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The Giver

The Giver

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The Giver

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (809 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
229 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Apr 26, 1993
ISBN:
9780547345901
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

1994 Newbery Medal Winner

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Pubblicato:
Apr 26, 1993
ISBN:
9780547345901
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Lois Lowry is the author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling Giver Quartet and popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, Number the Stars and The Giver. Her first novel, A Summer to Die, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry lives in Maine. www.loislowry.com  Twitter @LoisLowryWriter

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The Giver - Lois Lowry

Media

Copyright © 1993 by Lois Lowry

Ever After copyright © 2018 by Lois Lowry

Newbery Acceptance Speech copyright © 1994 by Lois Lowry

Educator resources additional content © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

All rights reserved. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1993.

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to trade.permissions@hmhco.com or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

hmhbooks.com

Cover photography © Lois Lowry (old man) and Getty Images (boy)

Cover design by Charles Brock, Faceout Studio, and Whitney Leader-Picone

The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:

The giver / by Lois Lowry

p. cm.

Summary: Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

[1. Science fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.L9673Gi 1993 92-15034

[Fic]—dc20 CIP AC

ISBN: 978-1-328-47122-2 hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-544-33626-1 paperback

eISBN 978-0-547-34590-1

v14.0121

For all the children

to whom we entrust the future

One


IT WAS ALMOST December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. He had seen it both times. Squinting toward the sky, he had seen the sleek jet, almost a blur at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Then one more time, a moment later, from the opposite direction, the same plane.

At first, he had been only fascinated. He had never seen aircraft so close, for it was against the rules for Pilots to fly over the community. Occasionally, when supplies were delivered by cargo planes to the landing field across the river, the children rode their bicycles to the riverbank and watched, intrigued, the unloading and then the takeoff directed to the west, always away from the community.

But the aircraft a year ago had been different. It was not a squat, fat-bellied cargo plane but a needle-nosed single-pilot jet. Jonas, looking around anxiously, had seen others—adults as well as children—stop what they were doing and wait, confused, for an explanation of the frightening event.

Then all of the citizens had been ordered to go into the nearest building and stay there. IMMEDIATELY, the rasping voice through the speakers had said. LEAVE YOUR BICYCLES WHERE THEY ARE.

Instantly, obediently, Jonas had dropped his bike on its side on the path behind his family’s dwelling. He had run indoors and stayed there, alone. His parents were both at work, and his little sister, Lily, was at the Childcare Center where she spent her after-school hours.

Looking through the front window, he had seen no people: none of the busy afternoon crew of Street Cleaners, Landscape Workers, and Food Delivery people who usually populated the community at that time of day. He saw only the abandoned bikes here and there on their sides; an upturned wheel on one was still revolving slowly.

He had been frightened then. The sense of his own community silent, waiting, had made his stomach churn. He had trembled.

But it had been nothing. Within minutes the speakers had crackled again, and the voice, reassuring now and less urgent, had explained that a Pilot-in-Training had misread his navigational instructions and made a wrong turn. Desperately the Pilot had been trying to make his way back before his error was noticed.

NEEDLESS TO SAY, HE WILL BE RELEASED, the voice had said, followed by silence. There was an ironic tone to that final message, as if the Speaker found it amusing; and Jonas had smiled a little, though he knew what a grim statement it had been. For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure.

Even the children were scolded if they used the term lightly at play, jeering at a teammate who missed a catch or stumbled in a race. Jonas had done it once, had shouted at his best friend, That’s it, Asher! You’re released! when Asher’s clumsy error had lost a match for his team. He had been taken aside for a brief and serious talk by the coach, had hung his head with guilt and embarrassment, and apologized to Asher after the game.

Now, thinking about the feeling of fear as he pedaled home along the river path, he remembered that moment of palpable, stomach-sinking terror when the aircraft had streaked above. It was not what he was feeling now with December approaching. He searched for the right word to describe his own feeling.

Jonas was careful about language. Not like his friend, Asher, who talked too fast and mixed things up, scrambling words and phrases until they were barely recognizable and often very funny.

