January 18, 2021

#BookReview: The List (The List #1) by Patricia Forde

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: I wanted to love this one but I thought it was really boring.  I was really sad that I did not care about the characters or the story.  I felt like it was a chore to read and my mom said I could DNF this one.  

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Before the Melting, words were limitless, yet failed to save the planet. In a world without money, John Noa, the self-appointed leader of Ark, believes words are the root of all evil and common man is a liability. Noa demands the hesitant Wordsmith reduce the List's 700 words to 500. When he mysteriously disappears, apprentice Letta becomes Ark's new Wordsmith. As a loyal follower of Noa, she surprises herself when Marlo, an injured Desecrator, arrives on her doorstep. Hiding him from the gavvers while nursing his wounds is treachery, yet Marlo has sparked an energy in her; he speaks "the old tongue" and of future hope. Can Letta believe in the abstracts of hope and love in a place where those words don't exist? As the rebellion unfolds, Letta must choose to remain loyal or question everything she once believed. Imogen Wilde's solid narration spans the lyrical lilt of inquisitive Letta to the sneering madness of John Noa. VERDICT Forde's novel is a thought-provoking reminder that even the most common things should never be taken for granted. Fans of Fahrenheit 451 and The Giver will demand a sequel.—Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City School District, OH --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

About the Author

Patricia Forde lives in Galway, in the west of Ireland. She has published five books for children and written for television. In another life, she was a primary school teacher and the artistic director of Galway Arts Festival. Visit Patricia at patriciaforde.com. --This text refers to the paperback edition.


"compelling to readers of all ages, The List is a spellbinding book about language, the environment, and humanity's role in protecting them both...A beautiful and absorbing read you won't soon forget." - Bustle.com

"Patricia Forde crafts a richly imagined future society, the development of which feels all too plausible in today's climate... 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.
" - BookPage

"Forde's exploration of language as both weapon and savior is a noble one, and environmental undertones bolster its power. Pair with Patrick Ness' The Knife of Never Letting Go.
" - Booklist

"This novel could be compared Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random House, 2003) where the corrupt government controls the necessities of life."" - School Library Connection

"[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." - The 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 --This text refers to the library edition.

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