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The Giver (illustrated; gift edition) (Giver Quartet) Hardcover – Picture Book, October 25, 2011
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.
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“A powerful and provocative novel”—The New York Times
“Wrought with admirable skill -- the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel.”—Kirkus, starred review
“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
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; Gift edition (October 25, 2011)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0547424779
- ISBN-13 : 978-0547424774
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.83 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Because as a child this book taught me that I had the strength and ability to shape my future. As an Adult it reminds me, so do they.
The book - I don't know, I really wanted to like this book. And the story is solid and the world Lowry creates is pretty rich and detailed without getting bogged down in minutia. Mainly because the world doesn't have a lot of that. My trouble came in the final act of the book, not so much in the "controversial ending" that has become one of those "you just don't get it" debatable non-finishes that's neither a cliffhanger or a resolution but more of a throwing your hands up and saying here's a choose your own adventure MadLibs.
Apparently people had to read this in school and it's one of the most restricted books in schools which I find widely strange on both counts. As a teaching text for YA readers, I think it brings up some interesting issues and philosophical questions probably not breached in a lot of middle school English literature in this way. It's a challenging book for a kid to understand sometimes. As an adult, it was pretty easy to see through the foreshadowing as where this whole thing was headed, but I enjoyed the ride.
I bought this book after hearing about the movie and realizing I hadn't read it. The book is painfully short in my opinion, it definitely made me want some more to chew on as far as the world and the characters and the changes they go through, but I'm sure that's by design for the intended audience.
It also must be the manual for all these YA dystopian future books coming out, so you might as well read the source material. I saw a lot of Hunger Games in this...
KINDLE ED - the kindle edition has some illustrations in it, they are strange, in a good way, so you might want to get this addition. Several of them cracked me up, like North Korean propaganda done my a Rockwell impersonator.
I love this book; it was absolutely mesmerizing. I just read it as an adult, many decades past the target audience, and I'm glad I read it now, because I realize what the citizens of that society gave up in order to live so happily. Everyone receives the same food, clothing, and housing, but without choice. They have no concept of hate or fear, but neither do they know love or desire. This sanitized Big Brother-world is created slowly, gently, and subtly until it becomes quite horrible. The last 30 pages had my heart pounding and were truly terrifying. Lowry is an excellent writer.
This is an quick and easy read and the pictures in the illustrated edition add to the mood of contentment contrasted with emptiness. Heartily recommended for fans of dystopian novels.
Next morning: The book gave me nightmares. In my dreams I saw that There was NO LOVE in the communities. Children were birthed by women assigned to do this. They were not chosen for their intelligence but for their compliance. (Where the male semen comes from was not addressed.) Children were raised in a common nursery until they were given a name. Any weakness at all meant release. Gabriel was to be released because after staying with his nurturer's family he could not sleep through the night in a strange place. As soon as loving emotions begin to be felt by the children they are medicated daily for the rest of their lives to prevent them.
Adults are assigned a spouse if they request it and are judged worthy. I don't think there is a sexual relationship between the husband and wife. They are assigned two children: one boy, one girl. They must put in a request when they want a child. Every year of life has its own instructions and obligations. Everyone rises to the next year in December. No one celebrates their birthday which they may not even know. At "12" you are given your life's work assignment. When the children leave "home" the parents move to a house where adults with no children must go. At a certain age you move to the House of the Old where you are isolated and finally released. The irony is that only those who do the releasing actually know that they kill people. Everyone else thinks that they are sent to live "elsewhere." Although lying is not allowed, those who kill lie to everyone else in the community and do not feel remorse over what they do.
How could you live without color or music? What would it take to prevent someone seeing in color? There are no books to read except law and a dictionary. What on earth would prompt a society like this to exist?
It's a lot to think about.
Top reviews from other countries
Not nearly as many illustrations as I was originally hoping for, but still a beautiful edition.