Jonas grinned, remembering the morning that Asher had dashed into the classroom, late as usual, arriving breathlessly in the middle of the chanting of the morning anthem. When the class took their seats at the conclusion of the patriotic hymn, Asher remained standing to make his public apology as was required.

I apologize for inconveniencing my learning community. Asher ran through the standard apology phrase rapidly, still catching his breath. The Instructor and class waited patiently for his explanation. The students had all been grinning, because they had listened to Asher’s explanations so many times before.

"I left home at the correct time but when I was riding along near the hatchery, the crew was separating some salmon. I guess I just got distraught, watching them.

I apologize to my classmates, Asher concluded. He smoothed his rumpled tunic and sat down.

We accept your apology, Asher. The class recited the standard response in unison. Many of the students were biting their lips to keep from laughing.

I accept your apology, Asher, the Instructor said. He was smiling. And I thank you, because once again you have provided an opportunity for a lesson in language. ‘Distraught’ is too strong an adjective to describe salmon-viewing. He turned and wrote distraught on the instructional board. Beside it he wrote distracted.

Jonas, nearing his home now, smiled at the recollection. Thinking, still, as he wheeled his bike into its narrow port beside the door, he realized that frightened was the wrong word to describe his feelings, now that December was almost here. It was too strong an adjective.

He had waited a long time for this special December. Now that it was almost upon him, he wasn’t frightened, but he was . . . eager, he decided. He was eager for it to come. And he was excited, certainly. All of the Elevens were excited about the event that would be coming so soon.

But there was a little shudder of nervousness when he thought about it, about what might happen.

Apprehensive, Jonas decided. That’s what I am.


Who wants to be the first tonight, for feelings? Jonas’s father asked, at the conclusion of their evening meal.

It was one of the rituals, the evening telling of feelings. Sometimes Jonas and his sister, Lily, argued over turns, over who would get to go first. Their parents, of course, were part of the ritual; they, too, told their feelings each evening. But like all parents—all adults—they didn’t fight and wheedle for their turn.

Nor did Jonas, tonight. His feelings were too complicated this evening. He wanted to share them, but he wasn’t eager to begin the process of sifting through his own complicated emotions, even with the help that he knew his parents could give.

You go, Lily, he said, seeing his sister, who was much younger—only a Seven—wiggling with impatience in her chair.

I felt very angry this afternoon, Lily announced. "My Childcare group was at the play area, and we had a visiting group of Sevens, and they didn’t obey the rules at all. One of them—a male; I don’t know his name—kept going right to the front of the line for the slide, even though the rest of us were all waiting. I felt so angry at him. I made my hand into a fist, like this." She held up a clenched fist and the rest of the family smiled at her small defiant gesture.

Why do you think the visitors didn’t obey the rules? Mother asked.

Lily considered, and shook her head. I don’t know. They acted like . . . like . . .

Animals? Jonas suggested. He laughed.

That’s right, Lily said, laughing too. Like animals. Neither child knew what the word meant, exactly, but it was often used to describe someone uneducated or clumsy, someone who didn’t fit in.

Where were the visitors from? Father asked.

Lily frowned, trying to remember. Our leader told us, when he made the welcome speech, but I can’t remember. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. It was from another community. They had to leave very early, and they had their midday meal on the bus.

Mother nodded. Do you think it’s possible that their rules may be different? And so they simply didn’t know what your play area rules were?

Lily shrugged, and nodded. I suppose.

You’ve visited other communities, haven’t you? Jonas asked. My group has, often.

Lily nodded again. When we were Sixes, we went and shared a whole school day with a group of Sixes in their community.

How did you feel when you were there?

Lily frowned. I felt strange. Because their methods were different. They were learning usages that my group hadn’t learned yet, so we felt stupid.

Father was listening with interest. I’m thinking, Lily, he said, about the boy who didn’t obey the rules today. Do you think it’s possible that he felt strange and stupid, being in a new place with rules that he didn’t know about?

Lily pondered that. Yes, she said, finally.

I feel a little sorry for him, Jonas said, even though I don’t even know him. I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.

How do you feel now, Lily? Father asked. Still angry?

I guess not, Lily decided. I guess I feel a little sorry for him. And sorry I made a fist. She grinned.

