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The List
by Patricia Forde




Overview -

Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver in an award winning dystopian story about the dangers of censorship and how far we will go in the pursuit of freedom.

What if you were only allowed to speak 500 words?

The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth: the polar ice caps have melted and flooded everything, leaving few survivors. To make sure humans do not make the same mistakes, Ark's leader John Noa decrees everyone in Ark must speak List, a language of only 500 words. Language is to blame for mankind's destruction, John Noa says, as politicians and governments hid the disastrous effects of global warming and environmental damage until it was too late.

Everyone must speak List ... 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. John Noa tells 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.

Letta chooses to fight for the very thing that keeps us human: language itself.

The List:
  • The perfect tool to discuss censorship and freedom of speech with young readers
  • A gripping, fast-moving story that will appeal to 5th grade readers and above, especially 10 year old girls that will love the strong character of Letta
  • A discussion starter on the importance of language and the power of expression, and what it means for society
  • 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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    More About The List by Patricia Forde

     
     
     

    Overview

    Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver in an award winning dystopian story about the dangers of censorship and how far we will go in the pursuit of freedom.

    What if you were only allowed to speak 500 words?

    The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth: the polar ice caps have melted and flooded everything, leaving few survivors. To make sure humans do not make the same mistakes, Ark's leader John Noa decrees everyone in Ark must speak List, a language of only 500 words. Language is to blame for mankind's destruction, John Noa says, as politicians and governments hid the disastrous effects of global warming and environmental damage until it was too late.

    Everyone must speak List ... 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. John Noa tells 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.

    Letta chooses to fight for the very thing that keeps us human: language itself.

    The List:
  • The perfect tool to discuss censorship and freedom of speech with young readers
  • A gripping, fast-moving story that will appeal to 5th grade readers and above, especially 10 year old girls that will love the strong character of Letta
  • A discussion starter on the importance of language and the power of expression, and what it means for society
  • 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


     

    Details

    • ISBN-13: 9781492647966
    • ISBN-10: 1492647969
    • Publisher: Sourcebooks Young Readers
    • Publish Date: August 2017
    • Page Count: 368
    • Reading Level: Ages 10-14
    • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.01 pounds

    Series: List

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    BookPage Reviews

    The power of words

    With her debut novel, Patricia Forde crafts a richly imagined future society, the development of which feels all too plausible in today’s climate.

    As Wordsmiths, young Letta and her master, Benjamin, are charged with the task of maintaining the List, a collection of 500 words that make up the only language available to the residents of Ark. John Noa formed Ark after the great Melting, when the world was flooded and the land destroyed. This new society was meant to be a safe haven, and Noa their savior, creator of a world free from the ignorance of those who would deny the realities of the harm that humans have caused the planet. But when Letta meets a boy named Marlo and is drawn into his world of beauty and art, she begins to doubt whether Noa’s intentions are as pure as she once thought or, worst of all, if he’s actually been lying to them all along.

    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.

     

    This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

     

    BAM Customer Reviews