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Giver, the

Giver, the

Book rating: 04 Paperback Readers Circle (Laurel-Leaf)

By (author) Lois Lowry

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  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 104mm x 173mm x 15mm | 91g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2002
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0440237688
  • ISBN 13: 9780440237686
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 793

Product description

Lois Lowry's "The Giver" is the quintessential dystopian novel, followed by its remarkable companions, "Gathering Blue," "Messenge"r, and "Son." Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 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.

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Author information

Lois Lowry is a multi-award-winning author who has written many popular books. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of the popular Anastasia Krupnik books and was the recipient of the Newbery Medal for "Number the Stars" and for "The Giver."

Customer reviews

By Mrs Rebecca Robinson 08 Oct 2013 5

Until now, the book that has had the biggest impact on my life was "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. "The Giver" is so remarkable. I cannot believe, like "The Alchemist", it has been given as a gift to humanity.

By MisteryCat 25 Mar 2013 5

This is the first Dystopian book I read. to be honest I didn't want to read at first because of one: my teacher gave it to me, I hated hm, and two: I didn't like the cover! (Don't judge a book by its cover!) But I am so glad I read this, it was really awesome, it was very dark, and there are alot of questions I still have, over 3 years later. I definately recommend this book! I need to see if there is a sequel, and if so I'm reading it as soon as possible! I recommend this book highly!

By Wayne S. Walker 26 Nov 2012 3

Jonas, an eleven-almost-twelve-year-old boy lives in the Community with his father, mother, and younger sister Lily. It is a planned utopian society governed by Sameness, with no war, fear, or pain, but also no choices. The weather is perfectly controlled, no hills exist, no live animals are seen, and there is even no color or music. At age twelve, all people are assigned their roles in the community. The old, young children who do not thrive, and even those who rebel are "released." Jonas is singled out to receive special training from the Receiver, who alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life and now becomes "the Giver," so that Jonas can be trained as the new Receiver. Jonas's father is a nurturer and the family has been caring for a newborn named Gabriel who is not thriving, so the decision is eventually made that the infant will be released. Now that he has received the truth, how will Jonas react when he learns what it really means to be released? And what will he do?

The Giver is well-written and quite interesting to read. However, to be truthful, I really did not care for it. And I think that my reaction basically involves the issue of age-appropriateness. The book is said to be written on an age nine to eleven reading level and is usually listed as being for age twelve and above, so it was apparently aimed at middle-grade students. However, I noticed that the Random House edition which I read is found in their "Teens" section, and others have recommended it basically for upper grades. There may be some value in the book for high school students to consider the consequences of a controlled society where people give up freedom for safety. However, there are certain aspects of the story-the infanticide, the euthanasia, and some rather oblique sexual references-which I think are just too heavy and thus are not appropriate for younger readers.

Also, the ending is rather odd. Whether it is happy or not I guess all depends on the eye of the beholder. Is The Giver a horrific book? Not necessarily, although it has some things horrible to contemplate in it. Is it a useful book? Perhaps, under certain circumstances. Is it a good book? Each person will have to make up his or her own mind on that question. I do agree with the assessment that it is "For mature audiences, as there is an episode of euthanasia. The story questions values we take for granted. Caution, and probably pre-reading recommended." There are three "companion" novels--Gathering Blue, Messenger, and now Son.

By Karla Vollkopf 11 Oct 2012 5

As most of you know, I have contracted the Dystopian fever last year, and, as of yet, it still remains uncured. So when I heard so many good things about this 'new classic', I thought, 'why not?'. I was a bit apprehensive to choose a 'classic', because they always sound like very boring difficult readings, but not this one. Not at ALL. Well, this IS a children's book... but the issues dealt within are very adult. That's for sure.

The Giver is a short, sweet, creepy and enticing book. There are no more than 179 pages, but the story is so well-written, the characters are so well developed, and the plot is so easy to get lost into, that you can barely believe that so much has fit into such a small number of pages! And, of course, it leaves you wanting more. Much more. I loved it, but I would have been even more content if the book was just a tad bit longer, showing what happened to the village and what really came to happen at the end. I don't like 'open endings' like this one had, but I hear the other books will explain a couple of things, so I'll just have to look for them. :)

So, the big deal here was: I have read a LOT of dystopians, and I have always thought of how creative they were... well, as it turns out, (in my opinion, at least), most of them must have been somehow inspired by Lois Lowry's world, because the similarities with some titles are uncanny. I won't list them here, because, really, who am I to accuse others? What I mean to say is: once you've read this one... you'll know what I mean.

Review quote

" A powerful and provacative novel." -- "The New York Times"

Flap copy

Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 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.