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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Lois Lowry

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21,60296461 (4.21)424
JTNguyen's review
"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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Very predictable story of dystopia gone wrong. The few and the brave: the old and the young. This book was very much hyped and I was very much disappointed. ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Dec 26, 2014 |
“The Giver”, by Lois Lowry, is one of the first dystopian books to have wide spread appeal for younger readers. In this thought provoking novel, Lowry creates a world in which everything is perfect - there is no disease, no divorce, no unemployment and each family has two children. Everyone in the community accepts things as they are, obeys the rules and doesn’t question anything, until 12 year old Jonas does… ( )
  knitwit2 | Dec 20, 2014 |
Thought provoking ( )
  nancymyers | Dec 18, 2014 |
It's not a 2 stars for it's plot or characters. But I gave it a 4 stars cause it somehow made me appreciate all the things I take for granted everyday (like snow, sunshine). How haunting it would be if there was no choice and everything was fixed for you, including your family.

However, the weakest point of the story was the scope of the world is not very well defined and there was a lot of unanswered questions such as how big the communities are, who is the government, how all the "rules" came to be etc. I know it's supposed to be a children's book, but the author could have spent some time on elaborating these things. Still I will say it's a good read on a long distance journey.
( )
  FarihaImami | Dec 18, 2014 |
I understand now why this is considered the forefather of the modern YA dystopia genre. It had some parts that really made me cringe, not because of their violence but because of their cold and calm apathy. A truly horrifying yet somewhat believable alternate future. I would recommend this to readers of all ages as it doesn't deal with flashy fight scenes and teen angst like many of its newer alternatives. ( )
  plaeski | Dec 16, 2014 |
This book is fantastic even as a re-read. Usually the effect dims the second time around, but I feel I like it even more now. ( )
  plaeski | Dec 16, 2014 |
Read for Fantasy/Science Fiction Novel Assignment.
  gmustain | Dec 7, 2014 |
The Giver is a book similar in ideas to 1984 and The Hunger Games trilogy in it's dystopian style. I remember reading this book when I was in grade school and thinking what an awful place it would have been to live in, where all your decisions are made for you, even if they are based on your best ability. This reminds me of the climate in N. Korea, with their Dear Leader. They even have a prescribed list of haircuts they are allowed to choose from. I like the idea that this book would ask children to challenge their society if they don't agree with it. Jonas wasn't happy with the fact that only one person would house all the memories, that they needed to be shared. In order to have their perfect society, they had to give up so much, including passion. There is a lack of it in The Community and Jonas craves it and when Jonas leaves, you can't help but cheer him on!
  InstantLaila | Dec 6, 2014 |
Lois Lowry is just such a talented writer. Everything she write seems to turn to literary gold. There is no one better than her in terms of children's novels and The Giver proves that. She takes this dystopian society and totally brings it to life. An absolute joy of a book for any and all ages. ( )
  Andymcclellan_93 | Dec 3, 2014 |
Read this book for the first time in elementary school. A younger version of 1984. Distopia society. I think this is great book for students to be exposed to in the classroom.
  kzilinskas | Dec 3, 2014 |
The Giver will always be one of my favorite books and memories of reading as a child and as an adult. If any one ever thinks a Utopia will work and keep everyone happy, read this book and your mind will change. Although I do not agree that everyone should be assigned jobs, that is what makes this story so good and memorable. This story illustrates beautifully why we have the freedom to choose our lives. However, there are some disturbing scenes that some parents may not want their child to view, so I suggest as a parent that you read The Giver before allowing your child to read it. This book is appropriate for age 10 and up. I would definitely recommend this book as a mandatory school book that students in 8th grade read and discuss. Overall I would rate this book between a 9 and 10.
  lfasce1 | Dec 2, 2014 |
I liked this book but I wish the ending was a little clearer. Spoiler- Did Jonas and Gabe die or did they escape? ( )
  DaphneH | Dec 1, 2014 |
Upon studying Lois Lowry this semester in Dr. Austin's class and The Giver movie that just came out in theaters, I felt that it was a must to re read The Giver. I read The Giver originally in lower school for summer reading one year and I barely remembered it. This time when I read it, I was a little older and it was not only an easier read, but I was able to look at it from an adult point of view.
Jonas is an eleven year old boy who lives in a very futuristic society, unlike the world we know today. In this world, every person is assigned a job that they are given based on their abilities. There is also no passion or color at all, everything is literally black and white. Each person is set up with a spouse and given two children. Basically, in this universe, everything is planned out and kept a certain way. Jonas is not like the other people though, he can partly see color and sometimes he can change objects he is looking at. When it comes time for Jonas to be an official member of the society through a ceremony which he is assigned his job, the receiver of memories. He is then mentored by a man named the Giver. Jonas soon learns that there is more to the mundane life that he is presented with, it is not all just about being the same as everyone around him.
Re reading this book was a great decision, it had a lot more value this time. As a 20 year old I almost know how Jonas feels. At 20 years old, I am trying to find my way in the world. I am focusing on a career and fitting in with society, but also battling to find my individuality. I hope to one day read The Giver with my future students. ( )
  SMLawrence | Nov 25, 2014 |
I still consider this book to be the only good book I've ever had to read for school. If I'm being truthful, I haven't read this book since I was young, but I still consider it to be one of my favorite books. So, in honor of the movie (which I am very excited to see!) I decided to write up a review for this excellent book.
