Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Treat #25: The Giver by Lois Lowry.

"We thank you for your childhood."

As a child and teenager, I don't think there was another book that I read more than The Giver by Lois Lowry. From my first reading of it in the fifth grade, The Giver has remained one of my all-time favorite novels, if not my SOLE favorite.

Lowry's novel about a future with no color, music, feeling, history, or choice had a deep and lasting impact on me as a child. I could not imagine not being able to see the colors around me when the leaves changed in fall, hear the music that moves me so, or remember the stories of our past.

It was a book the frightened me, as I worried that we as a society would someday forget to pass on the lessons of the past.

It is a beautiful and heart-breaking book that is sometimes dismissed because of its "Young Adult" status (THAT is a whole other rant). I have always clung to it, since I find in Jonas a courage I don't know that I would have myself. The Giver was the beginning of dystopia and all of the modern dystopian novels can pay it homage for what it accomplished.

Jonas turns 12 and his role in his community will be assigned to him in a formal ceremony. As his friends learn their future roles, he is passed over. When it is finally his turn, he learns that he will become the next Receiver of Memory, the only person in the community who feels and remembers what came before.

If you haven't had a chance to read this, you need to go and get a copy. It is a book that has helped define who I am as a person and what I believe. I don't think I can remember a book that I have read with a stronger message.

"Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps it was only an echo."


  1. I never read this until two years ago! It was so, so good.

  2. Hi,

    Great review.
    I tweeted it to my followers as part of a new thing we are trying to help book reviewers promote other blogs besides themselves using the hashmark #helpotherbookblogs

    You can see what I mean here:

    Here is my tweet:

    Hope you can do the same for other bloggers.

  3. This is one of my favorite YA novels, and I just sort of laughed when you mentioned that "that's a whole other RANT" because I actually wrote a post/rant about people dismissing a book just because it's YA. I'm glad you loved it too!

  4. I remember liking The Giver a lot, but I've only read it once. You may have inspired me to pick it up again.

  5. Oh wow.. I haven't thought about that book in ages! It was one of my absolute favorites growing up-- I think it was the first time I read a book and could completely picture the people and events being described. It was sooo real! That's probably what made it so creepy-- it was easy to imagine Jonah's world being MY world. I wonder if I still have my old copy...

  6. I loved The Giver as a kid. I read it a handful of times but haven't revisited since childhood. Thanks for the review and encouraging others to read it :)

  7. This is one of my favorites when I was younger! I am past due for a re-read! Thanks for the motivation and great review!

  8. I didn't read this till last year, but I LOVE it.

  9. I love this book! I read it in eighth grade English. I still argue over the ending with some of my classmates! And that class was over 14 years ago! It amazes how Lois Lowry writes such a wide range of young adult and children's books. Books like this and Number the Stars are so different from the Anastasia series, but I love all of them.

  10. I just re-read this a couple of weeks ago. I'm so very in love with it :)

  11. This is such a great book. I read the two companion/sequels and wasn't nearly as impressed though.