Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
2002 (reprint)
224 pages

Summary: Kira, an orphan in a dystopian society, is deemed pretty much useless because of her twisted leg. So when her mother dies, it doesn’t take long for the others in the community to want to get rid of her. However, the council of Guardians have other plans as they have come to realize her gift at weaving. They want her to restore and design the singer’s robe, the one that contains the village’s history. Working on the robe, Kira is given all the food and luxuries she could ever want, but things aren’t what they seem. Kira senses there is something wrong with the society, and her thoughts are proven true when a stranger comes from the woods.

Review: Gathering Blue is a companion to Lois Lowry’s famous book The Giver. Both books are based in dystopian societies – one primal and basic, the other artificially perfect. Despite the praise that comes from The Giver, I actually enjoyed Kira’s story better. While the world building is a little less detailed in this story, I felt that the characters and concept were rather beautiful. I especially liked the muddy and playful Matt who brought such love and freshness to the story. And while the ending of The Giver left me a little frustrated (which I think was the point), the ending of Gathering Blue was hopeful and left me wanting more. Overall, this was a very quick and enjoyable read, one that perhaps gets overlooked.

You might enjoy Gathering Blue if you like books with: quick storylines, younger characters, dystopian societies, less of a focus on being able to identify with the characters and more of a focus on storytelling

If you liked Gathering Blue you might also enjoy: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau, The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem, Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, The Giver or Messenger by Lois Lowry.

Author’s website found here.

Rating: W4/4 C3/4 P3.5/4 O3/4 PP3/4 3/4CR
Grade: MJS


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