List, The

Patricia Forde
"The fantasy book of the year."―Eoin Colfer, bestselling author of Artemis FowlFahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for middle grade readers!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.


Reviewed: 2021-01-03

I’m a fan of dystopian future books, but this one was just okay. The premise requires a huge suspension of disbelief. The “Melting” was a great start, but what followed did not give me enough to believe that SO MANY PEOPLE would follow one guy who limits what everyone can say, down to a 500 word list. I don’t know about that. At least not for over a decade. I believe this is written to be a middle-grade book, but the end is violently explicit, too much for middle-grade. I’d expect that sort of scene in a YA or adult fiction book, but not middle-grade. The rest of the book reads between middle-grade and YA, so I was shocked when I heard the (very good) narrator read what was only a couple of sentences, but stuck with me as if it were the entire ending. I can’t say that I recommend this book.

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