Jonas smiled back at his sister. Lily’s feelings were always straightforward, fairly simple, usually easy to resolve. He guessed that his own had been, too, when he was a Seven.

He listened politely, though not very attentively, while his father took his turn, describing a feeling of worry that he’d had that day at work: a concern about one of the newchildren who wasn’t doing well. Jonas’s father’s title was Nurturer. He and the other Nurturers were responsible for all the physical and emotional needs of every newchild during its earliest life. It was a very important job, Jonas knew, but it wasn’t one that interested him much.

What gender is it? Lily asked.

Male, Father said. He’s a sweet little male with a lovely disposition. But he isn’t growing as fast as he should, and he doesn’t sleep soundly. We have him in the extra care section for supplementary nurturing, but the committee’s beginning to talk about releasing him.

"Oh, no, Mother murmured sympathetically. I know how sad that must make you feel."

Jonas and Lily both nodded sympathetically as well. Release of newchildren was always sad, because they hadn’t had a chance to enjoy life within the community yet. And they hadn’t done anything wrong.

There were only two occasions of release which were not punishment. Release of the elderly, which was a time of celebration for a life well and fully lived; and release of a newchild, which always brought a sense of what-could-we-have-done. This was especially troubling for the Nurturers, like Father, who felt they had failed somehow. But it happened very rarely.

Well, Father said, I’m going to keep trying. I may ask the committee for permission to bring him here at night, if you don’t mind. You know what the night-crew Nurturers are like. I think this little guy needs something extra.

Of course, Mother said, and Jonas and Lily nodded. They had heard Father complain about the night crew before. It was a lesser job, night-crew nurturing, assigned to those who lacked the interest or skills or insight for the more vital jobs of the daytime hours. Most of the people on the night crew had not even been given spouses because they lacked, somehow, the essential capacity to connect to others, which was required for the creation of a family unit.

Maybe we could even keep him, Lily suggested sweetly, trying to look innocent. The look was fake, Jonas knew; they all knew.

Lily, Mother reminded her, smiling, you know the rules.

Two children—one male, one female—to each family unit. It was written very clearly in the rules.

Lily giggled. Well, she said, I thought maybe just this once.


Next, Mother, who held a prominent position at the Department of Justice, talked about her feelings. Today a repeat offender had been brought before her, someone who had broken the rules before. Someone who she hoped had been adequately and fairly punished, and who had been restored to his place: to his job, his home, his family unit. To see him brought before her a second time caused her overwhelming feelings of frustration and anger. And even guilt, that she hadn’t made a difference in his life.

I feel frightened, too, for him, she confessed. You know that there’s no third chance. The rules say that if there’s a third transgression, he simply has to be released. Jonas shivered. He knew it happened. There was even a boy in his group of Elevens whose father had been released years before. No one ever mentioned it; the disgrace was unspeakable. It was hard to imagine.

Lily stood up and went to her mother. She stroked her mother’s arm.

From his place at the table, Father reached over and took her hand. Jonas reached for the other.

One by one, they comforted her. Soon she smiled, thanked them, and murmured that she felt soothed.

The ritual continued. Jonas? Father asked. You’re last, tonight.

Jonas sighed. This evening he almost would have preferred to keep his feelings hidden. But it was, of course, against the rules.

I’m feeling apprehensive, he confessed, glad that the appropriate descriptive word had finally come to him.

Why is that, son? His father looked concerned.

I know there’s really nothing to worry about, Jonas explained, and that every adult has been through it. I know you have, Father, and you too, Mother. But it’s the Ceremony that I’m apprehensive about. It’s almost December.

Lily looked up, her eyes wide. The Ceremony of Twelve, she whispered in an awed voice. Even the smallest children—Lily’s age and younger—knew that it lay in the future for each of them.

I’m glad you told us of your feelings, Father said.

Lily, Mother said, beckoning to the little girl, Go on now and get into your nightclothes. Father and I are going to stay here and talk to Jonas for a while.

Lily sighed, but obediently she got down from her chair. Privately? she asked.

Mother nodded. Yes, she said, this talk will be a private one with Jonas.

Two


JONAS WATCHED AS his father poured a fresh cup of coffee. He waited.

