The List by Patricia Forde
In keeping with our theme of the wonder of words, we recommend Patricia Forde’s new middle grade reader book The List. The future world of Ark allows speakers to speak List and List alone, a language of only 500 words. Our hero, Letta, is the exception. As apprentice to Benjamin the Wordsmith, she is allowed to read every word that has ever existed, even those not part of List. Words we are pretty used to like freedom and music. The leader of this dystopian world has decreed that words are the root of the problems their society faces. So when Benjamin disappears and Letta becomes the new Worsmith, she is ordered to cut the vocabulary of List even further. She is befriended by a mysterious boy, who is a fellow dissenter. Lots of adventure–as well as commentary on censorship and the role of language. A compelling addition to your tween dystopian reading list.