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The Giver (1993)

by Lois Lowry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Giver Quartet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
30,942140755 (4.18)698
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
  1. 233
    1984 by George Orwell (cflorente)
  2. 191
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (writecathy)
  3. 202
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (cflorente)
  4. 171
    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.
  6. 176
    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
    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (jessicastatzer)
  8. 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.
  9. 51
    Matched by Ally Condie (Trojanprincess, frankiejones)
    Trojanprincess: The two worlds seem similar in the way that every aspect of their livee are controlled.
  10. 40
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Similar themes, We is a lot better written.
  11. 52
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (ubcsfs)
  12. 30
    The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (jbarry)
    jbarry: futuristic take on biomedical ethics and mindbendingly complicated relationships
  13. 30
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (mcenroeucsb)
  14. 20
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (rhondagrantham)
  15. 10
    Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    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)
  16. 10
    Truesight by David Stahler Jr. (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: Very Similar Plot
  17. 10
    The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem (Nikkles)
  18. 10
    The Story Box by Monica Hughes (infiniteletters)
  19. 10
    The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones (wordcauldron)
    wordcauldron: Similarly brain-washy story about a controlled society and how the government tries to suppress the talented people who could break it all down and bring freedom and individualism.
  20. 10
    The Dubious Hills by Pamela Dean (infiniteletters)

(see all 26 recommendations)

1990s (13)
foods (3)

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» See also 698 mentions

English (1,390)  Italian (3)  German (3)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All languages (1,402)
Showing 1-5 of 1390 (next | show all)
The main character Jonas is a 12 year old boy that inhabits a world where there is no disease or war. He lives in a community where everyone has been treated to become the same and at the age of 12 a member of the society is selected for a position that they will hold throughout their years as an adult. Slowly Lois Lowry provides glimpses of the true world that Jonas inhabits, but until the character meets the Giver, the reader and Jonas do not fully realize what is going on.

I initially read The Giver when I was in junior high. I remember at the time in class during English (always my favorite since most of the time we just read out loud books and had to take apart sentences by identifying the subject, predicate, and adjectives..ahh the memories) that we were always given a booklet of books that we could buy that would then be delivered to us by the following month. I would take mine home and my mom and I would pour over the books I wanted and she and my dad would ultimately check off what books I could get.

I remember reading "The Giver" and it was cold and dark outside. It could be because it was around winter at that point or it could have been just a regular rainy day in PA. The book was all shiny and I took that and some of the other books I had bought upstairs to my bedroom. I don't know why I did but I ended up reading "The Giver" first.

The book was a fast read for me at the age of 13 and it was an extremely fast read for me as an adult. I actually started this on a train ride at 3:35 p.m. and completed it by 4:15 when I disembarked. As a teenager I remember being slowly horrified by the world the reader is brought into that Jonas inhabits. As an adult I read but not with the same fear I did as a child. As I did when I was a child I held my breath during certain passages in the story and at the end being so worried about what would happen to Jonas next.

The only reason why I did not give this novel five stars was it was never really explained how The Giver could pass on things to Jonas the way he did. I wish that there had been more explanation about it. And I didn't understand how the memories would pass back to the community. As a teenager I just accepted it at face value. As an adult I scratched my head a few times and just continued reading.

Please note that I received this novel via Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
This book was super interesting. It's crazy to think how we live our lives based on social norms and societies rules. What we've been "brainwashed" into believing what is "right" and the "best" way to live.

"Two children – one male, one female – to each family unit. It was written very clearly in the rules."

Society can learn from the Givers memories but he alone has to suffer the pain they bring him. It's his job - his sacrifice for the people. But he sees how there might be a better way. The boy might find the way... ( )
  ReneeNL | Jun 29, 2020 |
i have no idea how i feel about the end
  bloomingtea | Jun 28, 2020 |
Favorite book from my childhood. ( )
  aelizben | Jun 23, 2020 |
Thought provoking and beautiful

The Giver is the definition of a Coming of Age story. We follow Jonas, an eleven years old boy who lives in the Community, a place of peace, abundance and safety. At first it all seems beautiful and right, but as we go on we start noticing how wrong it all is. The Elders, the leadership of the Community establish all the rules governing the lives of those within the Community and make all the important life decisions for them. In the Community your job is assigned to you, your spouse is assigned to you, your children are assigned to you and even their names are assigned to them for you. Those who are considered repeat offenders to the rules established by the Elders or who are deemed a drain on the Community’s resources are Released.

Jonas is scared about what his assignment will be and when he turns twelve he is selected as the Community’s Receiver. With this assignment Jonas will learn a dark truth about the place he has called home his entire life and is faced with a decision... what will you do?

Beautiful story, heart wrenching moments, and thought provoking.

10 of 10 ( )
  Miguel.Arvelo | Jun 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 1390 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois Lowryprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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Book description
When Jonas is given his Life Assignment as the Receiver of Memory, he discovers the terrible truth about the society he lives in.
Haiku summary
A black and white world

One boy holds the memories

Of colorful past


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Average: (4.18)
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1.5 22
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