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The Giver (Giver Quartet, 1) Paperback – July 1, 1993
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In Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic, 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.
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.
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From the Publisher
|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 once again in top form raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review “The simplicity and directness of Lowry's writing force readers to grapple with their own thoughts.”— Booklist, starred review “The theme of balancing the values of freedom and security is beautifully presented.”— The Horn Book Magazine, starred review -- No Source
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.
- ASIN : 0544336267
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Reprint, Media Tie In edition (July 1, 1993)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780544336261
- ISBN-13 : 978-0544336261
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Lexile measure : 760L
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.68 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Jonas lives in a dystopia disguised as a utopia where everyone is cared for and all has a place. Everything is controlled, from the weather, to the number of births in each community. Every family unit is assigned two children and all jobs are assigned by the committee of elders based on an individual’s strengths and interests. There is no want, no lack or homeless. Crime is all but extinct (as are many animals) and the elder residents are pampered and taken care of until the day of their Release to Elsewhere. The children undergo a strict form of training where emphasis is on manners, precise language and obedience.
When Jonas turns twelve he is selected as the new Receiver of Memory. As the Receiver in Training , Jonas’ training consists of taking on all the community’s memories from the outgoing Receiver. Once his training begins, Jonas becomes privy to situations, places, sensations and feelings that has him quickly understanding that nothing is as it seems in his idyllic community. The world he lives in vastly differs from the memories of the Giver, and in some instances, is a flat out lie. As he gains knowledge of concepts such as family holidays, seasons, conflict and even color; Jonas realizes that the Sameness of his community is not ideal; it’s cruel brainwashing When faced with this truth, Jonas realizes that he also now has something that the rest of the community doesn't .... a choice.
As far as novels that you must read because you are in school and it’s assigned goes, this is probably one of the better ones. I remember when I was in school all the books we had to read were completely boring it truly is a wonder I love reading after the dreck I was exposed to!
Jonas world is bleak and boring. Nobody sees color, everyone is taught to be painfully polite as they go about their lives volunteering at various places, discussing their dreams and feelings all the while being totally naïve to the things that they are missing. At least in the Hunger Games, the folks in District Twelve knew they had it bad… the people in Jonas’ community are like the proverbial frogs in the boiling pot. The Giver has provided quite a few topics of discussion for my son and I as I am sure it has provided for his class and I am sure it will continue to provide in the future.
While the Giver is identified as Teen & Young Adult, do not, for one minute believe it is written on an elementary level. The topics that are addressed, either in passing or in greater depth are compelling and thought provoking. Even after I finished this book, I find myself thinking about a person, situation or comment and still being affected. The cliffhanger ending will leave the reader with a mixed feeling of relief and curiosity. As part of a quartet of books by Lois Lowry, I am looking forward to reading more books in this series for more glimpses into dystopia through Lois Lowry’s eyes.
With over 4 1/2 hours in the car each way, we were able to finish 2 audiobooks from start to finish. By pure coincidence, they both ended up being authored by Lois Lowry. I have never been more engaged in a children's book than I was during this road trip. I was completely lost in these stories, as were my children.
The first book that we listened to was 'The Giver'. What a captivating, albeit bleak, fictional world Ms. Lowry has created! I was absolutely spellbound by her storytelling.
Set in the future, Jonas lives in a community that has traded their humanity for the illusion of safety. They block anything that would trigger the emotional highs and lows that define a person's life as we now know it. They don't experience the heartache of loss, but they never give in to the joys of life either. They are shells, robotic in their day to day existence and devoid of emotion.
Although this is a children's book, it had a feeling eerily similar to George Orwell's '1984'. Independent thinking was non-existent. People "confessed" their thoughts, dreams and rule violations. The presence of the omnipresent leaders in their homes, ruling their lives, was pervasive and all-powerful.
Jonas is getting ready to experience the ceremony of 12. This particular ceremony is an important one in the community, a rite of passage into adulthood. It is at this ceremony that each child is assigned their job within the community. They will remain in their assigned role until they are no longer productive and they are "released".
