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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Lois Lowry

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
22,080100059 (4.2)468
Title:The Giver
Authors:Lois Lowry
Info:Laurel Leaf (2002), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Utopian Society, Fiction, Young adult, Chapter Book

Work details

The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)

  1. 202
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (cflorente)
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    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (cflorente)
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    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.
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    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.
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    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (sturlington)
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    Trojanprincess: The two worlds seem similar in the way that every aspect of their livee are controlled.
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    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Similar themes, We is a lot better written.
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    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
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    jbarry: futuristic take on biomedical ethics and mindbendingly complicated relationships
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    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)
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(see all 25 recommendations)

1990s (7)

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» See also 468 mentions

English (990)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All languages (998)
Showing 1-5 of 990 (next | show all)
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Summary- Jonas was born into a utopian society. The main goal is to have equality. The community has rules they have to follow and a life chosen for them by the leaders. Jonas is chosen to be community’s new Receiver of Memories. His training begins with an old man called “the Giver”. The Givers gives Jonas memories of the “real” world. With his new knowledge of pain, love, and everything in between, Jonas begins to question the beliefs of his community.
Personal extension- I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was very well written. Once I picked the book up it was hard to put it down. I think that this would be a good book for a middle school class. The only thing I have bad to say about this book is that the books to follow in the series are not my favorite.
Classroom extension-
1.“Read then Watch” After the students have read the book, allow them to watch the movie. Have the write a paragraph over some of the difference between the movie and the book. (On this particular move there is a pretty good amount).
2.“ Your Utopian Society” Have the students write an essay about what their personal utopian society would look like. In what ways would their society look anything like Jonas’s?
3.“The community’s rules” Have the students discuss whether they think the rule/ beliefs of the community were wrong or right. Have the students talk about if there were any aspects of the of community that they agree with.
  Sarah0423 | Apr 15, 2015 |
This book is about a dystopian society in which everything is meticulously planned out and controlled by the elders. There are rules in place that are used to maintain order, while there are no memories or emotions in the society. The Receiver of Memories is the only person with any knowledge of the world of the past and memories.
I loved this book and it was one of my favorites growing up as a child. I enjoyed the relationship Jonas had with Gabriel and how he and the Giver plotted to return the memories back to the Community.
Extension Ideas:
1) We can have a class discussion about how life in the Community would be like.
2) Students can talk about what positions they would want if they were a part of the Community.
  GSoto95 | Apr 15, 2015 |
Summary: This book is about a boy living in a society where everything is the same. Everyone is assigned a job in life and they are told what to do in every aspect of their lives. They call this society the "Sameness". The boy is selected as the Receiver of Memory, and he is responsible for receiving all of the memories from the past from the Giver. They are the only ones who have memories before the Sameness. Once the Receiver gets the memories, he thinks that everyone should have the memories, and the Giver tells him that if he enters Elsewhere the memories will be given back to everyone. So the Receiver decides to do this, and the memories are returned to the people.

Reflection: This book is very interesting, and it really gets you thinking about what if society was really like this. I think that this book would help students to expand their minds and really open up their imagination. Once a student starts thinking about something fictional like this, then it leads them to start thinking about other possibilities.

Extension: I think an interesting activity you could do with this book would be to have the students discuss what they would do if they were the Receiver. I think it would be interesting to hear the students' answers and see what they think. You could also have them reflect on the book and have them write about what they think it would be like to live in a society of Sameness.
  mikefletch | Apr 15, 2015 |
[Probably not the best utopian/ dystopian exploration ever written, but probably the only one that most 12 year-olds will see and understand. If they're interested they can move along to [book:The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia|13651], [b:This Perfect Day|139390|This Perfect Day|Ira Levin|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1249566974s/139390.jpg|1945300], and all the others mentioned in other reviews here. But the school-kids gotta start somewhere, and this seems effective. (This review written in memory of a read from about 2000.)]

Read again because it's about time I read the sequels and I wanted to refresh. I note that dystopian stories are pretty 'hot' nowadays and so some kids are probably reading some of the YA titles. I suspect this is better than many of them, though, as it's probably more complex. After all, in this, most characters actually take for granted they live in a Utopia. There's no hunger, no violence, nobody is seriously ill or disabled - what's not to be thankful for? ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
The story begins with Jonas and his family unit which consist of Mother, Father, and his younger sister, Lily. They live in a community where there is no color and have no memories of their past. Parents are matched up together by the Committee of Elders and if they want children, they have to sign up for them. Only two children are allowed in a family unit and are given to the parents in a Ceremony of Naming and Placement every year in December. The community has no sense of emotions because The Receiver of the community has all of the past memories. The people are not aware of color and do not experience any kind of season nor do they celebrate holidays. They do not have feelings of love because once a young person experiences any kind of desire, a daily pill is taken to suppress the " Stirrings". Everyone in the community celebrates ceremonies from One to Twelve and each year they are expected to change their ways. The Nine's must cut their hair short after having long hair, the whole time they were Eight. They are not recognized by their ages, they are given a title according to what normally would be an age number. It is Jonas's Ceremony of Twelves and others who are also turning twelve await for the positions they will hold as adults. Everyone is called and assigned but Jonas's number is skipped and at the end the Chief Elder would announce that he will be the Receiver of the community. The Receiver is the one who knows about the past and the reasons why the community is the same and has strict rules. Jonas starts his training with the Receiver and on the first day learns that he will endure physical pain during his training. The Receiver puts his hands on Jonas"s back to give him the memory of snow and being cold. He also gives him memories of sunlight and he even experiences the pain of a sunburn and the pain that soldiers felt when they were at War. Jonas is given a warm memory of Christmas and the closeness of being a family. Since Jonas is now the one receiving the memories, the Receiver is now called the Giver. One day Jonas asks about what happens when someone gets "released" from the community. The Receiver shows him a video of Jonas's Father giving an injection to an identical twin who was just born. It is then that Jonas realizes that those who are released don't go Elsewhere, they are killed. Jonas had stopped taking his pill and was able to experience all emotions and along with all the memories he was given made him aware of his surroundings. Gabriel, a newchild was being cared for by Jonas's family because he was delayed in growing and his Father had asked the Committee if they could keep him at night for a year until he was ready for the Naming and Placement Ceremony. Jonas was told by his Father that Gabriel was not progressing and would be "released" the next morning. Jonas and the Giver came up with a plan to escape the community at night. Jonas took Gabriel and fled the community. He used the memories given by the Giver to keep Gabriel and himself warm and away from danger. When Jonas goes over a hill, he then see lights with color and what he thinks is music. They had managed to get away from the community that bared the "Sameness".
Personal Reaction:
I greatly enjoyed this book and was drawn to the story line. The concept of having a community not having the ability to see colors or have an actual family is strange. I did like the suspense during the Ceremonies and what their future assignments would be. The sad part was finding out that people who are "released" do not go to a better place. I thought the labeling like the House of the Elders and the Nurturing Center was very creative because everyone in the community belonged to a specific group and lived in a specific place with them. I would highly recommend this book and I am pleased to have had the privilege to read a wonderful book.
Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Children can have different job titles and perform their duties in class.
2.Children can write about their favorite memory.
  rmewife | Apr 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 990 (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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(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 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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Average: (4.2)
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