Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (Book Summary and Review) – Minute Book Report

This is a quick book summary and analysis of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

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This is a story about a boy named Ender who lives with his mother, father, and two older siblings, Peter and Valentine. All of the children are highly intelligent, but unlike his siblings, Ender shows promise as a brilliant military leader. As such, he is taken away to be trained by Colonel Graff for the war against the buggers, an alien race looking to invade Earth.

When Ender arrives at battle school, he is put through a series of tests and introduced to various battle simulators, video game-like simulations of space battles. He excels and is placed into one of the several armies. At first he is told to stay out of the war games, but he develops a superior strategy for winning. Despite his success as a tactician, Ender is further hated, but teaches those who want to learn from him on the side.

Meanwhile, Peter and Valentine create fake personas and begin political discussions on the net.

After graduating early from battle school, Ender is trained on a dedicated battle simulator. And when that becomes too easy, he trains with Mazer Rackham, an old war hero.

Under this new training, Ender is pushed to the limit and nearly breaks down as his battle simulations become increasingly more difficult.

Ender finally has one last battle simulation that involves a planet and several thousand ships. He wins the game, but then is told that all of it was real. That he was commanding real ships in what he thought was a simulation.

Ender is proclaimed a hero, but still fears Peter, who has great political influence on Earth. In the end, Ender finds a bugger cocoon and takes it with him as he travels in space with Valentine.

As always a lot can be said about this story, but what draws my interest and attention is the idea of using children in intergalactic war.

Throughout the story, it is sometimes difficult to remember that most of the main characters are children. In Ender’s society, children are often forced into maturing quickly for military endeavors.

But why children? Wouldn’t it make more sense to train more physically mature individuals to fight? The explanation given is that the military wants individuals who are willing to react to situations without thinking about the consequences. Children are able to act this way because they haven’t lived long enough to understand scope and bigger consequences of their actions.

While cruel, this type of thinking is valuable and necessary in the battle against the buggers because of how the buggers learn and adapt.

Also, a lot of the battles are battle simulations, or at least perceived as battle simulations to the children. It’s this perception of a game that allows the children to learn, strategize, and take risks that would not be possible had they known it was happening in real time, which says a lot about how children learn and how humans learn in general.

What do you think of this story? Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to subscribe for more Minute Book Reports and thanks for watching.

Through Minute Book Reports, hopefully you can get the plot and a few relevant discussion points in just a couple of minutes.

Music by Chris Zabriskie.


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  • Interesting. Thank you
    Gives a good insight.

  • I watched the movie and didn't know how different it was from the book. Thank you so much! You saved me so much time and the way you explained it gave me a great grade. Thank you!

  • Bruh the song is too loud. But thanks

  • Is this 1rod1reel

  • music too loud…

  • thank you for saving me from my test tomorrow

  • VroneVrone

    Author Reply

    Thanks for saving a month of my life 😎

  • Just finished the book. Great summary!

  • lol can i use this for school

  • That did a lot of help to my homework. Thx a lot 🙂

  • the music is too loud i hate this vid

  • Just reading this cause I forgot to read the rest of the book for ALA 😕

  • I love "Ender's Game.

  • Who got board so looked at the comments

  • Do a plot diagram

  • Good, smart analysis at the end. Thx for the discussion point in class.

  • he looks a little bit like jackie chan

  • thanks now i dont have to waste 4 days of my life reading this book for a school summer reading packet

  • Thank u man now I don't need to read most of the book !

  • NarenNaren

    Author Reply

    Great video, but the music was too loud!

  • First thanks for the time for doing this.

    I just want to say that your summary contains spoilers, please for coming books warn viewers about spoilers, gives them time to stop the video. I haven't read or watched this book yet but now i know some details that might ruin the story for me. It is called a "review" not a summary.

    Thanks anyway

  • What is your nationality?

  • Wow bro!!! I was watching this report a few weeks ago because i had a book report due about it. It was very helpful, great review and summary……it also got me engaged into actually reading the book!! THUMBS UP!!

  • Enders game is best sci-fi  of my life ( with hunger games) :DDD I love the ender , Bean and i very like Peter too. The sencond paraler serie – ender shadow  ist SOOOO AWESOME  too !!! Ender and Bean 4ever !

  • Love this and the book it stems from! The Ender Quartet will always be my favorite series!!

  • Good, thorough analysis, considering time, but the music got to be way too much at points. 

  • AlexAlex

    Author Reply

    Ill be sure to read it! Was on the fence before watching this