Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Giver - Lois Lowry

Summary: 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.
My review: Jonas has always been like everyone else--well, almost. He dresses the same, lives in a family unit just like everyone else, and always strives for precision of language. Sameness is, after all, very important to the Community. But Jonas has almost unheard of eyes and an inquisitive spirit that cannot be repressed. When he is assigned a special job in the Community with its own special rules, Jonas light-colored eyes begin to notice things. Something is wrong—very wrong. The more Jonas knows, the more he understands, and the less he likes what he is seeing.
Marketed as a young adult book, The Giver can be read on many different levels. It is at a 4th grade reading level but I first read this book my junior year in high school and it has been one of my favorite books ever since.
I can’t explain the many ways that I simply love this book. It is enchanting and eery at its' very center and there are moments of revelation that stun me each time I read its' pages. Lowry’s writing is masterful but simplistic—a single turn of phrase is so full of meaning and not a word is wasted. I buy used copies every time I see them so that I can give it away to the surprising number of people who’ve never read it before. If you haven't read this book - you must. Now.
My rating: 5 Stars - all exactly the same proportions. Some darker themes that might not be understood by younger children.
Sum it up: A fantastic read! One of my all-time favorite books for young or old.

1 comment:

MindySue said...

I just read this book again (for probably the sixth time) and love it every bit as much as I did the first time. Maybe even more It's complex and disturbing and beautiful. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in The Giver Quartet. (The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Messenger, and Son)

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