You know, his father finally said, every December was exciting to me when I was young. And it has been for you and Lily, too, I’m sure. Each December brings such changes.

Jonas nodded. He could remember the Decembers back to when he had become, well, probably a Four. The earlier ones were lost to him. But he observed them each year, and he remembered Lily’s earliest Decembers. He remembered when his family received Lily, the day she was named, the day that she had become a One.

The Ceremony for the Ones was always noisy and

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Cosa pensano gli utenti di The Giver

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Recensioni della critica

  • Lois Lowry's instant classic was my first foray into dystopian novels and it ignited my love for the subgenre (and young adult literature generally). The slow unraveling of the story's glossy utopian guise is masterfully done.

    Scribd Editors
  • Lois Lowry's instant classic was my first foray into dystopian novels and it ignited my love for the subgenre. The slow unraveling of the story's glossy utopian guise is masterfully done.

    Scribd Editors

Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    As a child I read this book several times, and have kept my worn paperback copy through the countless moves I've made. Thankfully, time had erased the specifics of this story - I remembered the general premise, but not the details, and not the ending. I re-read it now because I just learned this year that the book was part of a loose trilogy, and of course now there has been a new book added to make this a quartet. My mind needed a refresher, so I wanted to start from the beginning.

    I had forgotten the intricate details of the world Lowry created for us. I had forgotten how she revealed clues about the civilization's lifestyle slowly; I started out assuming they were like us, with a few minor modifications, then kept having to change the world I imagined and restructure it from scratch. The scenes she paints are vivid and emotional and of course it might be cliché and obvious but there is that undertone of reading about one world and realizing how much you appreciate your world in contrast, the world you were complaining about not long before.

