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.
I read this book again to re- acquaint myself with the plot before I went to see the movie which recently came out. It had been several years ago that I read it for the first time and I enjoyed it much more this time or maybe I’m just older now and appreciate it more.
The world as we know it now has been gone from the memories of the people of Jonas’s town for hundreds of years and there are no colors, everything is bland and the same and supposedly everyone is HAPPY. At the ceremony for 12 year olds where they are given their life time jobs, Jonas is given the job of Receiver which means he goes to the Giver of the memories every day and has passed to him by words, touch or visions the memories(good and bad) of all humanity so that he can better help his people. Jonas is haunted by the beauty and the horror of what he learns and sets out to do what is right for a child in his father’s care that has been selected to be “released” or killed as he now knows what it really is. The ending of the book is thought-provoking and will leave you shaking your head.
The movie adaptation was excellent so if you don’t want to read the book – go see the movie. You won’t regret it.
I gave this book 5 stars. *****