What is the summary for Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Children of the Mind, final novel in Orson Scott Card's four-book "Ender's Game series," opens with the Starways Congress deciding the planet Lusitania needs to be destroyed for what it sees as a rebellion brought on by the colonists. Meanwhile, Jane, a powerful computer with artificial intelligence, has learned how to instantly transport buggers, humans, and pequeninos back and forth through the universe for the purpose of colonizing planets, a powerful tool for defending colonists from the Starways Congress.

As the first measure to destroy Lusitania, the Starways Congress commands Jane's vast computer be shut down, a little at a time, causing her to lose some of her memories and the ability to transport colonists. Her survival and ability to save Lusitania and its colonists depends on transferring her soul to the body of a human.

Jane solicits Ender for help, but he refuses, having retreated into the monastery for "The Children of the Mind," where he hoped to mend the broken relationship with his wife, Novinha. Instead, Ender suggests Jane take Val's body, a child created in Ender's mind; however transferring Jane to Val's body proves to be a challenge needing to be overcome. Attempts to transfer are at first unsuccessful, so Jane temporarily rests in a type of tree called a mothertree. It is not until Val understands she must know she must die in order for Jane to inhabit her body that the transfer is finally complete.

However, new complications arise when not all of Jane's information makes it through the transfer. Jane is able to restore her information by accessing a chain of computers that had been illegally networked with her own computer. Her system is fully restored just in time to rescue colonists from the Starways Congress, which has just ordered the Lusitania Fleet to launch a devastating weapon called the Little Doctor.

As fast as she can, Jane moves colonists off of the planet. Meanwhile, the fleet is disarmed; the Starways Congress is led to believe their concern of a rebellion on Lusitania had been mistaken; and the whole planet is saved.

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