    And the ending… as soon as I read it, I remembered loving the ending as a child even as I was wanting to know more, to know what happened, what the author imagined happened, what other readers imagined happened. It made me more excited to read the other books and visit this civilization more as it evolves.
  • (4/5)
    Great book and great series! Really thought provoking.
  • (5/5)
    Jonas lives in a perfect world. Family units are perfectly selected, no one has any worry, jobs are assigned, and no one thinks twice about it. That is, until Jonas is selected as the next receiver of memory. As Jonas takes on his roll as the receiver, he begins to question his society. Maybe it is not as perfect as one would think. Troubled by this fact, Jonas decides to change society. This novel is my absolute favorite. Teachers can do so many things with this novel from an author study to comparing and contrasting other dystopian societies. Students could also think about what they would do if they were in Jonas' situation. Since this book has been adapted to a film version, students could also compare and contrast the movie and the book.
  • (4/5)
    This is about a community who give up memories that one person keeps for them because the people might not be able to handle them. The Giver is getting old so he must give all the memories to a new person who must keep them for everyone. They don't remember color, sun, pain, courage and many other memories. They are very vanilla people. Jobs, spouses and children are selected for them. Twins born? The heaviest is kept and the other is "released" which everyone thinks they go somewhere else. I saw the movie first and it is a lot like the book yet quite different. The movie is heavier on the friends and the book is about the Giver and the Receiver. It's a very interesting concept. It's sad that people would be happy with such a bland life and controlled life. Love Ron Rifkin reading the book. One of my favorite actors.
  • (3/5)
    [Cross-posted to Knite Writes]I’m not really sure how much I can say about this children’s classic that people haven’t already heard. Obviously, it’s a pretty clear origin point for many, many later dystopian stories, and its themes are fairly similar to much of today’s dystopian fare. Jonas is a young, impressionable, and hopeful protagonist who quickly grows disillusioned with his society when some ugly truths come to light. The social structure consists of the familiar few, older authority figures who control people through constant, 1984-style observation and rigorous, lifelong conditioning.There’s nothing much in this book that would surprise any reader today, given how popular dystopian has become in the last few years. But I can see how it would have been fairly groundbreaking children’s literature way back in 1993 (when I was, believe it or not, one year old).Really, I can’t complain about anything in this book, although I will admit I didn’t find it that spectacular. The writing style didn’t really grip me, the characters weren’t that interesting (although they weren’t too boring), and the plot was fairly simplistic despite the somewhat heavy-handed thematic overtones.In other words, it was a children’s book through and through. Not something I usually pick up. Not something I would have picked up had it not been hailed as a classic.There isn’t anything wrong with it, per say, given what is is: a didactic children’s story that teaches an important lesson about the nature of sacrifice and the human experience.So I’m firmly on the middle ground with this one. It’s all right, but it’s not something I found particularly compelling or ingenious.
  • (5/5)
    The premise: ganked from Amazon.com: In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price. My RatingMust Have: fans of dystopia need to spare this book a look. It's short, sweet, and totally not a waste of time, and the elements of the dystopia are fascinating to examine and stew over. Yes, there's a touch of magical realism here, but the story of Jonas is touching and engaging, and worth reading no matter how old or young you are. The ending is poetically ambiguous, allowing the reader to decide for themselves what happens next, and lesser authors could not pull such an ending off. Lois Lowry, however, is not a lesser author, and it works wonderfully.Review style: For the love of everything pure and good, THERE BE SPOILERS!!! Seriously, I talk about pretty much everything important IN DETAIL, so if you want to stay pure, do NOT click the link below, which goes to the full review at my LJ. Because seriously, THERE BE SPOILERS. And not just this book, but two of Lowry's other books that make up this trilogy (yes, it's a trilogy. Did you know this? I sure didn't). At any rate, consider yourself warned. For those of you who don't care about spoilers or have read the book, feel free to click below for the full review (with spoilers). As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)REVIEW: Lois Lowry's THE GIVERHappy Reading!
  • (5/5)
    The Little BookwormJonas lives in his own Community, where people are assigned everything in their lives from wives to house to jobs, where emotions are dampened by a pill and food is always available, where everything is orderly and rules are to be obeyed without question. At the onset of the book, it seems like an ideal world and Jonas does not question it. Until at his 12th ceremony, he is named the new Receiver of Memories. Once he meets the old man, the Giver, he starts to learn of how things were before the Communities and how even a perfect world contains its own horrors.Amazingly I had never read this Newbery Award winner before. I genuinely liked it. There were parts that I found especially disturbing, like when Jonas finds out what it means to be "released" and the pills they start taking at the onset of puberty. Lowry creates a world here that shows that a "perfect" society comes at a price. I know this is an oft challenged/banned book but I don't think that I would have really understood certain things when I was younger. I think this is one of those books that you see differently as you grow up.I actually listened to this one and Ron Rifkin, the narrator, does an excellent job. He gives Jonas the perfect voice and creates tension when needed. The only thing about the audiobook was the little music accompaniments to the memories. I found those distracting.
  • (5/5)
    Re-read this book after 10 years and still great!
  • (5/5)
    This book takes place in the future where everything is the same and memories of pain, music, love, fun, color, and hate are all being held in a person called "The Receiver" When Jonas turns 12 he is assigned the job of the receiver in which he is suppose to keep the memories of the past. The information he gains conflicts with everything that he thinks he knows. This is novel that will challenge readers to think beyond what they know and question why they do the things that they do. This is a book I would share with students who are in the eighth grade or older to talk about themes and symbols. This book is so well written that you will not want to put it down. Reading this book again has been a cherished experience.
  • (4/5)
    Troubling book. How much would you give up for peace and security? Your ability to choose? Your memories? Your feelings? For a perfect world. Jonah's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war, no fear, no pain.
  • (4/5)
    About what could happen in the future as far as society or the world being controlled, stripped of choices.
  • (3/5)
    This book might have impressed me if:(1) I hadn't come across the argument that this is "great science fiction", and(2) the author didn't argue with readers about the (obvious) outcome of the end.Basically, I should have read The Giver in childhood, before knowing that I see it differently than its existing fan. This book read to me as a giant metaphor for how marginalized people can see historic threads and layers to the world that's ignored in a mainstream culture.The perspective could have made me feel seen and understood the way my favorite childhood books did. Now I only think of arguments against the labels applied to it.
  • (3/5)
    Teen fiction that has become a classic - and also attracted derogatory criticism. I found it to be a good read, and usefully thought provoking.
  • (5/5)
    This book was AMAZING. The society seems so perfect to those living within it but as Jonas started to receive more memories he found that it was completely flawed. I recently read anthem by Ayn Rand and I can see some connections to that book, I don't know if these books are connected to each other.
  • (4/5)
    This book takes place in the future where everything is the same, no colour, no pain, no snow etc. Memories of music, love, fun are all being held in a person called "The Receiver". Old people, those who do not follow the rules and babies with bad dispositions or twins are "released". Everyone seems happy, they live in family units of parents with 2 children, go to school, ride bikes and get assigned a job when they are older. They do not know any better. Jonas gets his adult assignment when he turns 12 like everyone else and he is chosen to be the new "Receiver". What Jonas learns turns the world as he knows it upside down. A quick read that I enjoyed and do not know why I never read it before. Now to see the movie.
  • (3/5)
    I really liked hearing about the 'sameness' in this book, it reminded me a lot of a Stedford type story (which I guess would be a Utopia of sorts). I also really liked the description of the different ages receiving items/privileges as the grow up. I feel that the whole 12 years old and getting a job thing was a little unrealistic. They made them seem much more mature for 12 year-old kids. I did like that it had a nice depth to it without being pompous or ridiculous. I didn't really get the whole no color thing. I know that they said it was because there was no sun, but if that means no color then Jonas wouldn't be able to see color either. I liked hearing about the different jobs and things, and the rules. The children rule reminded me a lot of China with it's restrictions. It wasn't the best book I've ever read but it wasn't bad. I own the second book in this series and I'll most likely read it (maybe not this month, but at some point). Overall I liked it, and might recommend it to certain people.
  • (5/5)
    So glad I re-read this. It's good as a kid, amazing as an adult. A practically perfect novel.
  • (5/5)
    I first read The Giver in the summer before 8th grade as a school required reading. Most books I had to read for school were met with distain or disinterest from me, with few exceptions (I didn't like to be forced to read; I enjoyed the choice). The Giver was the exception to define all exceptions.

