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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (1993)

by Lois Lowry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Giver Quartet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
22,978107451 (4.2)512
  1. 222
    1984 by George Orwell (cflorente)
  2. 192
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (cflorente)
  3. 171
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (writecathy)
  4. 160
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (chrisharpe, afyfe)
    chrisharpe: I see I am in a minority but, although the idea behind the book is a good one, The Giver struck me as quite clumsy. A much more effective exploration of similar themes is Huxley's "Brave New World".
  5. 150
    The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: The Giver is much darker, but are similar in premise.
  6. 175
    Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: Another children's book that manages both to entertain and to make you think. These are two of my favourites.
  7. 100
    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (KamTonnes)
    KamTonnes: Uglies and The Giver both portray societies that limit conflict by having very specific rules, roles, and expectations for everyone. Also, in both stories, the main characters slowly start to question the values of their respective communities.
  8. 90
    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (jessicastatzer)
  9. 51
    Matched by Ally Condie (Trojanprincess)
    Trojanprincess: The two worlds seem similar in the way that every aspect of their livee are controlled.
  10. 40
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Similar themes, We is a lot better written.
  11. 30
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  12. 30
    The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (jbarry)
    jbarry: futuristic take on biomedical ethics and mindbendingly complicated relationships
  13. 20
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (sturlington)
  14. 32
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (ubcsfs)
  15. 10
    The Dubious Hills by Pamela Dean (infiniteletters)
  16. 10
    The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem (Nikkles)
  17. 10
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (rhondagrantham)
  18. 00
    Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In these riveting, suspenseful and thought-provoking dystopian novels, 12-year-old boys learn from inspirational figures about the true nature of their repressive societies: Jonas, from the elderly Giver; Luke, from another hidden -- albeit, more privileged and knowledgeable -- "third child."… (more)
  19. 00
    The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman (foggidawn)
  20. 11
    The Story Box by Monica Hughes (infiniteletters)

(see all 25 recommendations)

1990s (9)
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» See also 512 mentions

English (1,064)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All languages (1,072)
Showing 1-5 of 1064 (next | show all)
Here is my preamble of sorts: I read so widely and voraciously as a child that, despite having a very good memory, there are many books whose contents I have essentially totally forgotten. The Giver is one such book where I remembered nothing, but that it had been an excellent book.

I thus recently set out to reread it, and wow. I'm so grateful I got the experience of reading this book as for the first time twice.

What a masterpiece of simple, elegant storytelling. The language is beautiful without ever being cumbersome. (I loved the freshness of common words slightly twisted for the community this book is primarily set in: "sleepingroom" and "newchild", for instance.) The world-building is so subtle and yet fraught with detail that you can actually imagine a world like this, and experience its departure with Jonas as much as if you had grown up in it.

Not to mention all the poignant ideas that Lowry treats with such simplicity, depth, and elegance. Those are the three words that most come to mind when I think of this book: its plot, its language, its themes, its characters.

I don't know how much more I can add. Just, wow. ( )
  elephantine | Nov 27, 2015 |
"Oh, Honey! Are you crying?"

My daughter nodded and sniffled as I sat down on the side of her bed and leaned over to hug her.

"Can you tell me what's wrong?"

After a pause she said, "That book," in a choked voice. I knew she meant The Giver. We'd gotten the paperback as a freebie at her pediatrician's office more than a year ago, and my 10yo had picked it up that morning and read the whole thing by bedtime, reading a bit here and there between her lessons.

"Oh, Honey!" I repeated. "It's a pretty intense book, isn't it?"

She nodded with her face hidden in my shoulder.

"Would you like me to read it tomorrow so we can talk about it?"

She nodded again. And so the next day, I read The Giver.

It was a quick read: engaging, emotional. I like the gradual way Lowry lets the story unfold and lets Jonas make the connections that he does. It's interesting to consider both the good and bad things we might give up for safety, especially with all of the opinions right now about whether to take in Syrian refugees or not in the wake of the Paris attacks last week. The ending was strange to me. It was good, but it read like a short story ending rather than the ending of a novel. I'll have to mull it over more to know what I mean; that's just how it feels to me. It gives my daughter an introduction to the uncertainty of literary fiction.

I finished it late last night and am reviewing it before breakfast (when I should be doing my morning workout), so I've not had a chance to talk with her about it, but I'm really looking forward to it. It will be interesting to see what stands out to her about the book and what she thinks about the tradeoffs Jonas and his community made. ( )
1 vote ImperfectCJ | Nov 25, 2015 |
Jonas lives in a futuristic society and is chosen to be The Receiver. The giver transmits memories to Jonas and he begins to see how bland his community is. He starts to get frustrated with everyone and the giver has felt the same way. They make a plan for Jonas to enter elsewhere and when that happens, all of the memories will diapers through the community and the giver will be there to help them deal with it.

Personal Reaction:
I could not put this book down. I loved seeing Jonas transition from being a member of his community to having feelings and opinions of his own.

Classroom extension
- The students draw one of their favorite memories.
  Megan_Livsey | Nov 25, 2015 |
Rather Aldous Huxley flavor, Late Great Planet Earth. It is not my genre preference but.....when reading it soooo many kids and adults alike said things like oooo, I love that book. My grandson read it on his own to the amazement of his mother, not even as an assignment. ( )
  Glorydaze | Nov 23, 2015 |
When a what is suppose be thought of as a Utopian world gets a new giver things take a twist. The giver is the only person that can see thing different than anyone else such as color, the past, and love. Its a powerful story about a boy that chooses not to be the new giver and runs away to find the world he was forbidden.

Personal: I personally loved this book and had to read it in school and enjoyed every moment of it. Rereading this story just made me love it even more.

1. Have students write a review.
2. Which job they think they would be assigned and why.
3. Explain how they would feel to live in a Utopia.
  Amandacj | Nov 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 1064 (next | show all)
Despite occasional logical lapses, "The Giver," a powerful and provocative novel, is sure to keep older children reading. And thinking.
added by Aerrin99 | editNew York Times, Karen Ray (Oct 31, 1993)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois Lowryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ibatoulline, BagramIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rifkin, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To whom we entrust the future
First words
It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.
His mind reeled. Now, empowered to ask questions of utmost rudeness- and promised answers- he could, conceivably (though it was almost unimaginable), ask someone, some adult, his father perhaps: "Do you lie?" But he had no way of knowing if the answer he received were true.
We really have to protect people from wrong choices.
But everyone would be burdened and pained. They don't want that. And that's the real reason The Receiver is so vital to them, and so honored. They selected me-- and you--to lift that burden from themselves.
Jonas did not want to go back. He didn't want the memories, didn't want the honor, didn't want the wisdom, didn't want the pain. He wanted his childhood again, his scraped knees and ball games.
Sometimes I wish they'd ask for my wisdom more often-there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they don't want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable-so painless. It's what they've chosen.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
This book is about Jonah who is trying to figure out what memories are since he is the receiver and the giver is giving them to him. The story takes place in post-apocalyptic world (I'm assuming). Jonah has to come to terms with release and the very culture that he exists in. There is a trilogy for this series, and I'm excited to read them. This book can be used for character, theme, and other story elements in a class.
Haiku summary
A black and white world

One boy holds the memories

Of colorful past


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440237688, Mass Market Paperback)

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:46 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Lowry's unforgettable tale introduces 12-year-old Jonas, who is singled out by the Community to be trained by The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of true pain and pleasure. Now it's time for Jonas to receiver the truth.

» see all 13 descriptions

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