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Gathering Blue (2000)

by Lois Lowry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Giver Quartet (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,707267859 (3.76)258
Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.
  1. 00
    Crewel by Gennifer Albin (Jthierer)
    Jthierer: Similar theme of a girl's talent for weaving singling her out in a dystopian society.
  2. 00
    Long Night Dance by Betsy James (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
    FutureMrsJoshGroban: Another fantastic story with a somewhat dystopian society and a strong young heroine.
  3. 00
    The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Another young adult dystopian society with primarily historical levels of technology.

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» See also 258 mentions

English (263)  French (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (266)
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
With two caveats, Gathering Blue is quite an enjoyable novel. I actually think that I liked it more than the Giver. The world is interesting, the characters and world are just different enough from our own to get one's attention while still being believable enough, and there is enough mystery and tension to pull you through the book.

Which brings up caveat the first: This doesn't feel like a standalone story. You just keep getting pulled through the story, there's a big twist at the end, and then... nothing. It just sort of ends, right when things are about to get interesting. The Giver did this too, to a lesser extent, but there we learned most of the secrets the world was hiding so the end felt justified. Here, it feels like the first novel of a planned series, which is vaguely annoying.

And then caveat the second: This really doesn't feel like book #2 of 'the Giver Quartet'. The Giver felt to me like post-apocalyptic science fiction. Humanity had survived and instituted drastic measures to make sure the same doesn't happen again, but the technology level is the same or higher than what we have today. Gathering Blue feels like post-apocalyptic fantasy. The world has ended, technology has been set back centuries, and hints of magic have crept into the the world. Both excellent examples of their respective genres, but different enough, that if they weren't labeled as being in the same world, I wouldn't have seen it. Personally, I wish there had been just a bit more, perhaps a few paragraphs that tied the two together. Perhaps that will be in the last two of the quartet. We shall have to see.

That being said, I still really did enjoy Gathering Blue. As mentioned, I think I actually liked it more than the Giver. I'm cautiously optimistic that Lowry can tie the two together in the sequels, even if for right now, I wish they had remained separate things. So it goes. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. Unfortunately, there is still always a risk of slight spoilers despite my best efforts. If you feel something in my review is a spoiler please let me know. Thank you.

This book was really pretty good. I was surprised cause it was given a lower rating than The Giver and also many reviews were saying that it wasn't as good, but I thought it was great. It had a different setting than the first book, but a lot of the underlying issues are still there but in a different form. Where the first book was more futuristic and everything pleasant, this book was more barbaric. And the way they treat the children was just horrible. That was the hardest part of the book to read.

I'm curious as to how the next book will go. I'm hoping it will be another different sort of setting as its interesting to see how the different worlds can go. Although this one didn't explain why it was that way, maybe that's cause it didn't need much of an explanation. ( )
  starslight86 | Jul 20, 2021 |
This book would be a good fit for middle school readers as some of the topics are more complex.
Strict customs, dirt homes, and violent beasts may not seem like the warm environment most are accustomed but to Kira this describes home. Faced with the grief of her recently deceased mother, Kira is now left to fend for herself with an injured leg in the middle of a community who has deemed her useless her entire life. To her surprise, during a trial to determine her fate, Kira is appointed a unique and honorable role. Her new status and task seems at first to be a miraculous change of pace however her new position may not be as pleasant as it first seemed. Kira quickly discovers the community she once thought she knew holds a dangerous secret that will alter her life forever.
Disclaimer: There are some slightly gruesome descriptions about injuries, death, and violence. ( )
  dmckibbon | May 8, 2021 |
Gathering Blue, the Book 2 of The Giver Quartet written by Lois Lowry, illustrates the life of a young, orphaned girl with a disability, living in an unsophisticated community rebuilt after the ruins. Even though the community had no advanced technology and the people were living a simple life, they are held together by rules under the leadership of the Council of the Guardians. The book took the 9th and 10th spot on Children's Chapter Book Best Sellers list on October 8, 2000, and October 29, 2000, respectively. In 2001, it was chosen as the winner of Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults by the American Library Association.

It was a pleasure to read Gathering Blue. For one thing, the world was so different from that of in The Giver. Lowry continues to amaze me at her ability to create a well-realized fictional world that helped me imagine the culture and traditions of a crude community; and, the characteristics of the men, women, and their tykes. It's fascinating that you can tell the age of characters based on the number of syllables their respective names have: young children have one-syllable names; early teens, two-syllables; adults, three-syllables; and senior citizens, four-syllables.

I could also feel the eagerness and hardship Kira went through as she underwent the process of restoring and repairing the robe.

Additionally, Kira's story coincided with Jonas' and I was thrilled to read the part where the presence of Jonas in the community was alluded to. There isn't much information about what happened to him but the information was just enough to make me more eager to read the third book, Messenger.

Lastly, the book makes me reflect on the impact of our choices that we make in life just to get what we want and the sacrifices we can make for the greater good. ( )
  SunBox | May 5, 2021 |
This was interesting, but I kept wanting it to connect to the first book, and I never saw the connection, other than the post-apocalyptic/dystopian nature of the story. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd viewed it as a stand-alone. Perhaps the following books will pull things together. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
''The Giver'' was an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind book that spoke as much to adults, myself included, as to children. The future world it depicted was rich and seductive and -- frightening thought -- completely plausible. The brute, survivalist world of ''Gathering Blue'' is much less convincing, with neither the dimension nor the subtlety of ''The Giver.'' Many of the characters in ''Gathering Blue'' are presented as either good or bad, and lack the complexity of real people.

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois Lowryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Balbusso, AnnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borowitz, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Mother?" There was no reply. She hadn't expected one. Her mother had been dead now for four days, and Kira could tell that the last of her spirit was drifting away.
She knew something else as well, and with the realization, she rose from the damp grass to go indoors, to find her father and tell him that she could not be his eyes. That she must stay.
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Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.

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AR Book Level 5.0, 7 pts.
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