Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry was originally published in 1993. My paperback copy has 180 pages. The Giver was the well earned recipient of the 1994 Newberry Medal. This is a young adult book, recommended for ages 12-14; based on that fact I am going to highly recommend it. If The Giver were written for an older audience I would have wanted to see more details and more character development, however, I do highly recommend The Giver as a worthwhile dystopian novel.

Rating: 4

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

"For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure."

"It was one of the rituals, the evening telling of feelings."

"You're ready for the pills, that's all. That's the treatment for Stirrings"

"How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made."

"It's the memories of the whole world... Before you, before me, before the previous Receiver, and generations before him."

"It wasn't a practical thing, so it became obsolete when we went to Sameness."

"We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with differences... We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others."

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