Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Giver

The Giver
by Lois Lowry
192 pages

Summary: Jonas is not looking forward to his 12th year celebration. That’s the year that all the kids his age are assigned their careers. He has such apprehension, afraid that he won’t like what he will be designated to. At the ceremony, however, Jonas finds that he has been selected to be the new Memory Keeper, a job of such high prestige that he didn’t even know it existed. His new title leads him to a man called the Giver, who transfers memories, both good and bad from the past, secrets too painful for one person to hold.

Review: Lois Lowry is such a talented writer. Her stories, while written for YA and children, don’t try to talk down or simplify language or storyline. They are beautiful expressions of truth, and The Giver is no different. Dystopian novels are quickly becoming my favourite subgenre. The world building was well developed, and the characters heartbreaking. The memories that the Giver transfers to Jonas highlight both the beautiful and terrifying aspects of our world, yet demonstrate the loneliness that would come if everything was neutral. This book requires some serious reflection and its value comes after you’ve put it down and realize it’s still haunting you. The thing that I like most about the storytelling is that it wasn’t static, that each person who reads it will take something completely different away from it. This book comes highly recommended for ALL ages.

You might like The Giver if you enjoy books with: an alternative world, strong characterization, require some reflection, have a male main character.

If you enjoyed The Giver you might also like: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau, The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem, Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Additional Info: Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal and 1996 William Allen White Award
- Some readers are not aware that The Giver forms sort of a lose trilogy with Gathering Blue and the Messenger
- A movie adaptation is set be to be released in 2011

Author website found here. I suggest that you check out her Newbery Award Speech for The Giver to gain insight to the creation of the book, children’s thoughts about the ending and hear a few of Lois Lowry’s own memories.

Rating: W3.5/4 C4/4 P3/4 O3.5/4 PP3/4 CR3/4
Grade: JM


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