Bibliography: Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Laurel Leaf Books, 1993. 179 pages. Tr. $6.50, ISBN 978-0-440-23768-6
Plot: Jonas lives in a world where everything is perfect; no disorder; no violence or pain; no color; and no secrets, or so he thinks. Rather than birthdays, there is a ceremony each year for all of the children in the community. Each year represents a new responsibility. At age twelve all pupils are assigned a specific role within the community and that role becomes your job. This is Jonas’s twelfth year. Instead of receiving an assignment, he has been selected to become the incredibly rare Receiver of Memory. This means Jonas will be getting special training from the Giver, who holds all the memories of the true pains and pleasures of life. It is time for Jonas to uncover the secrets and truth behind his community, which change his life.
Review: Everything is perfect in the world where Jonas lives. But what would you do if all of that has just changed? After coming of age, Jonas receives training from the Giver to become the new Receiver of memories, where he uncovers the truths of the community. Beautifully written to capture the minds of young readers and keep you wanting more. Although everything appears perfect on the outside, it soon becomes apparent to the reader that all is not well. Lowry leads you behind the scenes of a supposed utopian society. The story as a whole is wonderful and you will want to read it again. However, the ending leaves much to be desired.
Genre: Science Fiction
Reading Level: 6.0; Interest Level: 5-8 graders
Similar Materials: Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies
Reader’s Advisory: When I read this book many years ago, and again now, it made me think of some old sci-fi film. Like Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, and even Pleasantville and The Truman Show. This was one of my favorites as a young reader, the ending always disappointed me though, however a few years ago I discovered the sequels Gathering Blue and Messenger. They give you some insight into what happened at the end of The Giver. Won the John Newbery Medal in 1994. Great book for young readers.