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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Lois Lowry

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22,574104556 (4.2)496
"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 |
English (1,035)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All languages (1,043)
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The Giver a book of a world like no other but honestly everything's the same. No one is different there is no individuality. But one boy is on path to change that very thing. This book is full of intrigue. The book makes you feel as if you are right there with Jonas. Your on the edge of your seat to find out what happens next. ( )
  amber18 | Aug 22, 2015 |
I picked this up for two reasons: one, it is a classic that teachers have taught on classrooms for decades. Two, I've read about the movie and I have a thing about reading books before seeing film adaptations. Dystopia generally isn't my genre of choice, but it seems to be a popular one these days, especial in YA. A very common theme seems to be the standardization of society, which some protagonist find intolerably repressive and leads to rebellion. This is no different. I do like the simplified language that comes with YA, in this case I think it gives the story just the right tone: the community's blind, unquestioning acceptance if the status quo, in place for as long as anyone can remember, the undercurrent of menace perceived when the protagonist discovers the cost of that pervasive repression, and the wrenching sorrow and anger that results when that person begins to develop the understanding of his own humanness, and what he and his community have lost. While I'm frustrated when I don't get to be told how the story actually turns out (I'm a little greedy that way), I like how that device is used here, since it is in keeping with the world Lowry built. I look forward to seeing the film adaptation now! ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
Catching up on the "classics" I found a dog-eared copy of this dystopian story. (By the names written on the fly leaf it had been through the hands of three eight-graders, if that's when they read this.)

The description of the ordered, memory-less community was chilling -- no controversy, no conflict, not even climate. One thinks of our own culture's increasing banality and shallowness (i.e. why does anyone care a wit about the Kardashians or the interactions among the "Survivor" tribes? I guess all this is keeping us from the "burdens" of thoughtfulness that the future society has managed to achieve.

The ending -- was this just our protagonist's received memory or did he actually find the full and rich society outside his former community??
  stevesmits | Aug 13, 2015 |
3.5 stars.

I thought the premise of The Giver was an interesting concept, but overall it felt lacking to me. Nothing about it felt...real. And in this case I had trouble suspending my disbelief.

Still, I liked it. I thought it was well-written, fun, and easy to read. I think it's a wonderful children's story. I probably would have liked it even more as a younger kid--guess I waited too long to read it! Curious to see how the series will play out.
  ScribblingSprite | Aug 10, 2015 |
If Brave New World and Ayn Rand's Anthem had too much to drink one night and started flirting and then started more than just flirting, and 1984 was invited to the party but mostly just watched, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas wandered over now and then to pound on the door and ask if they could please keep the noise down a little – this book would have been the result.

I'm not sure that tells you what you need to know in terms of whether or not you'd like to read this book, so I'll try to elaborate a bit.

I liked it. Then I got annoyed by it. Then I hit the "OH DEAR GOD THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN" incident, which is not something you can simply walk away from, literally or metaphorically. Then I reached the end, which I thought was fine though I know some people found it abrupt.

Lowry's writing is smooth and persuasive throughout. What I had trouble with was her world-building.

There are so many surprises in this story that I don't want to get too specific. But I'll point out a few things in a reasonably spoiler-free fashion.

1. We learn that this dystopian future is utterly regulated, right down to complete climate control. No more snow. No more hills. No weather or landscape that's anything but smooth and predictable. Okay. But there's a river that's significant to the plot. A river. You know what a river is, right? – a bunch of water that flows downhill, generally as a result of melting snow atop a mountain?

2. I have to be really vague here: Given everything we know about this society – what are those geraniums doing there?

3. Who's the vaguest one of all? Right here. Re the "OH NO THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN OH YES IT DID" incident: Given the near-magical levels of technology we've had described for us, and the completely non-sexual methods of reproduction implied, is it possible for any twins who are conceived to be anything but identical?

4. Don't get me started on how the heck memory is supposed to work in this world. Just – don't.

This book is beautifully written, and the characters are convincing. If you're a nice person who gets caught up in the story, you'll find The Giver a compelling read. If you're a cranky old redhead with a habit of saying, "BUT THAT WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE," you'll have a harder time of it.