I think the thing that I liked most about this book is the imagery. I think that Lois Lowry really paints a picture. Many of the scenes are chock-full of vivid imagery that really comes to life in your head. Jonah lives in a world that's flat and black, so Mrs. Lowry puts extra effort into painting a picture with her words. The action scenes are full of description, and typically fast paced.
This was my first introduction to dystopian societies, and it still remains one of the best in my mind. There aren't very many holes, and the world-building was excellent. This book was far ahead of it's time, and many books nowadays seem to be modeled after this one. I consider it one of the grandfathers of modern dystopian novels.
My major complaint about this book is the ending. If you can even call it that. I've read one of the later books, so I know what happens, but at the time, I thought this book was a standalone, and the "ending" enraged me. Simply put, it's not the ending. Jonah goes over the hill and...the books over. You decide what happens next. Sure, some people might be into that kind of thing, but I think it's the author's responsibility to actually write an ending for her book.
Other than the ending though, I adored this book. I couldn't put it down, and even though it's a short book, it didn't take me very long to finish it. I will always consider it to be one of my favorite books, and even though it may not be one of those books that I come back to over and over again, it will always have a special place in my heart.
Four out of Five Stars
Like what you read? Read even more here! http://themessengerreviews.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-giver-giver-1.html ( )
  TheMessengerReviews | Nov 23, 2014 |
I liked this book a lot. This book really shows the reader how life would be without “feelings” (It doesn’t look fun). The plot is well played out and really brought me in as a reader. Society was tired of war and fighting, so they made everyone the same. No one was to have feelings like love and pain. They also would see in black and white with no vibrant colors. Quotes like “We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others”. The book does a great job revealing that this may not be the best way to live. The writing flows very well and I was never bored while reading, (sometimes that happens). The language was pretty much the same throughout until “the receiver” started receiving memories. That’s when the book took a turn. Even in the book they talk about how there really wasn’t any language between the people of this place. “Even trained for years as they all had been in precision of language, what words could you use which would give another the experience of sunshine”. They wouldn’t even have been able to describe sunshine! The characters are awesome especially the main one, Jonas. AS a reader you get to see him grow and learn that there is more to life than what society is allowing him. You get to see this through his out rage of what happens when people leave and what he has been missing out on his whole life, “sled riding, fun, color”. The big idea of this book to me was that even though society wants us to all be the same, its not our only choice. BE YOURSELF!
  JordanMyers | Nov 19, 2014 |
This is one of my favorite books so, of course, I love it! I love the imagery and concept of the story. The imagery adds to the overall understanding of the story because some parts may seem dull without the imagery. For example, when Jonas begins to receive the memories, if there was no imagery it would be boring to read because how could we visualize what he is seeing. Another thing I enjoy about the book is how it describes a world where emotions basically do not exist which people cannot imagine because our world is full of emotions. It keeps me wanting to know more because how can someone live their life without emotion and having their life in place by the time their born. The overall meaning of the book is to be true to one’s self. Do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone or go against the grain because you may get in trouble but it will end up better in the end. ( )
  Madison94 | Nov 18, 2014 |
In my opinion, I think that this was a fantastic book for a few reasons. First, I loved the plot of the book. It was unique and engaging, and I believe that Lowry did a magnificent job! It was so interesting to read about this Community that was so strict and controlling of its people. People lived a life without color, emotions, or differences. Everything was the same in this world. Second, I thought that the use of imagery was very helpful in parts of the book. For example, it was interesting to see how Lowry described this Community and how people that live there were so similar to one another. The theme of ‘sameness’ was reiterated throughout the book, and it was interesting to see how Jonas was able to break the barrier between what he knew and what the Community was keeping from its people. After reading this story, I believe that the big idea is to highlight the importance of following your own path rather than conforming to what society expects you to be. ( )
  GaiaGonzales | Nov 18, 2014 |
I think one of the main messages of The Giver is to be careful who we put our trust in and who we let hold power over us. I think that it is about being yourself no matter what anyone tells you, and that you should create your own path to follow.
I liked this book a lot, especially the writing style. The author uses incomplete sentences multiple times throughout the book. For example she writes, “There’s nothing we can do. It’s always been this way. Before me, before you, before the ones who came before you. Back and back and back.” The last 2 sentences of that quote are incomplete sentences, but it makes the reader's thoughts flow better making the whole story flow better.
I also liked the word choices the author chose. She uses very descriptive adjectives and higher level synonyms for common words. For example she writes, “We failed in our last selection,” the Chief Elder said solemnly. “It was ten years ago, when Jonas was just a toddler. I will not dwell on the experience because it causes us all terrible discomfort.” Words like solemnly, dwell, discomfort are all words that make the story higher level and sets the tone of the story. I think she uses good adjectives that help set the scene of the story more vividly. ( )
  JamieLewis | Nov 17, 2014 |
I absolutely loved this story for many reasons. First, the setting is extremely interesting. The world that the characters live in is one that is almost not relatable. Learning about how they lived was truly fascinating. For example, these people live in a world that does not have color. Reading about this was interesting because I could not imagine a world that does not have things that are so familiar such as color.

