Ender's Game won the Nebula for Best Novel in '85 and the Hugo in '86 and was nominated for the Locus in '86. Later books in the series have also been nominated and won multiple awards throughout the years.
Interestingly enough, Ender's Game and Bean's parallel story, Ender's Shadow, were both reprinted in YA editions (unchanged as far as I can tell) in 2002. Just a neat bit of trivia that shows the popularity of this series.
Now, I've not read Ender's Game yet. And I've had plenty of time to do so, not to mention the slew of major recommendations from friends. I think I've always been a bit intimidated by the series. I mean, I've read longstanding series before, but something about this one has always somewhat thrown me. I mean, what if I'm just not smart enough to GET it?
No need to fear any longer! For newbies to the series like me and old fans alike, Orson Scott Card and Jake Black have written The Authorized Ender Companion: The Indispensable Guide to the Universe of Ender's Game.
The book is set up in an encyclopedic format with everything from plot synopsis of the various books, character bios, events, tech, and timelines. So if you're reading Bean's tale, Ender's Shadow and it's been a while since you last read Ender's Game, you can just flip through the companion and give yourself a refresher as you go.
Another really cool thing about this companion are the essays and the "Friends of Ender" chapter. The essays include illustrations of the tech in the series as well as an in-depth look at building an Ender screenplay. And then there's the "Friends" chap, where readers and fans from all over the country share their love of the series.
So if you're curious about the books, but haven't tried them, now is the perfect time! And, in addition to the main series timeline, there are some parallel books (mentioned above) as well as a handful of short stories. The companion can tell you exactly what to read when -- but start with Ender's Game first. It's like a Dummies guide for readers like me!