Unlike the other children, Jonas is unsure of his calling within the community. He doesn't feel a clear draw to one occupation or another. He is worried of what the future holds for him and he is beginning to notice some unusual things that others do not.
Jonas is ultimately assigned a very prestigious role within the community. It is perhaps the most important role in the community, but comes with a tremendous burden. He cannot share his experiences with anyone other than the man that he will be replacing, the current "receiver". As his training progresses, Jonas comes to question everything that he has ever been taught.
From beginning to end, this book held my rapt attention. It was beautifully written and thought provoking. 'The Giver' serves as a cautionary tale to the human race, warning of what can become when we censor our very emotions and blot out all of the differences that make us unique individuals.
There was plenty of action and suspense along the way. It was also a much more emotional read than I had anticipated. I'll never forget the look on my 9 year-old's face when some of the true meanings of different phrases, like "released", truly sunk in. Don't even get me going on baby Gabe! Luckily, I think most of that went over the head of my 5 year-old.
Overall, I thought that this was a spectacular book! It is one that I would not have normally read, but I'm so glad that I did. I can only hope that the lessons learned will resonate with my daughter and the other children that read it. An all-around great story! I'll probably download the next books in the series for our next road-trip to take "Nana" home after the holidays.
Now, 10 years later, I re-read this story for a college assignment and found it to be a refreshing, original tale in the often-maligned genre of Young Adult fiction. This time, the allegorical elements of the story stood out and the beauty of Lowry's writing captured me. There was no love triangle or even love interest. There was no overtly evil government that a fierce young heroine had to overthrow. There was simply a deeply flawed, sheltered society and the desire to be an individual in a homogeneous world. The writing was concise, the concept was solid, and the premise was unique.
Age and perspective helped me re-evaluate this work. When I was 10, I had never heard of symbolism, satire, allegory, or dystopias. I'm not even sure that Young Adult fiction was designated as a genre back then. After reading endless trashy, stupid, plot-less YA dystopian novels in the years since I first read this book, I can safely say that The Giver is one of the finest offerings in the genre. I would not suggest that elementary school children read this book, despite its frequent inclusion on reading lists. In order to appreciate the beauty of this book, you need to have a deeper understanding of literature. Although I dreaded having to read this book again, I actually read it in a few hours. Upon reflection, I found it to be much more profound the second time around.
Top reviews from other countries
The community regulates its population with systematic “Release” of their elderly and genetically weak “Newchilds” to “Elsewhere”. What’s probably most eerie is the lack of deep emotions, the tightly-reined speech and language, and appropriate behaviour expected of everyone in fulfilling their roles apparently cheerfully and without contest or discontentment. Jonas begins to question this reality and sets himself apart when he is assigned a specific role to play that would tear his whole world apart.
It is to Lowry’s credit that she creates this preternaturally-perfect little community in a simple manner, which would not be difficult for a child to imagine and process, and yet arouse uneasy feelings that forces the reader to confront established values and ways of living that he may have taken for granted without question. As a speculative novel, it is highly disturbing for the way it is entirely believable as a possible future.
The main protagonist, Jonas, is coming to the age where he becomes an adult within the 'community' that he and his family and friends live in. However, things are not as they seem and the direction of the book takes a deep, dark turn and Jonas starts to see things in a different light....
I won't say much more than that as I don't want to spoil it but let the above intrigue you enough to buy and read this book! It's an easy read and the story sticks with you.
He could discuss nothing of what he learnt or the memories he was given, he was given good memories of snow and sunshine but also given memories of pain and torture, each time he received a memory the Receiver lost it to Jonas, father was trying to decide which of twin boys were to be nurtured and which was to be release, Jonas had heard this word before when old people are released, he asks the Receiver who tells him, Jonas is totally shocked
This is a wonderful story that hits at the core of what being human means. For me it was a story so strong at the age of 13 that I still remember almost every bit of it. There are few tales that powerful.
It may be classed as young adult fiction but, especially upon reflection after finishing it, this is a powerful little story on the importance of memory and emotions to our humanity