Next, I enjoyed Jonas’ personality and character traits in general. As he learned through his received memories, that sameness is not a great way to live, he stood up for what he thought was right and left the community, saving his baby brother. When he learned that release was actually killing individuals, he no longer wanted to live in his community, which I found to be an admirable character trait. I liked that through his job as the receiver of memories, readers were able to understand all that their community was blind to, such as war, love, feelings, colors, etc.

I think the main idea of this book is that no matter how much pain there is in the world, sacrificing the things that are important will not make the world a better place. Through the character development and plot/setting development I think the author did a really good job at portraying this theme/ main idea. ( )
  sarahwarner329 | Nov 17, 2014 |
I am absolutely crazy about this book! The plot of the story is very interesting and has with a different play on reality. I am still amazed by the concept of “sameness” and the absence of feelings, emotions, and unique qualities in which the characters lived. I was also very intrigued by the ceremony of ages, and what the children received each year they got older. The characters in this story were very well developed. I was extremely proud of Jonas for sticking up for what he believed in and leaving his community in order to bring back memories and feelings to the people. I believe that the main point of this book is to push readers to listen to their gut feelings and stick up for what they think is right. ( )
  carolinetownsend | Nov 16, 2014 |
I first read The Giver when I was very young, probably in the third or fourth grade. It was nice to read it again because there was so much I missed the first time. This is such a powerful book to read, and the story is simply fantastic. Lois Lowry can really spin a plot and play with the readers emotions. I remember being influenced by this book when I was young, and am equally influenced by it now. The thing I love best about this book, both when I first read it and now, is the imagery. Lois Lowry creates such clear and vivid images in the book. This is important to the plot of the book because nobody in their society can see color or understand certain concepts. The main character, Jonas, is assigned to the role of “receiver of memories,” and has to learn all of these foreign concepts from the giver. Because Jonas has no previous understanding of these concepts, vivid imagery is used to portray his lack of understanding of such seemingly simple concepts as color. I have never seen a book with no illustrations be so illustrious and colorful. The main idea of this book is that all memories are important, no matter how painful they are. ( )
  lmcswe1 | Nov 15, 2014 |
Great book. Almost gave it 5 stars, but ending was a little jarring. ( )
  aarondesk | Nov 14, 2014 |
Modern fantasy novel
fifth grade reading level
Society is broken into jobs given at the age of 12.
Asher is the new giver and receives beautiful, tragic, and enlightening memories.
He questions his community and the values he grew up with.
  mollybeaver | Nov 14, 2014 |
I loved reading “The Giver”, a book that expresses the idea of how important individuality and choice is, for two main reasons. The author was so successful her use of imagery while describing the memories from the story, that the reader could clearly visualize them in their minds. This enabled the reader to deeply engage with the text and be transported into the story. A great example of this is when a memory about snow is described as, "he could see a bright, whirling torrent of crystals in the air around him, and he could see them gather on the backs of his hands, like cold fur." I also valued the fact that this book presented important ideas and issues to young readers, and pushed them to view life from a different perspective while reading. This made the story more interesting then books with a normal sense of reality and forced the reader to constantly be thinking and comparing. For instance this is shown in the story when The Giver and Jonas are describing the importance of choice, despite the fact that it may not always be safe and people may sometimes make the wrong choice. ( )
  StephanieGrim | Nov 12, 2014 |
Summary: The Giver takes place in a futuristic Utopia. The characters can not see color and they also have no emotions what so ever. Everyone is the same and each family unit is the same as well.There is no diversity in this society. They do not even make their own choices the choices are given to them. Babies are birth by birth mothers and given to family units, the spouses are even chosen for them as well. When you turn 12 you are taken to a ceremony where they tell you your job description for the society. Jonas was chosen as The Receiver of Memories. The Giver gives Jonas all the past memories.He is able to to see color for the first time. Jonas learns the truth and the flaws about reality,and he wants out. He soon escapes this society with a young boy named Gabe.

Personal: I love this story and how well developed it is. it makes you use your mind and think long and hard.

Classroom: 1) have the students write about what they think happened to Jonas and Gabe after the story has ended/
2)have them do a compare and contrast over the book and movie, since they had made a movie over it just recently.
3) have the students write down if they would live in a utopian society, and have the come up with the name, and the rules.
  pambam_11 | Nov 11, 2014 |
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