Age Level: 10 and up - Grade Level: 5 to 8
A beautifully moving tale about the power of language and how far we'll go in the pursuit of freedom
"The fantasy book of the year. "--Eoin Colfer, bestselling author of Artemis Fowl
You are The Wordsmith now. Are you ready for the challenge?
The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth. To make sure humans are able to survive, everyone in Ark must speak List, a language of only 500 words. Everyone that is, except Letta.
As apprentice to the Wordsmith, Letta can read all the words that have ever existed. Forbidden words like freedom, music, and even pineapple tell her about a world she's never known.
One day her master disappears and the leaders of Ark tell Letta she is the new Wordsmith and must shorten List to fewer and fewer words. Then Letta meets a teenage boy who somehow knows all the words that have been banned. Letta's faced with a dangerous choice: sit idly by and watch language slowly slip away or follow a stranger on a path to freedom . . . or banishment.
Great for parents and educators looking for:
A story about the importance of words and language
A beautifully written narrative suitable for young adults as well as middle grade readers
A story featuring a strong, brave female character
A 2018 Notable Children's Books Selection
A 2018-19 Maine Student Book Award Winner
A 2018 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year (Ages 12-14)
A Junior Library Guild Selection
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About the Author
"[A] gripping postapocalyptic thriller... it is a well-crafted page-turner, as well as a compelling commentary on censorship and the role of language, while also inviting discussion about what distinguishes humans from animals. For dystopian fiction aficionados, this well-paced entry offers plenty of food for thought.
" - School Library Journal
"Forde's pacing and characterization are compelling... An intriguing speculation about authoritarian futures with a terrific cover." - Kirkus
"Forde's exploration of language as both weapon and savior is a noble one, and environmental undertones bolster its power. Pair with Patrick Ness' The Knife of Never Letting Go.
" - Booklist
"This novel could be compared Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random House, 2003) where the corrupt government controls the necessities of life."" - School Library Connection
"Patricia Forde crafts a richly imagined future society, the development of which feels all too plausible in today's climate... This is a story with a message and a purpose, one full of relevance and originality. With this novel, Forde reminds us that words do hold power, both to heal and to destroy, and that because of this we should be mindful of how we employ them. This is a love letter to the ways love and art can lift our spirits and replenish our souls in a world that often seems dark.
" - BookPage
"compelling to readers of all ages, The List is a spellbinding book about language, the environment, and humanity's role in protecting them both...A beautiful and absorbing read you won't soon forget." - Bustle.com