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The Giver by Lois Lowry
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The Giver (original 1993; edition 2006)

by Lois Lowry

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
20,04086877 (4.22)337
Member:rretzler
Title:The Giver
Authors:Lois Lowry
Info:Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2006), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, Kindle
Rating:*****
Tags:scifi, lowry, 2012, giver

Work details

The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)

chapter book (87) children (129) children's (249) children's literature (197) classic (131) classics (91) coming of age (152) dystopia (891) dystopian (286) euthanasia (85) family (112) fantasy (614) fiction (1,474) future (181) futuristic (123) juvenile (75) memories (160) memory (105) Newbery (330) Newbery Medal (440) novel (172) own (91) read (330) science fiction (1,199) society (95) to-read (163) utopia (278) YA (449) young adult (776) young adult fiction (104)
  1. 192
    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. 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.
  6. 130
    The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: The Giver is much darker, but are similar in premise.
  7. 80
    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (jessicastatzer)
  8. 80
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (sturlington)
  9. 80
    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.
  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. 30
    The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (jbarry)
    jbarry: futuristic take on biomedical ethics and mindbendingly complicated relationships
  12. 30
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Similar themes, We is a lot better written.
  13. 20
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  14. 20
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (sturlington)
  15. 32
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    TheDivineOomba: Very Similar Plot

(see all 24 recommendations)

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» See also 337 mentions

English (853)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  French (1)  English (Middle) (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (858)
Showing 1-5 of 853 (next | show all)
The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.

Well, I just super didn't care about anything in this book. You remember when I said in my review of Divergent that it didn't matter that nothing made sense because it was fast paced and fun? This was like the opposite of that. I was just so bored – I couldn't get invested in any of the characters because they didn't seem like real people. I know that's part of the conceit, but for god's sake. So much time was spent just talking about the mechanics of the world without anything actually going on, just... lots and lots of explaining. And then we get to the part with The Giver. And it is totally stupid. How in god's name did they remove all of the colour from the world or remove your ability to see it? Ugh. That's only the beginning of the stupidity, but there you go.

Sigh. I know I'm probably being unfair, but I didn't give a shit about what happened to Jonas. He gets to the age of adulthood, gets a job, turns out it's kind of a shitty job and kind of a great job at the same time, realises his parents aren't who he thought they were, and runs away from home. So what? This just doesn't say anything for the wider ramifications of what is happening in his world. It doesn't say anything about anything. Also I didn't quite believe that his dad was just a complete baby-murderer who behaved completely normally the rest of time. And who builds up a relationship with this little boy only to have him sentenced to death? It just doesn't really seem plausible. . Plus it kind of felt like all the different kinds of love – familial, friendship, romantic, sexual, and humanitarian, and so on, were all conflated and not really treated as separate and different phenomena. I don't think it was really well enough explored in terms of the different virtues and faults of suppressing each of these in turn. I'm not really sure what kind of point Lowry was trying to make. Trying to control entire populations to this level is bad? Shared memory makes our society more whole? Killing babies is wrong? I just don't feel like anyone gains anything from reading this that they wouldn't gain from reading 1984 and I think at the point that a child is ready for this book, they're only a few years at most off being ready for that one and they might as well wait.

Also I hate the ending. I feel like it was just one incredibly stupid set of events and then nothing happens and the books ends and you get to make up your own mind! Jesus. Nope. I was not about this book at all.

However, that said, I didn't HATE it. And the writing is nice in places, if a little sparse. And I'm nothing if not generous. I give The Giver (snerk) four out of ten.
  heterocephalusglaber | Apr 19, 2014 |
Interesting but I don't see where all those awards come from. The basic premise is metaphorical, not science fictional. In some distant future, a young boy grows up in carefully controlled society that has eliminated war and even minor conflict through intense indoctrination and a detailed progression of maturation. He turns out to be special -- someone who can be passed memories of human life from generations before by The Giver, memories of both joy and pain. How, other than some vague telepathy is not clear, and why is even less clear.

I liked the cultural details in the book, the things that happened at each milestone in a child's life. And, no spoilers but I did find it interesting that the ending is one that will be read completely differently by adults and the target youth audience. But I was constantly frustrated by the lack of any grounding details. For all that people moved around in the village, there were no descriptions of place, costume, smells, and so on. For a while I presumed this was meant to reflect the blinders the population had placed on themselves, but by the end I believe it was because this was all an abstract exercise for the author, not a real envisioning of some time and place. I'll take Margo Lanagan any day. ( )
1 vote ChrisRiesbeck | Apr 15, 2014 |
Compelling post-apocalyptic novel. An interesting take on the burden of memories. Is innocence better than awareness? The characters were compelling, the plot and setting fascinating, and the writing tight and beautiful. ( )
  Bonnie_Ferrante | Apr 15, 2014 |
Continuing with my project to re-read a favorite book every month, I re-read [The Giver]. This is one of my favorite dystopian novels. Lowry does an excellent job of gradually revealing how the community in which Jonas lives differs from our own. On the surface, it seems like an orderly, enjoyable place to live, but when twelve-year-old Jonas is selected as the keeper of memories, he learns the dangers that come with removing differences.

Lowry creates a world that is believable, but disturbing. The story moves along at a rapid pace, building to a its climax. This is a book that I wish I had read as a child. I think it would have been even more impactful then. I can't wait for the movie to come out this summer. ( )
1 vote porch_reader | Apr 6, 2014 |
The Giver explores free-will and how our fate is decided with no ability to choose or guide our outcomes. Society decides who will succeed and who will live. While all roles in the community are respected, they also understand that intelligence and ability dictate their future. Read my full review at http://thekeytothegate.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-giver-by-lois-lowry.html ( )
1 vote rebeccaskey | Apr 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 853 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
For all the children
To whom we entrust the future
First words
It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.
Quotations
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

(Sundancer)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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