Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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

I read this in school, back oh, ya know 199-. I loved it and am thinking about teaching it to my 8th graders. So I re-read it. It really goes along with dystopias and a lot of my kids have already read The Hunger Games series and a bunch of them dabble in the others.

I love the characters in the book. I love the "wrongness" of the society. I however, forgot how uneventful the story actually is. It's very passive.

OK so back to the positives. I love watching Jonas transition into different way of thinking. I love how he starts off with his trusting ways and then slowly starts to question everything. He doesn't just up and change his thoughts one day, like that (imagine me snapping my finger). One of my favorite parts is when he starts to see the color red.

The Giver - which I wish he had a name. He had to have had a name. He is a perfect example of a nurturer. He's kind, loving, and hates putting Jonas in pain.

Again, back to the plot line of the story. Jonas is like everyone else, Jonas is chosen and the Receiver, Jonas gets memories, Jonas changes his way of thinking. Jonas continues this way of thinking, Jonas decides to leave the community. Jonas takes the baby and runs and then he maybe dies or maybe he doesn't. It's over.
COME ON! What happens to the community!?!?!

Some quick thoughts
I think I may use the Uglies instead of this
Great community for a dystopia
I love the memories that are given to him

How many of you have read this one?


  1. Never read (or heard of) this but the premise sounds a lot like the result of Plato's The Republic.

  2. I've read it!! But I just couldn't get over the ending, I was like - wait thats it? What happens? I liked it but didn't love it. The memories were my favourite part :) I had to read this for school last year...

  3. I loved it. Every time I read it. It is passive compared to the Maze Runner or Hungar Games. Instead of throwing a child in to physically violent situation to save the entire world Lowery asks Jonas to take on the emotions of the world, so everyone can live "safely" . It's more subtle, there is a lot more inference, leaving the reader to spend a lot of time thinking..."is the is right, what path should he take, what is more important the individual or the community?". It is more like Unwind by Schusterman, asking the reader to think about what is happening around us, and when faced with an extrime, think about how we would react. You remember it fondly, and I have never had a student say "That was a dumb book, why did you make me read it?". Besides it's shorter than all the other books we mentioned... An added bonus. I guess this means you will let me keep it in my curriculum!

  4. @ Cait- it's very passive dystopia and its super quick
    @ Lulu - Im so happy its still being read in school and I agree about the ending... I wanted to know if Jonas changed the world or not!
    @Karen I will let you keep it in your curric but I get to do it in 8th grade next year! And so you know I am hooked on Unwind right now...