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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Lois Lowry

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22,065100359 (4.2)468
"The Giver" takes place sometime in the future and about a young boy's life in his "community." Jonas, the young boy, after receiving his assignment, began to rebel against his community's lifestyle and was forced to make a choice of no return. This is an awesome book! ( )
  JTNguyen | Apr 25, 2012 |
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I love this book. It's about an attempt to make a perfect world after mass wars. But we all know that there is no such thing as PERFECT. The main character Jonas decides to think for himself after being named as the successor for the keeper of memories. The things that are transferred to his mind help to set in motion a series of events that will change everyone's lives. But will it be for the better? This is a good example of the butterfly effect. ( )
  kat32969 | Apr 20, 2015 |
What would you do if one day you woke up and you were in a world with no feelings, no color, no imagination, no passion, no love, and no sense of identity? Would you feel a sense of emptiness? Well, this is the life that Jonas lives in the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas is an eleven-year-old boy with an innate sense of feeling like he doesn’t quite belong. Jonas lives in this community where family is non existent, feelings are prohibited and exterminated every morning through the smallest dose of medication that kill emotions, and his career is decided for him at the age of twelve. Jonas lives his life in a way that is much different than his peers- he questions society, constantly thinking and asking himself… is there more? Are we missing it? When Jonas turns twelve, he is given the position of the Receiver- this is a very honorable position that is extremely important. Jonas is going to be trained and filled with the knowledge of what feelings from the past were- Christmas, love, dancing, death, anger, jealousy, hate, adoration, lust, etc. Jonas, through the training of the Giver, was going to receive all of these emotions and memories that had been exterminated from the community so that he can have a deep understanding for his community members as to why they got rid of emotions, and why they live in the community that they do. Through this training, Jonas realizes that the community that he lives in is extremely messed up. What is a world without love? Without pain? Without FEELINGS? It is an emotionless and meaningless jumble of activities and hours spent of doing nothing important all congregated together. In this novel, Jonas is on the mission to find something more, to feel something more, and he will do whatever it takes to end this hell that he lives in… even if that costs him his life, and the love of his existence.
  KaylaAnn715 | Apr 20, 2015 |
8. The modern fantasy chapter book, “The Giver,” was a delightful read. I had mixed feelings about the book, though. Personally, I am not into future reads. The book was about an 11 year old boy living in a futuristic community where he had no choices and was assigned a role in the community. The overall message of the chapter book is about balancing the values of freedom and security. The boy has to fight for survival through pain and pleasure of life. I did not like the book because the characters were flat. I felt like the characters were described as helpless and in pain. On a personal level, I enjoy reading happy, and exciting books. I did enjoy the message of there can be no pleasure without pain because that is the truth. Also, I like how the book opens up the view for readers to appreciate the differences of others rather than seeking differences as bad. I would not read this book again. ( )
  kacieforest | Apr 19, 2015 |
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 |
The giver is a great book. The main character Jonas is young and the setting is very surprising. When Jonas is first picked to be the receiver, the author paints the picture so well that you really feel like you are there in the moment with Jonas. It is one of those moments when the moment is so interesting that you start reading faster and you can just image how Jonas had felt when he was skipped and what he felt when he was finally brought on stage. Through out the entire book, you don't notice it while you are ready but Lois Lowry uses a lot of descriptive words. The descriptive words really draw you into the book and they make the reading experience so much better than it would have been if it was just plainly stated. ( )
  sofiairene2014 | Apr 7, 2015 |
I chose The Giver as my movie/book review. I first read the novel in high school and enjoyed it so much. I am thrilled it has continued to remain popular and I have had many robust conversations in my English class regarding the different themes arise in the book.
Curricular connections can be made with science in middle school grades by having the students read the book and research genetic engineering. The students can present their findings and debate the pros and cons of attempting to create a "utopian" society. ( )
  tona.iwen | Apr 6, 2015 |
The people in this world live in a bland place, with no color.Everyone sees black-and-white.Everyone in this bland world is assigned a job. Also, everyone is assigned a family, or a living unit. There is a guy named Jonas. Jonas, is the main character of the story.A giver sees all memories. A giver also, sees color, and feels things.

