It's a perfect world, where everything looks right. But ugly truths lie beneath the surface... Now a blockbuster film starring Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard and Taylor Swift.
It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in The Community wants for anything. Everyone is provided for. Each Family Unit is entitled to one female and male child. Each member of The Community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders, and they never make a mistake.
Jonas, a sensitive twelve-year-old boy, had never thought there was anything wrong with his Community, until one day. From the moment Jonas is selected as the Receiver of Memory at The Ceremony, his life is never the same. Jonas discovers that The Community is not as perfect as it seems. Although they appear to have everything, they are missing something of great importance. It is up to Jonas, with the help of the Giver, to find what long ago had been lost. And so Jonas embarks on an adventure to save the world as he knows it. Simply and beautifully written, The Giver is sure to touch the heart of every reader.
Lois Lowry deals with issues of everyday life that are so often taken for granted. Through the noble character of Jonas, she presents a glimpse of what could be the future. As the tension in the novel mounts, so does the number of questions that Lowry confronts the reader with. The Giver is a book of courage and adventure, and most importantly, one of deep thought. Once readers make contact with Lowry's treasure, they may never see things exactly quite the same. Lowry presents a forceful novel that demands to be heard and philosophically dealt with.
About the Author
Lois Lowry, author of over twenty novels and twice winner of the Newbery Medal (for The Giver and Number the Stars), was born on 20 March 1937 in Hawaii. Her father was an Army dentist and the family lived all over the world. Now divorced, she lives in West Cambridge with her dog, Bandit, and spends weekends in her nineteenth-century farmhouse in New Hampshire.
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Comments about The Giver:
Promises a great world to explore but falls short –although entertaining.
I had brushed past The Giver a number of occasions, and it was only after watching the movie did I bother to give this title a go. While I enjoyed the book, it wasn't one of my favourites, and felt like it was an echo of Divergent (actually the other way around since Divergent was written later – but that happened to be the order I read them in).
This book focuses on human rights, identity of self, and right to choose. However, I would have liked to see the film tackle it more head on. I feel that the social aspects weren't discussed properly – merely topics introduced for discussion without truly being explored. Quite possibly they are themes that are carried through in the subsequent instalments of The Giver quartet, but with not addressing them enough in this debut, it felt a little wishy-washy for me.
I liked how all Giver/Receivers had blue eyes, signifying that it was a genetic trait that enabled the person to assume the position, (because the entire community is engineered). And eluded to the community being sterile and monoethnic.
Jonas was very young when it came to assuming the position of a Keeper of Memory, and I had issue with this. The narrative sounded and felt too old for someone of that age. Plus the responsibilities and tasks felt way too important to be entrusted with someone so young. The passage of time took years through the storyline, which added credence, like Jonas was undertaking a real apprenticeship.
Jonas's turning point illustrated great character development as his discovery and growth lead him to the ultimate climax of The Giver.
Having Asher as a Recreational Director helped illustrate the naivety of war, through Jonas reaction to his 'games' which I felt was one of the ore powerful moments in this novel, even if it was only a brief passage.
I found the book satisfying, its underlying commentary on identity and community handled well for a young adult market. Overall, however felt unfinished and not fully discovered. It's not something I'd recommend at this point, however, for curiosity's sake I'll read Gathering Blue, the second book in the series, and hope that is becomes more poignant to hold my attention.
"The Giver, a powerful and provocative novel, is sure to keep older children reading and thinking." New York Times "Lowry is once again in top form - raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers." Publishers Weekly
Series: Essential Modern Classics
For Ages: 11+ years old
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st August 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.27