Skip to main content

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry


Jonas lives in a community that values Sameness. Children are grouped by the year they are born and learn the same lessons, are taught the same rules of the community. When they become Twelves, they are considered adults and assigned a role, but Jonas does not receive an assignment. Instead, he is selected as the new Receiver of Memories. This is a mysterious role that is held by only one person in the community. His trainer is the previous Receiver, the only person who even knows what this role entails.

The Giver (Giver Quartet) by Lois Lowry is a very popular dystopian novel that was recently made into a film. My book club is reading it this month, so I finally took time to read it myself. The world that Lowry creates is similar to other dystopian stories in that the people are restricted by specific rules about behavior and their roles in the society are determined by the leaders. They are also sheltered from the reality of the past and the world outside of their own community. All of these rules are in place to protect the people.

Despite the similarities with other dystopian novels, The Giver has a unique storyline focusing on the memories of the long-lost past, the memories from the time before the community embraced the Sameness. I don't want to give a lot away to those who have not read this book yet, but I do want to say that I enjoyed the story and the characters. I especially liked the characters of Jonas and the previous Receiver of Memories. The way they deal with their uniqueness in a community in which everyone else is the same drew me in. I could feel what they were feeling, and I found their connection endearing.

The Giver would be an excellent introduction to the dystopian genre for older elementary and middle grade kids. There isn't much in the way of questionable content, and it's a fairly short book. It is also the first in a series, which I plan to continue. The ending of this one is rather open, so I'm curious to see where Lowry takes us in the future. I cannot say whether the future books in the series would also be appropriate for this younger audience, but this one definitely would.

My Rating: 4/5

Discussion questions about The Giver 

Read my reviews of the other books in this series:
Gathering Blue
Messenger 
Son

This review was written based on a copy of The Giver that I purchased.

Comments

  1. I just read The Giver for the first time a few years ago, but I haven;t read the rest of the books in the series yet (though I want to). I think a lot of kids read this for school - my older son did. I want to see the movie, even though it didn't get great reviews.

    Sue

    Book By Book

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping to read the rest of the series next year. I found a 2015 finish the series challenge that I'm going to join so I have motivation!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: No Story to Tell by KJ Steele

Victoria has been put down since the day she was born. First by her parents who were disappointed that she survived while her twin brother died. Then by her verbally abusive husband and his low-life friends. But soon an intriguing artist named Elliott arrives in town and starts encouraging Victoria to follow her dream of opening her own dance studio. She also begins to receive phone calls from a mysterious someone who gets her to open up about her past and face her true feelings.

In No Story to Tell, KJ Steele has captured the small-town atmosphere and brought these characters to life. From the victimized Victoria, to her drunk and obnoxious husband Bobby and his drunk and obnoxious friends, to all the side characters who you'd expect to encounter in a town like this ~ all are so realistic in both their actions and their voices. She has written a compelling story of an abused woman who thinks she is trapped in this loveless, miserable existence. But then she finds a spark of hope…

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)


Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to ge…