Jonas, tries to share is experiences with other, like his friends. All new givers do, share with others. Jonas is in some trouble, and has a plan yo leave. Jonas, then meets a baby named Gabriel, who is a younger giver. Gabriel is sent away to be killed, and Jonas goes to save him.Then, Gabriel and Jonas escape. Finally, the book ends with Jonas seeing the house and the edge of the cliff.
  Emmac.B1 | Mar 22, 2015 |
I love this book because although it was written in 1997, some of its predictive elements about society have come to life in our society today. How people are organized and programed by their society, how they do not question the systems in place, how there are so many things that we look past without questioning. The book has awesome literary elements, it has great flow and just the right about of suspense to keep any reader engaged.
  loross | Mar 11, 2015 |
Read for Science Fiction/Fantasy discussion.
  noah23 | Mar 9, 2015 |
Reading for pleasure
  julieabc | Mar 8, 2015 |
This is a fascinating book. The world that the author has created is so unique and interesting. I actually got bored after the first chapter or so, and put it aside, thinking it was just stupid. But then, a friend who had read the book explained some of it to me, and after that, I just had to finish it.

Sure enough, after a few chapters, the world blossomed, and I found myself glued to the pages. It's the story of a world where everything is bland. It's literally in black and white. Nothing exciting ever happens, because their society is designed that way.

But then, our hero Jonas suddenly starts to see color. Oh wow, color. How amazing. Of course it's not amazing to me, but to him, it's unbelievable. Because since birth, everything he's seen has been black and white.

Then, the sorting begins, as it does in every other goddamn young adult book. In this case, they're not sorted into factions, per se. They're sorted into jobs. Jonas happens to get chosen to be the Receiver, which is a very rare opportunity, indeed.

The Receiver is given the memories of the before time, before this society came to be. Back when there was color, and snow, and love. He is introduced to The Giver, who is to give him these memories.

This book moved me, and I really don't know why. When The Giver tells Jonas, "You can call me, The Giver," I literally cried. I can't remember the last time a book made me feel that much emotion.

Since Jonas is a rebel, like all other heroes in every goddamn young adult book, he decides that the world must know about these amazing memories. The world has to see color, and know what it's like to love.

Jonas kidnaps a baby, who was scheduled for termination, because he wasn't as perfect as the other babies. Then, Jonas escapes the society, to the outer limits of its boundaries, because for some fucked up reason, if the boundary is breached, the society will get back all their memories of the before time, and see color, and love and all that happy horseshit.

None of this makes any fucking sense. How would suddenly passing a fence actually change everyone's brains? From what I could tell, the society's brains are modified with medication, that limits their eyesight, and their emotions. So, I just don't get how some magical fence would make any change to that.

The only explanation is that it's magic. But of course, as they say, technology is magic, to those who have never seen, or experienced it. I mean, show a smartphone to some fucker who lives in the jungle, and I'm sure they would think it's magic. So, maybe it's just some strange technology that I don't understand.

Or maybe it's just the author going, "Because I said so! Okay? I don't have time to explain this shit." Because, that's really what I think it is. The author just got lazy.

