I like the story, I still find it hard to enjoy given that it turned out to be a rip-off.

posted by JohnBike on March 18, 2011

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Scott Card has written a powerful tale that transcends age

    Zack Morgan is in his dad¿s church listening to his father preach when a man enters and forces him to go with him to his house where he will be tested to see if he is qualified to attend Battle School. Zack is a pacifist, indoctrinated in his father¿s religion by the whip marks on his back. Tests show he has the brilliance needed and wanted to attend the school. He promises the testers he will go but he won¿t fight.-------------- He keeps that promise and preaches at the slightest opportunity although most of the students passively ignore him. When a Dutch student gives a gift to another Dutch boy in the name of Sinterklaas, Zack reports it because he knows that it is forbidden to practice religion in Battle School due to the belief that is to divisive. Christians start exchanging gifts in the name of Santa Claus but when the Muslims begin praying in public they are arrested. The Christians stop exchanging gifts and life goes back to normal except that Zack is treated as a Judas pariah. Ender Wiggin takes matters into his own hands.------------- For such a small novella, the story line is loaded with social themes including religion and how it is practiced, parental abuse, eliminating things like religious practices so that the students learn to fight as a group with no divisiveness to split them apart and weaken morale. Zack is a master manipulator who goaded the Muslims into praying in public because he had a desperate need to get home. Orson Scott Card has written a powerful tale that transcends age and makes a perfect holiday gift.----------- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Battleschool and the Spirit of Christmas

    Card does a masterful job of explaining Santa Claus, warring religions, national culture, religious observances, rage, manipulative behavior,and humanity and kindness in 126 small pages to kids in the context of a future battleschool, where kids are taken from their parents at a young age and trained to fight a known hostile alien race. Highly imaginative and relevant today, it would be wonderful if adults as well as kids pick this up. The kids actions ring true, from the subversive Santa Claus sock rebellion against the stricture against all religious observances to the Muslin students revolt against the stricture against public prayer. What's amazing is how Ender manages to create a situation in which Zeck has to recognize the why of his actions and their consequences.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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