    I knew there had been times in the past—terrible times—when people had destroyed each other in haste, in fear, and had brought about their own destruction.
    The Writing and the Worldbuilding

    Lois Lowry is spectacular at giving deeper meanings to shorter books. She doesn't require all the pomp and circumstance to tell a meaningful, profound story. The Giver was told in such a way that made a strange and apathetic world seem almost good, almost necessary, while also championing a world more similar to our own. The ambiguity in that, the possibility to lean in either direction, in addition to the interpretive ending (though, not anymore, given the Quartet, I suppose), made for a thought-provoking novel with themes of choice, equality, peace, and apathy.

    The concept of transferring collective memories to another person, but only those perceptive enough (or with blue eyes, for that matter), yet still, seemingly, with our world's reality as a historical past, was somewhat far-fetched and not explained, but in this case, an explanation was not necessary, as the method of reaching sameness was not entirely explained either and the story was not lacking for it whatsoever, as it was consistent throughout.

    Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.
    The Characters

    Jonas: He is an excellent protagonist—relatable, perceptive, kind, passionate, and active. He did always what he believed was best, and he was a pleasure to read.

    Jonas' family: Jonas' parents and sister were particular interesting characters: his father and mother go along with the society as they always have, as Jonas himself had been content to do before being selected as the Receiver; while his sister still holds some passionate humanity in her, as she is still a child, but because she is still a child, she still is somewhat apathetic to the plight of others, her whole world revolving around herself, as children are. Jonas, being 12 for most of the book, straddled the boundary between the two, simultaneously adult and child.

    The Giver: He is kind and wise, but also fallible, human. He worries over his past mistakes, as well as humanity's.

    Conclusion

    This book was just as intriguing and deep as when I first read it, all those years ago, when I was around Jonas' age myself. Now that I am an adult (though I might not want to act like it), I find it especially important to understand the choices you must make as an individual, with an understanding of the past and past mistakes to guide you, knowing the weight of your decision. To celebrate differences and not reject change, because choices matter more than you can imagine. And wrong choices are there to teach you.