That being said, it's still an amazing book. I would highly recommend it. The world building is just plain fascinating, and the characters are so real, they made me fucking cry. ( )
  gecizzle | Mar 5, 2015 |
The Giver is a morally driven and interesting story about a young boy called Jonas who lives in a society free of crime and sadness. At the age of 12, children are assigned their jobs, which they will train for and do for the rest of their lives. Everything is chosen; from your parents to your partner. Jonas stands apart from the community when he is chosen to become the new "Memory Keeper". Society has been kept free of all the negative aspects of life because for as long as it has been formed, there has been someone who holds all the bad and good memories of the past within them. This is both bad and good for the inhabitants because, although they are protected from harm, they are also not exposed to the wonderful aspects of life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because, even though it is supposed to be more of a children's book than young adult, the storyline is complex enough to hold the attention of older readers. I really enjoyed Jonas as a character because his character development from a scared boy, to someone willing to risk his future to save the community, is enjoyable to follow. This book shows the path of growing up; at first we are scared to accept that there are new responsibilities, but as we slowly get used to it we want to move more and more away from childhood.
  Wanganuihighlib | Mar 3, 2015 |
I realized while reading this that I've seen the movie on TV, so perhaps that made me less enthralled with the story than I might have been otherwise. Still, it is a disturbing possible future when at least one corner of the planet has coped with recovering from near annialation by eliminating emotions and individuality. Only one person knows the true history of mankind, and that person must carry all the pain and memories of the past so as to spare others from knowing that pain. Of course, learning those truths leads to questioning decisions made long ago to live without any emotional highs or lows, and that of course means the tide needs to turn. . . and it does. I'm interested in the stories of the next three companion pieces that complete this look at a possible future world. ( )
  lynetterl | Feb 27, 2015 |
Jonas has always lived with a feeling of perfection. Choices are taken away in this distopia. Jonas gets secrets from the Giver.
  RachelHollingsworth | Feb 27, 2015 |
Good read indeed ( )
  durgaprsd04 | Feb 25, 2015 |
This is a dystopian novel addressing social and political issues. Through the creation of a society based on sameness, precision of language , and control Lois Lowery bring to light many social and personal issues. Jonas a young teen get assigned to the job of receiver of memories, a highly regarded position in the community which he lives. Up to this point Jonas has believed his life is happy and all the rules of his community are for his own good. As he realizes that life has not always been as it is and that is not the same in other places he discovers personal choice and emotions are important. He then has a key decision to make as to his future and the future of his younger "brother" Gabe. It is thrilling and a good read that poses some very important questions about society as a whole. ( ) ( )
  lpierson14 | Feb 25, 2015 |
The Giver is one of my favorite memories from middle school. I enjoyed reading it then just as I do now. Jonas, the main character, is given a lot of responsibilities when he is assigned his "job". The story follows his journey of growing up and making his own decisions and going against the norm. It is an awesome read for middle school aged students because it keeps them interested and thinking. ( )
  SadieCooney | Feb 24, 2015 |
I finally read The Giver! And I'm SO glad I finally did! What a great little book. It is definitely enjoyable for kids and adults alike. This is sort of like the father of dystopia, and you can see why. (No, it is not really the "father," but is oft referred to as such in quick conversations. :)). It does SUCH a good job the whole "dystopian thing" without adding any weight at all... No unnecessary explanations weighing down the essence of the story.

I just.. I don't want to say anything about the plot because it's so nice discovering it in the book. Just, I would say, read it. I loved it.

FIVE of five stars. ( )
  avanders | Feb 22, 2015 |
This is a dystopian novel addressing social and political issues. Through the creation of a society based on sameness, precision of language , and control Lois Lowery bring to light many social and personal issues. Jonas a young teen get assigned to the job of receiver of memories, a highly regarded position in the community which he lives. Up to this point Jonas has believed his life is happy and all the rules of his community are for his own good. As he realizes that life has not always been as it is and that is not the same in other places he discovers personal choice and emotions are important. He then has a key decision to make as to his future and the future of his younger "brother" Gabe. It is thrilling and a good read that poses some very important questions about society as a whole. ( )
  Lisapier | Feb 18, 2015 |
This is a science fiction work. Jonas lives in a high-functioning orderly world, where memories, love, pain, death, and even color are unknown to its citizens. Only the man known as "The Receiver" has this knowledge. When Jonas is chosen to replace the Receiver, he is transferred the painful memories from centuries past. Jonas and the Receiver, also known as the Giver decide to also give the citizens the knowledge that has burdened them for so long. Jonas has to make the painful decision of leaving his family behind in order for everybody else to experience the real world, and the earth had music again. ( )
  athena.j | Feb 17, 2015 |
DYSTOPIA: an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives
APOCALYPTIC: of, relating to, or involving terrible violence and destruction; of or relating to the end of the world

This novel is post-apocalyptic and dystopian. The people in the world Jonas inhabits live without choices. They are assigned roles; their mates and even if they will get married is decided for them. They are allowed two children, and even their children are assigned to them and named. Everything is regulated. If people are given choices, they might make the wrong choice.

Jonas is selected to be the “Receiver”, he goes for special training with the old Receiver, who is now The Giver. He holds the memories of the people, this is what he now begins to give to Jonas. Once Jonas starts to receive these memories, he begins to learn the secrets of the community and question everything he has previously accepted.

From the very beginning of this novel one can tell there is something sinister in Jonas’ world. Something evil hiding below the veneer of perfection and wonderful lives everyone lives. The fact that there is no fear, no crime, and ‘voices from the sky’, that know when you’ve done wrong proves it. After reading some of the book I guessed at one thing, and later turned out to be right, but the ending was somewhat of a surprise. It also ended with a not quite finished feeling to it, but hopefully the other books will help round out the story.
The three companion books to The Giver are: Gathering Blue; Messenger; and Son. I have all three and will be writing reviews when I finish them. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
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