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Goodbye, Vitamin
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Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review: The List

The List by Patricia Forde

Let me preface this review by saying my opinion is very much influenced by the comparisons to The Giver and Fahrenheit 451. Why? Because I absolutely love both of these books. I read The Giver as middle schooler and never forgot it, so I was thrilled when I got to teach it as an adult. As far as Fahrenheit 451 goes, it is one of my all-time favorites. I have highlighted, underlined, and written notes in my multiple copies of the novel. So, when The List was compared to the two of these works, I jumped at the chance to read it. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my personal hype.

However, this is still a good book and I can easily it working well in middle-grade classrooms for teaching the basics of literature (symbolism, allegory, themes, etc.). This middle grades novel tells the story of a dystopian world called Ark following the Melting (a result of global warming) where the people are forbidden from speaking using non-list words. The general idea is that language, art and music are what led to man’s downfall; therefore, extraneous words should be avoided. Young Letta, the main character, is a wordsmith, meaning she is responsible for documenting the proper list words. Letta develops a friendship with a desecrator (someone who does not follow orders and instead pursues the arts) and uncovers a harmful conspiracy by the leader, John Noa.

It has a very intriguing premise and may work well for teaching; however, it was pretty slow moving for me. The lengthy descriptive passages seemed to weigh the novel down rather than add to it. I wanted to be more attached to the characters and the plot. I also wanted the reader to see the power of words when more emphasis seemed to be placed on the power of art in general. It may be that I have just been saturated with dystopian novels, so for young people being introduced to the genre, they may feel differently. And, as I said earlier, as a former teacher, I was constantly picking up on how easy it would be to teach.

* I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

* You may purchase this book from Amazon here. This is an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting my blog!


  1. Wow as a lit students I know the importance of a good book. This instantly has me intrigued, the entire idea of literature, art and music being the downfall. Truly unique and out of the box. Totally adding it to my reading list.