A War of Gifts – Orson Scott Card

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This short novel is set during Ender’s first years at the Battle School (from the Ender’s Game series) where it is forbidden to celebrate religious holidays.  The children come from many nations, many religions; while they are being trained for war, religious conflict between them is not on the curriculum. But Dink Meeker, one of the older students, doesn’t see it that way. He thinks that giving gifts isn’t exactly a religious observation, and on Sinterklaas Day he tucks a present into another student’s shoe. This small act of rebellion sets off a battle royal between the students and the staff, but some surprising alliances form when Ender comes up against a new student, Zeck Morgan. The War over Santa Claus will force everyone to make a choice.

This is a short novel, but if you haven’t read anything in the Ender series before, you may not understand everything that’s going on. Card again manages to portray what children are thinking very realistically and show how beliefs are instilled in people at a very young age and that these beliefs become important enough to fight for almost immediately. Very good. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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