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Publisher's Summary

In the post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval city of Ark, speech is constrained to 500 sanctioned words. If somewhere were to speak outside that approved lexicon, they'd face banishment. The only exceptions to this rule are the Wordsmith and his apprentice, Letta. Together, they are the keepers and archivists of all language. But when Letta's master dies, she is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith and finds the situation more complicated than she knew. While fulfilling her charge to collect and save words, she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and to rob Ark's citizens of their power of speech. Soon, she realizes that it's now not only up to her to save Ark's language but also its entire culture....
©2017 Patricia Forde (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Katy J. Berner on 08-24-17

Good for YA Fantasy For Readers Who Liked The Giver

If you read the City of Ember it has similar themes. Somewhat similar to The Giver in places as well.
As a teacher, I'd love to talk with kids about the role of the contrasting settings (the forest verse the town) and why that seems to be a similar motif throughout science fiction/fantasy literature. (Think even Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and even Harry Potter).
Overall a pretty solid story, very safe text for emerging pre-teen readers but it does have some violence that might upset sensitive readers.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Mixi on 09-22-17

This is a cute one

If you could sum up The List in three words, what would they be?

Listened to this on a road trip with my kids. The entire story was cute. This is like, the worlds goofiest dystopian- where they decide the human language is the enemy, so they eliminate words.

The concept itself is... cute, like I said. A nice starter dystopian for kids. But the concept is pretty strange, since humans would have just immediatelly adapted with say, secret signs etc. If you've ever told a group of kids they can't talk, it's irrelevant because they sure will still get their messages accross.
My point is, refusing to teach a word doesn't inherantly make humans dumber. In fact, I'd argue they'd just get resourceful, obeying the 'letter of the law' and not the 'meaning of the law."

But, despite the glaring flaws, it was a fun story, and spurred some amusing discussion among my family.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The List?

I guess, her just always being able to sneak around successfully seemed pretty memorable.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked her being in the barrel.

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