I spotted this book as it was on the CBI Book of the Year awards shortlist and couldn’t wait to read it. The Wordsmith is set a future where the world is a very dangerous place, the environment has been destroyed, water is not safe to drink and wild animals run free. Letta lives in the Ark and in a time where survival is paramount it is a safe haven. It was created by John Noa and to live there means to abide by the rules he imposes on society- no music, no dancing, no art, freedom of expression is not encouraged and even words are controlled.
Letta is the Wordsmiths apprentice. The Wordsmith, Benjamin, produces the list of words that people are permitted to use as set down by John Noa. He also collects books and words to keep them safe so that they cannot be used by society in the ark. Only a chosen few can use words not on the prescribed list including the Benjamin and Letta. Benjamin disappears, a boy from outside the Ark turns up on the run and Letta finds out a terrible secret- John Noa has a plan to abolish language altogether.
This is a great story, full of suspense, I love that words are seen as important and powerful, that you must choose your words carefully and that they are seen as something to collect-not that they are restricted though! The background to the story is also thought provoking, a world that has reverted back to nature, wolves roam free and conservation is on everyone’s minds. This dystopian young adult novel is a fantastic read, hoping there will be a sequel!
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.