That said, I plan to look for the next book in the series on my next library visit. If I find it and finish it, you'll hear from me.
( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
  prichter | Aug 4, 2015 |
A society hidden from the rest of the world with one boy who has earned the job as the receiver.
  Robinjhud | Jul 24, 2015 |
The movie was okay, but the book just does such a great job of inviting you into this futuristic world. I like how Lois Lowry takes an utopian world, at least to everyone but the keeper of memories, and allows us to see what would happen if we let go of all the memories. People develop a sense of right and wrong, and feel true emotions. ( )
  Lynchd | Jul 20, 2015 |
Science fiction
Author study
  josephla | Jul 19, 2015 |
An eye opener that's for sure. A society hidden from the rest of the world with one boy who has earned the job as the receiver. A great book that shows a rebellion of some sort by a boy who gained knowledge that has been hidden from the people living a dull life. For sure a great book with emotional struggles that comes from understanding the ruthlessness of their society's government.
  jesse_valli | Jul 19, 2015 |
4/5 stars
I post all my reviews to athroneofbooks.booklikes.com

A popular dystopian book written for young adults, though I believe many adults would enjoy the world that Lois Lowry has invented here. It’s a strict utopia where pain and sorrow are all but forgotten. They have their life partners, children, and occupations chosen for them by a committee within the society that observes them closely to make the best matches.

Jonas has been chosen to become the new receiver, the holder of the memories, and the only person who knows what life was like before and what it could be again. He sees how shallow their existence is since the sameness took effect. What Jonas calls everyday life I see as a living nightmare, no choices to make, no feelings, no color. Life is…boring because it’s safer that way.

This was a great start to a series I’ve been meaning to read for ages. A quick and enjoyable read that’s suitable for all ages. I can’t wait to read Gathering Blue! ( )
  MarandaNicole | Jul 15, 2015 |
Too kiddish and cheesy dialogues. The events are really lame.

The opening scene of the book describes a boy who "felt afraid". Someone is talking in a loudspeaker so the boy starts thinking of a past incident. [we wonder wat is happening at present because of which he is so afraid]

Finally after a few pages he is still afraid and a plane flies overhead. Another flashback.

Then people drop their bikes and rush to nearby building. Another flashback - this one ultra-lame where he is sitting with his family "to discuss feelings" and he is fighting with his sister on who goes first. Kid describes his lame feeling, sis describes her cheesy thoughts. His mother describes meeting a returning convict and feels "angry, frustrated and guilty that she could not make a difference in his life". dad, sis and kid all catch her hands and comfort her.

At this point I stopped reading. ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
Highly intriguing and thought provoking especially for children ending their elementary education and beginning middle school. The book certainly inspires much conversations that I'm sure kids of all ages will participate in and share their own thoughts. The book provides us with quite an experience, first making us believe that the future that is described is much more a utopia where no one feels pain or sorrow, in fact they have no knowledge of such things but with that comes the elimination of free will and choice. Everything in this futuristic society is chosen for you and we soon realize the real dangers and harmful effects of such a society. It is definitely a book to stay and entice readers of all ages. ( )
  alejandro.santana | Jul 2, 2015 |
This is another book that I read when I was a teenager, and I loved it then and now. It is sort of science fiction type of book. I love the characters in the book. It puts some much emotions in me when I read. ( )
  harleyqgrayson02 | Jun 26, 2015 |
A great story that can be used in classrooms to help students think about the benefits and the consequences of a utopian society.

For as quick as the pacing went in this story, I think that it wasn't too fast. There was enough detail in each section of the story to really give you a good sense of the lifestyles that the characters in the world of The Giver live in. The characters were also well done, but the only one who really developed (obviously!) was the main character, Jonas. Looking forward to the movie adaptation. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
I loved the idea of this book. I think that it would really make kids think about all of the freedom they have to be who they want. This book is written really well and had me on the edge of my seat. The main character is also very developed. This is a kid/young adult version on 1984. ( )
  alaina.loescher | Jun 13, 2015 |
No-recomendado por Kari Ramírez

Me propongo leer de principio a fin libros considerados "malos". Mi intención es encontrar al menos UNA cualidad buena en ellos y reseñarlos objetivamente siguiendo 20 puntos a desarrollar brevemente. (Los puntos varían según el género del que se trate.)

Si tienen ganas de No-recomendarme otros libros
pueden comentar acá o ACÁ. ¡Cualquier género es bienvenido! Cuanto más variado, mejor :)
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back
  Killester | Jun 4, 2015 |
Guys! I’ve finally read it. After years of wanting to read The Giver, I have finally bought it and read it. I am so happy that it’s finally happened and that I liked it. It is so good. My only complaint is that it wasn’t longer. I wanted to be in the world longer. I need to get the rest of the series. I need the pretty box set with the pretty covers. Have you read the other books? Are they as good? You guys need to let me know.

