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.
Starting graduate school has been a big step towards achieving my goal of becoming a children’s librarian, so I’ve been trying to catch up on my children’s classics. Thankfully at the beginning of 2011 I’d decided that I had to read The Giver by Lois Lowry this year. I picked up my copy during Banned Books Week and immediately lost track of my socks because The Giver knocked them right off. The horror, world, and characters of The Giver blew me away to the point where I was in tears while riding my over-crowded bus to work.
The world in The Giver is all about control. Your family, your career, your entire life are picked out for you. When I started the book I was look, “Hmm. This is decidedly creepy.” Once I got to Jonas’s interactions with The Giver, I couldn’t stop reading. Part of what makes The Giver so exceptional is that the plot and the world-building, not just one or the other, will give you goosebumps and blow your mind.
The Giver was a really difficult book for me to read. Lowry deals with the themes of choice, life, and death head on. The twists and turns that she inserted to do so shocked me, brought tears to my eyes, and kept me glued to the page.
Considering how much I love dystopian novels, I can’t believe I waited so long to read The Giver. Lowry’s novel surpassed all of my expectations. I’m glad I picked it up at last and am eager to push it on young readers.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.