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Gathering Blue (Giver Quartet) Paperback – March 5, 2013
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|The Giver||Gathering Blue||Messenger||Son||Number the Stars|
|Discover More Books by Lois Lowry||Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.||Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. She struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.||Once a utopian community that prided itself on welcoming strangers, Village will soon be cut off to all outsiders. Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter Kira to return with him before it’s too late.||Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. In this thrilling series finale, Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of The Giver.||Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden.|
|Anastasia Krupnik||Anastasia Again||Anastasia at Your Service||Anastasia Off Her Rocker||Anastasia on Her Own|
|Anastasia's tenth year has some good things, like falling in love and really getting to know her grandmother, and some bad things, like finding out about an impending baby brother.||Twelve-year-old Anastasia is horrified at her family's decision to move from their city apartment to a house in the suburbs.||Twelve-year-old Anastasia has a series of disastrous experiences when, expecting to get a job as a lady's companion, she is hired to be a maid.||Anastasia's seventh-grade science project becomes almost more than she can handle, but brother Sam, age three, and a bust of Freud nobly aid her.||Her family's new, organized schedule for easy housekeeping makes Anastasia confident that she can run the household while her mother is out of town, until she hits unexpected complications.|
|The Willoughbys||On the Horizon|
|A delightfully tongue-in-cheek story about parents trying to get rid of their four children and the children who are all too happy to lose their beastly parents and be on their own.||A moving account of the lives lost in two of WWII’s most infamous events: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.|
"Lowry is a master at creating worlds, both real and imagined, and this incarnation of our civilization some time in the future is one of her strongest creations." —Booklist, starred review (6/1/00) Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
About the Author
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.
- Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 5, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0547904142
- ISBN-13 : 978-0547904146
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Lexile measure : 680L
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.59 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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While this is the second book in the Giver quartet, I find if only fair to note that there aren’t any characters from the original novel in this book. Set in the same dystopian future Earth, Kira’s village is less advanced and the residents have life harsher. Where the Giver had an almost futuristic feel to it, through their advancements and gadgets, Gathering Blue has a very medieval feel, where all but the most privileged of residents reside in clay and thatch “cotts” with little to no food.
I ended up reading this as part of a Summer reading challenge with my 10-year-old and I honestly can say that I don’t think I ever would have read it otherwise. But now that I have read it, I want to read the remaining two books to see where this all goes. With both Gathering Blue and The Giver, Lois Lowry has created a fictional dystopia that has a hint of real life and modern prejudices and thoughts woven in. No, modern day America does not cast out the infirm, disabled or elderly; but we do have a way of treating them as less of a person unless they have something that we want or a knowledge that we can use. Gathering Blue brings that issue to the forefront in such a way that will cause the reader to think about Kira’s situation and hopefully be kinder to those around them.
Kira, the main character, demonstrates strength and dignity despite her own physical challenges by developing her own skills and unique abilities. In a world where others think and fight only for themselves, Kira builds a small group of loyal friends willing to help each other.
This story is another opportunity for learning and discussion, using new eyes to see old and familiar situations in new light. Although dramatically different from the first book, this installment creates a reading experience filled with new perspectives. Great for teens and parents to explore together.
The Audible narration gave added drama to the written word, why not distracting from the storyline.
Lowry for some reason continues her abrupt book endings that leaves in my mind too much to the imagination. Loved the story but disappointed with the sudden and incomplete end.
Although this is a standalone book, I recommend the series be read in order, even though they have different storylines.
Gathering Blue is not seemingly related to The Giver (or so we think); it takes place in the same universe, but a totally different type of community - almost an exact opposite of Jonas's community in The Giver. Kira's village is more primal; if you can't contribute and fend for yourself, you're useless. Kira, who suddenly finds herself parentless and alone in this hostile world, must find a way to prove herself to her community, despite being crippled. Her only friend in the world is a kind little boy, Matty, and his canine companion, Branch. Kira, with no parents to defend her place in the village, must face the judgement of the council. It is the council that decides Kira's fate - and to her surprise, they motion for her to remain in the society, and contribute the same way as her mother, through sewing and embroidery. It is through exercising her skills that Kira discovers her strange powers that she cannot explain, and uncovering dark secrets held by the village.
Top reviews from other countries
Kira had made friends with an 8yrs old boy Matt, he was always kind to her and was allowed to visit, although taught to stitch by her mother she didn't know how to dye the thread and was sent to Annabelle in the forest, in the room under Thomas he could hear crying, after thinking about what they were doing they realised Thomas, Jo the girl crying downstairs and Kira had mysteriously lost their parents, they were all orphans, Kira wondered how her mother became sick, nobody else was ill
A crippled girl, Kira, lives in a strictly regulated village until she becomes orphaned when her mother dies and sent to “the Fields”, leaving her defenceless among hostile neighbours lacking any communal spirit, which is unusual in a community like this. We begin to find out the functional way of life among her people and how children or “tykes” are regarded - fenced in as they are like cattle while their mothers worked round the house and the men hunted or laboured away from the house. Kira, being “damaged” for her disability, and having lost her father to alleged wild beasts on a hunt just before she was born, should have been sent to the fields to die if her mother had not shown violent resistance. She picks up the weaving trade from her mother, and it is her magical talent that ultimately saves her from being banished and whisked of by the “Guardians” to live in the Council Edifice, a courtly building that is the only urban relic remaining from the past.
Kira’s task as a master weaver and repairer of the Singer’s robe, a ceremonial garment flaunted at the annual Gathering, contains images of the history of the villages, that accompanies the Singer’s epic song like a retelling of it. Her role is monumental because after the repair of the existing painted parts of the robe is done, she is to draw images on the empty portions to fill in the future. She soon finds out she is not the only “artist” on the block, and there is another boy, Thomas, who is kept in another room to work on the Singer’s staff, and together, with the aid of her little friend, Matt, a ghetto boy with his dog, they begin to discover nothing is as it seems and secrets behind the idyll of their newfound comfortable and purposeful lives.
It is remarkable that Lowry builds her story world with seeming ease, for example, in the way the number of syllables in someone’s name places him or her in a specific generation, so a teenager like Kira would have two syllables in her name, her friend, Matt, still a tyke only has a one-syllable name. Kira’s mentor and rescuer Jamison, holds a three-syllable name, while the old woman who teaches her how to colour her threads is called Annabella. It also suggests the evolving identities that are never stable. The locales, like the Fen, which is the village ghetto from where Matt lives, is also true to life in all its poverty and desolation. The sense of unease that pervades the novel, does not go away even when one finishes it, and perhaps that is the point Lowry makes, and what makes this story a hopeful dystopian tale, ironic as the description sounds.
This one is in fact crueler than the society in The Giver. But more straightforward. So being ill or disabled means being left out in a field to die. However some children have gifts, similar to Jonas in The Giver, and those children are removed and looked after to exploit their gifts for the community. Girls and women are oppressed and not allowed an education.
There are some great characters in this, Kira, the main character is very interesting and engaging, and I adored Matt, the naughty little boy with the little dog, and there is a very cute little girl who sings.
Highly recommend this book.