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked and disliked about it. Maybe someday I will re-read The Giver and do another review. Better reviews (hopefully) in the future. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | May 26, 2015 |
i thought this book was thrilling. i deeply enjoyed lois lowry's imagination, ideas, and love he poured into this book. it is completely unique and creative. i felt i was jonas' best friend and he was telling me his secrets. i also could realate to some of the experiences in this book such as thinking something was one thing and finding out it was another. i could also realate to jonas' feeling of loneless, and his realization he did not know everything about this place he lived ( )
  irenerichmond | May 25, 2015 |
Read a review of the audio version of this 1994 Newbery Medalist here: http://rdg301library.blogspot.com/2013/03/1994-newbery-medalist.html.
  rdg301library | May 24, 2015 |
A dystopian community with a cover up as a utopian society. How perfect! Everything seems ideal. People are safe, everyone gets along, no one is sick, homeless, etc and everyone has the perfect job that suits their personalities. In many aspects, it sounds ideal. Yet it is all just facade for the most part.

As Jonas moves on to his twelfth year is is given the title Receiver Of Memory for his community. but with this new title comes some unexpected rules and conditions. He is to learn there is so much more to life that what he has been taught.

This book is a fast read. not action-wise but in short, easy chapters that leave you needing to know more. This book quickly set me up with wondering many questions. And for each one that is answered right away, several new ones came up. The community is is a part is of actually quite disturbing on many levels. Especially the emotional disconnect. When Jonas asks his parents if they loved him, their answer left me staggered!

While things are answered in a way that we can fully understand what is going on, the how and why is left vague enough that one must use their imagination. Especially at the end.

This was my first book by Lois Lowry, but it won't be the last. I am now eager to read the next book in the series very soon! if you are looking for something to get you thinking about life, this will do it. Easy enough for middle graders for the basic story but with some hidden depth for the more mature readers as well. A quick read at under 200 pages. ( )
1 vote jljaina | May 16, 2015 |
The Giver is dystopian novel written by Lois Lowry at the beginning of the 1990s. Set in a 'community' in the future, the protagonist Jonas slowly experiences the community's flaws but also its advantages as he grows up to get assigned a very honorable position in the community. To get a better grasp of the setting it is essential to know what the community that Jonas lives in is like. Jonas grows up in a society that cherishes sameness and tries to do away with individualism and differences between people. That is why there are very strict rules in order to protect the inhabitants of the community from anything bad that could happen. Everything follows a pattern and is very structured and organized. Nothing is left to chance. Jobs in the community are assigned to the people, spouses are given to you by the leaders of the community after a long time of consideration. The same goes for children. You have to apply first and then you are given a child if you and your partner are deemed fit. Of course, it is hard to have people living happily in such a community and that is why all inconvenient or impractical memories from the past are taken away from the citizens only to be saved in the memory of one person in the community: the Receiver of Memories.

As one might guess, Jonas is assigned to become the community's next Receiver of Memory. But before he can take on this important assignment he has to be trained by the old Receiver of Memory or the Giver, who gives the novel its title. The training is hard for Jonas because he learns about concepts he has never heard of before as they have been taken away from the community and only remain alive in old memories. Such concepts include love, pain and war but also simpler things such as sunshine, snow and colors. Together with the Giver, Jonas decides that the community should also know about some of those memories in order to be able to feel love, see colors and hence be able to enjoy the world more. This is when Jonas makes a plan to give back memories to the community. But what will the consequences be?

One can read The Giver with regard to many aspects. Apart from the construction of a dystopian society I found the use of language to be one of the most important aspects in the novel. The diction that is prevalent in the community contributes to the overall effect of emphasizing function over feeling and pragmatism over personality. Words like "birthmother", "newchild" or "family unit" and the fact that you "acquire a child" rid the daily life of all possible emotions and stress the function of everyone in the community. The sole purpose of some women is to be a "birthmother", that is to give birth. The "newchild", however, is taken away from its mother and given to a "Nurturer" (mind the capitalization, focus on function again). Getting attached is almost not possible so that the feeling of love is simply irrelevant and nonexistent in the community.

The Giver is a YA novel that I read with my students in high school and it led to some very heated discussions about what is important in life and what is not. Also, the notion of 'society' and what makes a society function but also worth living in was debated at length. To my mind, a novel that encourages critical thinking is always worth reading. Personally, I think The Giver is a fairly good novel with a somewhat disappointing and sudden ending. 3.5 stars. ( )
1 vote OscarWilde87 | May 16, 2015 |
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
  elindseyziegler | May 14, 2015 |
I read The Giver for the first time about 10 years ago, I really liked it then as a pre-teen and still enjoyed it today. Its a quick read and very well written. I felt the author did a good job at setting the background and building up, I would of liked more information between the time Jonas is upset at his community's lifestyle and their plan on how to change it. I think its relatable in a way that everyone is kind of in a innocent bubble as a child then as you learn more about the world you realize shit is unfair, this was just a more extreme version. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | May 14, 2015 |
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