    We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.
  • (4/5)
    Would be a standard dystopian tale with an appropriately poignant ending, except that the innocent peeling away at the veneer of the injured culture is a child.
  • (3/5)
    The science-fiction and mystery aspects of this novel make it unique and one that can be extemely advantageous for older students who are grappling with ideas of dystopian society and emotion. The main character, Jonas, who lives in a utopian society that is free of fear of pain, has a life that is anything but "perfect," and soon students can begin to see the flaws in the lifestyle of the book characters. This is a great book for discussion and character analysis, in particular, since all the characters seem so sterile and devoid of emotion, and it prompts great discussion about independence, love, and friendship, and the integral part each play in modern society.
  • (5/5)
    Jonas lives in a tightly controlled, perfect world, free of fear and pain in this spectacular Newbery Award winning novel. When Jonas reaches the age of twelve, he is chosen to receive special training from The Giver, the keeper of memories in this world. Readers will be stunned by the shocking truths of this seeming utopia. This instant classic evokes powerfully emotions as we travel with Jonas, making startling revelations of the truth of living without fear and pain. An introduction to dystopian worlds, this book is a perfect introduction to the Hunger Games series, the Uglies series, and more advanced material, such as 1984. Readers grade 6 and above would be able to appreciate the depth and layers of the story, preferably with an adult to discuss the themes.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It's very much like Animal Farm in that it's a book meant for kids but it has something much deeper and darker beneath it's surface that only someone older would see.
  • (5/5)
    My children were a bit confused when I picked up The Giver and said that I wanted to read it. All three have read it for school, and not a one of them was really taken by it. My eldest felt that Jonas (which just happens to be his name as well) was underdeveloped and that the narrative was "flat". Now, this child happens to be a lover of Dostoevsky, and so I think I can see why he was less than enthralled with it. The twins, who just finished it for school, thought it was an "okay" story, but weren't overwhelmed with it. But, I had read the review of her most recent book, that "completes" the series, and really wanted to read it. Ergo, I have to read the other books! My take: a short, accessible tale, but that addresses a key psychological challenge -- what are we without unique experiences, without pain, and pleasure, and most fundamentally, without memory? I found Lowry's exploration of this question compelling. She sets us up as readers thinking that the life that is lived in this society is just normal, but the moral dilemmas that emerge in order to have a flat, "vanilla", existence are enough to make you sit up and reconsider how pain is necessary for joy. I plan to keep reading the books that follow, mostly to see how she explores other dimensions of our being that we simply take for granted.As to why the kids didn't like it - I'm not sure, but now I will spend some time talking with them about it, to see if I can figure it out!
  • (5/5)
    Guys, THIS BOOK. I wish someone would have told me sooner. I wish I would have been forced to read it in school. Gah. It's just so beautiful and sad and thoughtful and just ALL THE THINGS. I just want to call up Lois Lowry and tell her how thankful I am for this book. Honestly, it's a life changer.
  • (5/5)
    I truly enjoyed reading THE GIVER. It is a simple story about the keeper of memories, but Lois Lowry does an amazing job describing everything. The memories that The Giver shares with his Receiver and delicately woven into the story. These were my favorite parts.
  • (3/5)
    I had to read this book for school and at first thought it was stupid. After a while, though I realized it was just different. It's an extraordinarily book. There's not another book out like it. It's won many prizes and the author (Lois Lowry) has written many other books that have won multiple prizes as well.
  • (5/5)
    A classic dystopia tale, the reason why when I hear that word, my ears perk up and I have to read it.
  • (3/5)
    Not my favorite genre, but a good story.
  • (4/5)
    This was a bit short and should have gone further, but I really enjoyed the story and engaged with the main character. Learning the truth and growing up has never been so well told. I can't wait to read the other stories in the quartet.
  • (4/5)
    This is a science fiction work. Jonas lives in a high-functioning orderly world, where memories, love, pain, death, and even color are unknown to its citizens. Only the man known as "The Receiver" has this knowledge. When Jonas is chosen to replace the Receiver, he is transferred the painful memories from centuries past. Jonas and the Receiver, also known as the Giver decide to also give the citizens the knowledge that has burdened them for so long. Jonas has to make the painful decision of leaving his family behind in order for everybody else to experience the real world, and the earth had music again. I would use this for middle readers, and introduce the idea of a "dystopia" to them. I would follow up with some creative writing or art projects.