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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Lois Lowry

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
21,14293267 (4.21)396
Title:The Giver
Authors:Lois Lowry
Info:Laurel Leaf (2002), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:YA, dystopian, government, coming-of-age, propaganda

Work details

The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)

  1. 202
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (cflorente)
  2. 181
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (writecathy)
  3. 182
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (cflorente)
  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. 140
    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
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  9. 80
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  10. 51
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    Trojanprincess: The two worlds seem similar in the way that every aspect of their livee are controlled.
  11. 30
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    chrisharpe: Similar themes, We is a lot better written.
  12. 30
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  13. 30
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    jbarry: futuristic take on biomedical ethics and mindbendingly complicated relationships
  14. 20
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    TheDivineOomba: Very Similar Plot

(see all 24 recommendations)


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» See also 396 mentions

English (913)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  English (Middle) (1)  French (1)  All languages (919)
Showing 1-5 of 913 (next | show all)
Had I read The Giver when it first came out in 1993 at a young age when I was still forming ideas about people and the world at large, I have no doubt it would have had a profound affect on me. Since it's first publication the ideas used here have appeared elsewhere, most notably in the movie Equilibrium and the book [b:The Handmaid's Tale|820689|The Handmaid's Tale|Margaret Atwood|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178674786s/820689.jpg|1119185]. As an adult it has less of an effect but I can appreciate the lessons it tries to teach to the young minds it's aimed at.

I was a little confused at times and there was no real characterisation probably due to the adherence of "sameness" and lack of emotion hindering individuality and depth. However, I would have liked to have been given the history of how the community became what it was and what led to the imposition of the Rules and the Pills. The ending was frustrating as many dystopian novels seem to leave the reader guessing as to what befalls the main character, whether victory or tragedy, it's never clear.

For a young adult book this is very dark but necessarily so. I would recommend this to all children as a necessary rite of passage to learn that life is not a fairy tale, to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy and our ability to choose our own fates. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
I read all four books in The Giver Quartet in succession in about a week. This is definitely one to make you think about the government, religious, politics, emotions and life in any society. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as I had to get it out of Juvenile section of the library, but boy was I wrong! Definitely a series I will read with my kids one day and I would recommend it for everyone. Messenger was my favorite in the series, but I think they are all must reads! ( )
  KatieEmilySmith | Sep 23, 2014 |
Re-read the Giver after seeing the giant cliff in the trailer and thinking, "Aren't there supposed to be hills?"

Answer: yes, but it's OK. I get it. It's the future.

Gotta say, this book gets better with age. While it does skim over some of the emotions the Giver transferred to Jonas in the middle of the book, it kept it simplistic so a lower-YA aged child could read it as well.

I couldn't imagine knowing what Jonas knew and not being able to share it with anyone. ( )
  LillianGraves | Sep 23, 2014 |
Re-read the Giver after seeing the giant cliff in the trailer and thinking, "Aren't there supposed to be hills?"

Answer: yes, but it's OK. I get it. It's the future.

Gotta say, this book gets better with age. While it does skim over some of the emotions the Giver transferred to Jonas in the middle of the book, it kept it simplistic so a lower-YA aged child could read it as well.

I couldn't imagine knowing what Jonas knew and not being able to share it with anyone. ( )
  LillianGraves | Sep 23, 2014 |
Imagine living in a world where everything is the Same. There is no color. There is no weather. There are no hills. There is no sunshine, wind, or rain. The world is defined by Sameness. Everything is controlled, from when you got your first bike (age 9), to when you are assigned your role in the community (age 12). People are "released" when they are too old. If twins are born, the "runt" is "released." Sexuality and reproduction is controlled. This is the world that Jonas lives in.

When Jonas turns 12, he is selected to become the Receiver. There is only one Receiver at a time, and the current Receiver who "trains" him becomes "The Giver." Leading up to this ceremony where he is selected, the reader begins to understand how regimented the community is, how controlled, how even-balanced it all is. Once Jonas becomes the Receiver, the reader begins to understand why things are the way they are. There are still questions though. What exactly does being "released" mean? It's easy to guess, but watching Jonas' father release a twin baby boy through Jonas' eyes removes all doubts.

At the same time that Jonas is selected to be the new Receiver, his father (a Nurturer) brings home a "baby" named Gabriel who has been given a reprieve from release, for the next year. He had been a colicky baby, and fussed a lot at night. Jonas' father was able to get special permission to bring Gabe home with him at night to care for him to see if things improved. Gabe had special, light-colored eyes, similar to Jonas. Is Gabe a potential future Receiver?

Gabe does not sleep well, until Jonas begins taking care of him at night and sharing memories to soothe him. The family is convinced that Gabe is ok now, and ready to be placed in a home and he is taken back to the Nurturing facility to await placement. However, once away from Jonas, he goes back to fussing all night and the decision to release him is made. By now, Jonas knows the ramifications of release and although the Giver and he had started to develop a "plan" to change things in the community, Jonas cannot stand by and allow Gabe to be released.

The end of the book finds Jonas and Gabe on a journey to escape... will they make it to Elsewhere? Find help? Start a new life? Or will they perish? ( )
  recipe_addict | Sep 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 913 (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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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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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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