The Giver by Lois Lowry
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: First published in 1993 this edition published by Dell Laurel-Leaf in 2002
Recommended Age Group: Ages 10 and up
Summary: The Giver is about a society that seems at first glance to be perfect. Everyone get along, there are no poor or needy, and there is no foul language used. People are studied and given jobs that match their strengths. Jonas is an eleven-year-old boy when he is chosen to be the next memory keeper. At first he doesn’t understand the job and the meaning but he is soon able to. The Giver is the one who had the job before him. He gives him the memories of the past. These memories and knowledge in general are kept from the population at large in an attempt to make them happier. Jonas experiences pain for the first time and it is horrible but he is also able to see color, like red (no one else can) and he is able to experience the joys of snow. Jonas lives with his family but their relationships are nothing like those in the memories he has been given. When they take in troubled baby Gabriel Jonas is able to feel the love of family relationships. When Gabriel’s life is threatened Jonas take him and runs away with him. It is not clear in the end if they reach safety but they have sure left immediate danger.
Personal Notes: A wonderfully written book that really makes you think. It takes place in a city where people are blind to more than color and it bares a striking resemblance to our day. People just move along and go through the motions. We live in a fine society most of the time but there are those moments when people and their problems are overlooked. Jonas really takes the time to help Gabriel. He reaches out where other’s wouldn’t. We can learn from his example and do the same in our lives and the lives of those we know.