Saturday, March 12, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: The Giver by Lois Lowry



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ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

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.

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

MY REVIEW:

Imagine a world where no one is allowed to think for themselves.  Everyone simply follows the rules and nobody questions anything.  Each person has a specific purpose, which they carry out without petition, and everyone is content.  There is no suffering.  Everything is under control.

This is the world Lois Lowry created in The Giver. This world is seemingly perfect and harmonious; however, this world does not come without a price -- and that price is something Jonas alone discovers when he turns 12 years old and is assigned the role of "The Receiver."  There is one person in the community, known as "The Giver," who holds all of the memories (and with those, all of the pain), and it is now time for him to pass all of it on to Jonas.

The book is beautifully written.  The story is thought-provoking and powerful.  It seemed a little intense for a YA book (at least for a 12 or 13 year old), but I'm sure it would spark a very interesting discussion for young readers.  I recommend this for anyone (young or old) who enjoys dystopian fiction.