A War of Gifts-Orson Scott Card

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Author: Orson Scott Card

Title: A War of Gifts (third book in Ender Wiggins series)

Genre: science fiction

Publication Date: 2007

Plot Summary:

This book is a novella looking at another perspective in the beginning of the Ender saga. Card’s first book looks at Ender Wiggins, the smartest and smallest kid at battle school. The second book follows Bean, the smarter and smaller kid that can baffle anyone with his intellectual prowess and battle strategies. This third book looks at Zeck Morgan, who was the son of a preacher before being plucked from his religious surroundings and forced to attend battle school, where religion is forbidden because of its time-consuming rituals. Zeck is a pacifist who participates in the educational aspects of the battle school and attends practice battles but will not shoot his gun. The other kids hate him and under estimate his power over the school until he turns the battle ground into a religious war. After one of the kids gives a Sinterklaas present to his fellow Dutch friend after a bout of homesickness, Zeck takes advantage by telling the Muslims in battle school that they are being repressed while Christmas is being celebrated and the participants are not punished. But what does Zeck really want out of his quest? Only Ender can find out.

Subject Headings: Science fiction, Christmas—fiction, Wiggin, Ender (fictitious character)—fiction.

Appeals: descriptive, religiously polical, thought-provoking, character-centered, philosophical, puzzle, emotional, insightful, multiple points of view, series (characters), strong secondary (characters), well-developed, psychological, lighthearted

3 words to describe book: philosophical, puzzle, emotional

Read a likes:


First Meetings – Orson Scott Card (book 4)

The fourth book of Ender’s saga, this is a collection of four novellas: The Polish Boy, Teacher’s Pest, Ender’s Game, and Investment Counselor. As the title suggests, this is the first meetings of the characters that are involved in the Ender saga and their beginnings. The fifth book is Ender in Exile, which is a novel, not a novella.

The Forever War – Joe Haldeman

Won the Hugo and Nebula award. The book is a science fiction that shows human behavior during a war period. It also philoshophically entwines the issue of war and people’s personal stances on it, especially the hero in this case who is pushed into leadership just like Ender Wiggin.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar’s dad was killed in the 9/11 attacks. Oskar is nine and his father left him a black key. He undertakes the job to find what his key unlocks. Set in New York City. This is similar because it features a gifted child, Oskar, and how he solves a problem/puzzle in the absence of parental supervision and care.


With God on our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military – Michael Weinstein

This book reveals the illegal religious practices of U.S. Air Force Academy students and officials and how it affects the academy. This is similar to War of Gifts because it takes place at a battle school and shows what happens when religion is oppressed and/or encouraged among cadets.

Hothouse kids: the dilemma of the gifted child – Alissa Quart

Shows what happens when gifted children are measured against high standards and pitted against each other, similar to what happens in Enderverse’s battle school, but in real life!

Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers go to War – Jimmie Briggs

This book documents child soldiers in various countries that kidnap and recruit children as basically bullet sponges to provide human fodder for their religious and political wars. This is similar to the Ender’s series because children are kidnapped and recruited for battle school to fight the Buggers and other aliens in place of adult fighters.


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