Dune(40th Anniversary Edition). By Frank Herbert. (2005). Ace Trade. ISBN-10: 0441013597.

Plot Summary

On the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, there is a spice which gives the Guildsmen the second sight they need in order to travel in deep space. Therefore, it is said that whomever controls the spice, controls the universe.

Paul Atreides has been trained by his mother,a Bene Gesserit “witch,” in the ways of self-control, voice control, and of keen observation. His father is the Duke Leto Atreides, and knowingly, the family will be traveling to Arrakis to take control of the spice production there, despite the probability of a trap set by the Harkonnens, a rival house. Paul’s abilities will come in handy in the deserts of unforgiving Arrakis, but so will the prophecies that precede him, and his prescient dreams.
Critical Evaluation

At once epic science fiction masterpiece, and commentary on ecology, politics, and religion, Dune is unlike any other book ever written. Frank Herbert’s storytelling capabilities are such that to read Dune is to live on Dune for a time.

Herbert used literary techniques, such as the superior observational abilities of his characters, to enrich the world of Dune with a heightened level of description. Not only is Herbert a master of description, but a master of plot, of setting, of detail, and of omnipresent narration.

Reader’s Annotation

All of Paul Atreides’ military and mental training leads him towards a terrible purpose on the desert planet of Arrakis.

About the Author

Frank Patrick Herbert was born in Tacoma, WA on October 8th, 1920. After attending college at the University of Washington at Seattle between 1946-1947, he worked many jobs, including that of a professional photographer and television cameraman, radio news commentator, lay analyst, oyster diver, jungle survival instructor, and newspaper reporter and editor for various West Coast City newspapers.

After publishing Dune, Herbert worked as a consultant in ecological and related studies to the Lincoln Foundation and to the countries of South Vietnam and Pakistan. He is an active campaigner for the conservation of natural resources, and for a time conducted an ecological experiment in his own home.

Kunitz, S., & Wakeman, J. (1980). World Authors 1970-1975. The H. W. Wilson Company. Retrieved December 13th, 2010 from Biography Reference Bank Database.


-Science Fiction

-Adult/YA Crossover

Curriculum Ties


-Political Science


Booktalking Ideas

-Classic science fiction

-Description of the desert planet Dune, its inhabitants, and viewing all this through Paul Atreides’ eyes

Reading Level/Interest Age
Ages 15+

Challenge Issues

None, though there is some violence in the Dune series

Why Did You Include This Book?

Frank Herbert was the recipient of a Fantasy Award in1956 for The Dragon in the Sea, a Nebula award in 1965 for Dune, a Hugo award in 1966 for Dune, and he was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Seattle University in 1980.

Readers may learn how to be a more astute pupil-an observant and careful thinker, or an excellent descriptive writer, as a result of reading Dune. It may also interest readers in the further study of science, ecology, or politics.

“Herbert, Frank (1920-1986).” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 28. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Discovering Collection. Gale. Los Angeles Public Library. 12 Dec. 2010 <http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/infomark.do?&contentSet=GBRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T001&prodId=DC&docId=EK1631009055&source=gale&srcprod=DISC&userGroupName=lapl&version=1.0&gt;.

About thesuperlibrarian

High School Librarian and obsessive reader! On a mission to read as many SUPER YA books as possible!
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