Pub Date 08 Aug 2017
Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens in this gripping story about the power of words and the dangers of censorship.
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
"[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
"An electric sci-fi novel with a strong ecological and moral stance." -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Forde's pacing and characterization are compelling… An intriguing speculation about authoritarian futures with a terrific cover." -Kirkus Reviews
“[The List] is warm, original, but most of all a tremendous page-turner.” —School Library Association
"This book is important because it targets the dangers of global warming and the power of communication, love and expression. Without these words that we have, our lives would be unimaginably different. I would definitely recommend this book to all keen readers out there." -The Guardian (UK)
"A novel that truly stands apart for its originality and relevance… a book about words, about language, about their power to civilise – and, in the wrong hands, to abuse and dehumanise. For a writer to deal with such themes it is the most basic of requirements that she herself should handle words in a manner which exploits their potential richness and resonance. Forde rises magnificently to the challenge… Forde’s novel blends the futuristic with the retrospective, demanding that her readers consider their own language histories and their underlying philosophies. That she does this in the context of an engaging narrative accessible to a young readership is a gratifying bonus." – Robert Dunbar, The Irish Times
"This gripping story has the dark atmosphere of books such as the Hunger Games series and ends on an intriguing note that might promise sequel. And that would be another fine thing." – Inis Magazine, Children’s Books Ireland