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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (1993)

by Lois Lowry, Lois Lowry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Giver Quartet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
22,268102956 (4.2)474
  1. 202
    1984 by George Orwell (cflorente)
  2. 182
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (cflorente)
  3. 171
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (writecathy)
  4. 150
    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. 174
    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
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (sturlington)
  9. 90
    Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (jessicastatzer)
  10. 51
    Matched by Ally Condie (Trojanprincess)
    Trojanprincess: The two worlds seem similar in the way that every aspect of their livee are controlled.
  11. 40
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Similar themes, We is a lot better written.
  12. 30
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  13. 30
    The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (jbarry)
    jbarry: futuristic take on biomedical ethics and mindbendingly complicated relationships
  14. 20
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (sturlington)
  15. 32
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (ubcsfs)
  16. 10
    The Dubious Hills by Pamela Dean (infiniteletters)
  17. 10
    The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem (Nikkles)
  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)

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» See also 474 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 1018 (next | show all)
Guys! I’ve finally read it. After years of wanting to read The Giver, I have finally bought it and read it. I am so happy that it’s finally happened and that I liked it. It is so good. My only complaint is that it wasn’t longer. I wanted to be in the world longer. I need to get the rest of the series. I need the pretty box set with the pretty covers. Have you read the other books? Are they as good? You guys need to let me know.

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked and disliked about it. Maybe someday I will re-read The Giver and do another review. Better reviews (hopefully) in the future. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | May 26, 2015 |
i thought this book was thrilling. i deeply enjoyed lois lowry's imagination, ideas, and love he poured into this book. it is completely unique and creative. i felt i was jonas' best friend and he was telling me his secrets. i also could realate to some of the experiences in this book such as thinking something was one thing and finding out it was another. i could also realate to jonas' feeling of loneless, and his realization he did not know everything about this place he lived ( )
  irenerichmond | May 25, 2015 |
Read a review of the audio version of this 1994 Newbery Medalist here: http://rdg301library.blogspot.com/2013/03/1994-newbery-medalist.html.
  rdg301library | May 24, 2015 |
A dystopian community with a cover up as a utopian society. How perfect! Everything seems ideal. People are safe, everyone gets along, no one is sick, homeless, etc and everyone has the perfect job that suits their personalities. In many aspects, it sounds ideal. Yet it is all just facade for the most part.

As Jonas moves on to his twelfth year is is given the title Receiver Of Memory for his community. but with this new title comes some unexpected rules and conditions. He is to learn there is so much more to life that what he has been taught.

This book is a fast read. not action-wise but in short, easy chapters that leave you needing to know more. This book quickly set me up with wondering many questions. And for each one that is answered right away, several new ones came up. The community is is a part is of actually quite disturbing on many levels. Especially the emotional disconnect. When Jonas asks his parents if they loved him, their answer left me staggered!

While things are answered in a way that we can fully understand what is going on, the how and why is left vague enough that one must use their imagination. Especially at the end.

This was my first book by Lois Lowry, but it won't be the last. I am now eager to read the next book in the series very soon! if you are looking for something to get you thinking about life, this will do it. Easy enough for middle graders for the basic story but with some hidden depth for the more mature readers as well. A quick read at under 200 pages. ( )
1 vote jljaina | May 16, 2015 |
The Giver is dystopian novel written by Lois Lowry at the beginning of the 1990s. Set in a 'community' in the future, the protagonist Jonas slowly experiences the community's flaws but also its advantages as he grows up to get assigned a very honorable position in the community. To get a better grasp of the setting it is essential to know what the community that Jonas lives in is like. Jonas grows up in a society that cherishes sameness and tries to do away with individualism and differences between people. That is why there are very strict rules in order to protect the inhabitants of the community from anything bad that could happen. Everything follows a pattern and is very structured and organized. Nothing is left to chance. Jobs in the community are assigned to the people, spouses are given to you by the leaders of the community after a long time of consideration. The same goes for children. You have to apply first and then you are given a child if you and your partner are deemed fit. Of course, it is hard to have people living happily in such a community and that is why all inconvenient or impractical memories from the past are taken away from the citizens only to be saved in the memory of one person in the community: the Receiver of Memories.

As one might guess, Jonas is assigned to become the community's next Receiver of Memory. But before he can take on this important assignment he has to be trained by the old Receiver of Memory or the Giver, who gives the novel its title. The training is hard for Jonas because he learns about concepts he has never heard of before as they have been taken away from the community and only remain alive in old memories. Such concepts include love, pain and war but also simpler things such as sunshine, snow and colors. Together with the Giver, Jonas decides that the community should also know about some of those memories in order to be able to feel love, see colors and hence be able to enjoy the world more. This is when Jonas makes a plan to give back memories to the community. But what will the consequences be?

One can read The Giver with regard to many aspects. Apart from the construction of a dystopian society I found the use of language to be one of the most important aspects in the novel. The diction that is prevalent in the community contributes to the overall effect of emphasizing function over feeling and pragmatism over personality. Words like "birthmother", "newchild" or "family unit" and the fact that you "acquire a child" rid the daily life of all possible emotions and stress the function of everyone in the community. The sole purpose of some women is to be a "birthmother", that is to give birth. The "newchild", however, is taken away from its mother and given to a "Nurturer" (mind the capitalization, focus on function again). Getting attached is almost not possible so that the feeling of love is simply irrelevant and nonexistent in the community.

The Giver is a YA novel that I read with my students in high school and it led to some very heated discussions about what is important in life and what is not. Also, the notion of 'society' and what makes a society function but also worth living in was debated at length. To my mind, a novel that encourages critical thinking is always worth reading. Personally, I think The Giver is a fairly good novel with a somewhat disappointing and sudden ending. 3.5 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | May 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 1018 (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
Lowry, Loismain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ibatoulline, BagramIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rifkin, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:11 -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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