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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
22,561104556 (4.2)495
  1. 222
    Nineteen Eighty-Four 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 (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) 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. 00
    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 495 mentions

English (1,035)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All languages (1,043)
Showing 1-5 of 1035 (next | show all)
The Giver a book of a world like no other but honestly everything's the same. No one is different there is no individuality. But one boy is on path to change that very thing. This book is full of intrigue. The book makes you feel as if you are right there with Jonas. Your on the edge of your seat to find out what happens next. ( )
  amber18 | Aug 22, 2015 |
I picked this up for two reasons: one, it is a classic that teachers have taught on classrooms for decades. Two, I've read about the movie and I have a thing about reading books before seeing film adaptations. Dystopia generally isn't my genre of choice, but it seems to be a popular one these days, especial in YA. A very common theme seems to be the standardization of society, which some protagonist find intolerably repressive and leads to rebellion. This is no different. I do like the simplified language that comes with YA, in this case I think it gives the story just the right tone: the community's blind, unquestioning acceptance if the status quo, in place for as long as anyone can remember, the undercurrent of menace perceived when the protagonist discovers the cost of that pervasive repression, and the wrenching sorrow and anger that results when that person begins to develop the understanding of his own humanness, and what he and his community have lost. While I'm frustrated when I don't get to be told how the story actually turns out (I'm a little greedy that way), I like how that device is used here, since it is in keeping with the world Lowry built. I look forward to seeing the film adaptation now! ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
Catching up on the "classics" I found a dog-eared copy of this dystopian story. (By the names written on the fly leaf it had been through the hands of three eight-graders, if that's when they read this.)

The description of the ordered, memory-less community was chilling -- no controversy, no conflict, not even climate. One thinks of our own culture's increasing banality and shallowness (i.e. why does anyone care a wit about the Kardashians or the interactions among the "Survivor" tribes? I guess all this is keeping us from the "burdens" of thoughtfulness that the future society has managed to achieve.

The ending -- was this just our protagonist's received memory or did he actually find the full and rich society outside his former community??
  stevesmits | Aug 13, 2015 |
3.5 stars.

I thought the premise of The Giver was an interesting concept, but overall it felt lacking to me. Nothing about it felt...real. And in this case I had trouble suspending my disbelief.

Still, I liked it. I thought it was well-written, fun, and easy to read. I think it's a wonderful children's story. I probably would have liked it even more as a younger kid--guess I waited too long to read it! Curious to see how the series will play out.
  ScribblingSprite | Aug 10, 2015 |
If Brave New World and Ayn Rand's Anthem had too much to drink one night and started flirting and then started more than just flirting, and 1984 was invited to the party but mostly just watched, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas wandered over now and then to pound on the door and ask if they could please keep the noise down a little – this book would have been the result.

I'm not sure that tells you what you need to know in terms of whether or not you'd like to read this book, so I'll try to elaborate a bit.

I liked it. Then I got annoyed by it. Then I hit the "OH DEAR GOD THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN" incident, which is not something you can simply walk away from, literally or metaphorically. Then I reached the end, which I thought was fine though I know some people found it abrupt.

Lowry's writing is smooth and persuasive throughout. What I had trouble with was her world-building.

There are so many surprises in this story that I don't want to get too specific. But I'll point out a few things in a reasonably spoiler-free fashion.

1. We learn that this dystopian future is utterly regulated, right down to complete climate control. No more snow. No more hills. No weather or landscape that's anything but smooth and predictable. Okay. But there's a river that's significant to the plot. A river. You know what a river is, right? – a bunch of water that flows downhill, generally as a result of melting snow atop a mountain?

2. I have to be really vague here: Given everything we know about this society – what are those geraniums doing there?

3. Who's the vaguest one of all? Right here. Re the "OH NO THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN OH YES IT DID" incident: Given the near-magical levels of technology we've had described for us, and the completely non-sexual methods of reproduction implied, is it possible for any twins who are conceived to be anything but identical?

4. Don't get me started on how the heck memory is supposed to work in this world. Just – don't.

This book is beautifully written, and the characters are convincing. If you're a nice person who gets caught up in the story, you'll find The Giver a compelling read. If you're a cranky old redhead with a habit of saying, "BUT THAT WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE," you'll have a harder time of it.

That said, I plan to look for the next book in the series on my next library visit. If I find it and finish it, you'll hear from me.
( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 1035 (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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For all the children
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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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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