Sunday, October 30, 2011
The Giver By: Lois Lowry
Eleven year old Jonas lives in a world where there is no pain, no prejudice, no fear and no choices. At twelve each person is assigned a job, and Jonas is given the extremely honorable, and extremely rare, job of Receiver of Memory. Jonas begins receiving memories of pain, pleasure, fear, and all the emotions no one else in his community feels. Being the only bearer of these long forgotten memories Jonas has an important decision to make which may change his world forever.
How many times have you wished you couldn’t feel fear, couldn’t feel hunger, couldn’t feel pain? This is a world Jonas lives in, a utopian society which appears perfect on the surface. But, what do you lose in a world without fear, without sadness, and without pain?
Jonas, once he begins receiving memories from the Giver (the former receiver), experiences for the first time the joys of color, the feelings of pleasure, and what it is like to love. Jonas holds these memories so that the community may go on in peace and predictable sameness. Receiving these memories, however, shows Jonas how different his world could be. He begins to question the life he has been raised in. Is it worth pain in order to feel pleasure? Is it worth having some hate in order to have love? These are the questions Jonas must face as the bearer of the memories, and it is his decision to make.
John Newbery Medal-1994,
William Allen White Award-1996,
ALA Best Books for Young Adults,
ALA Notable Children’s Books,
Booklist Editor’s Choice,
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
Book Cover Credit: http://www.loislowry.com/images/djcatalog/books_giver.jpg