A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / Ireland

The wordsmith

Forde, Patricia (text)
Dublin: Little Island Books, 2015. – 285 p.
ISBN 978-1-908195-99-9

Global warming – Island – Survival – Power – Language – Communication – Dystopia

Multi-talented author Patricia Forde has worked as a teacher, playwright, art festival director, actor, etc. but above all she sees herself as a storyteller. In her debut novel, which was inspired by the slow disappearance of the Irish language, she tells the story of a futuristic society ruled by a cruel leader, where a young orphan girl is on a quest to save her fellow human beings. In the city of Ark, art and music are banned completely, while food, water, and clothing are restricted – and so is the use of language. Fourteen-year-old Letta, the wordsmith’s apprentice, only starts questioning the worldview of Ark’s dictator, when her master is tortured and killed by John Noa’s helpers and she learns of Noa’s secret plans to make people completely wordless. This gripping dystopian novel tackles many important topics such as global warming, the suppression of creativity and communication, the search for one’s identity, and – most importantly – the power of words. (Age: 11+)