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The Giver (21st Century Reference) Paperback – Dec 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf Library; Reissue edition (Dec. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440219078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440219071
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 995,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The Giver, a powerful and provocative novel, is sure to keep older children reading and thinking." New York Times

“Lowry is once again in top form – raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers."
Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Featuring "More than a Story" section, with extra information for the reader about the story, its author and themes. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John on 5 May 2008
Format: Paperback
The Giver by Lois Lowry a children's SF for 8-12 year olds written in 1993 is part of a loose set trilogy set in the same imagined world but not necessarily with the same characters. It deals with a world where your life is one of conformity and happiness. The short novel honestly faces why a society such as this would arise with its benefits and essential failure explored. The core of that failure is that...grief is the price you pay for love. Without sadness, can love and laughter really exist?

We discover a community of unlimited happiness and good manners set in a green and pleasant paradise of high but largely hidden technology. In this world, only 50 children per community are born from genetically approved placements in birth mothers. Regulations define your clothes, toys and your role in society from your first year. From eight you have to volunteer for a range of community duties so that your life long occupation from twelve can start. We join Jonas as the ceremony for 12's is near for the allotment of his calling. Much to his and the communities shock he is not allotted a job but is selected to be the Receiver. In learning what this is, he discovers the hidden pain and dark side of unlimited happiness. This sets off a chain of events as Jonas discovers what being released really means. He faces what growing up means, and consequences whose meaning you have to decide.

The book has over 3000 ratings on alone so we are talking popular and critical success (it won the Newbury Medal- the USA children's literature award). Even so, it is banned in several USA State's School and Library systems because of the dark emotional issues dealt with. Surprisingly doesn't to have attracted the same attention in the UK. If you or your children have not read it then you have missed a classic. But if you have read it then you know why it's enjoyable and highly recommended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Char on 8 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I wanted to read it before watching the film and had seen many recommendations online. The Giver is aimed at teenagers and it was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. Due to the popularity amongst both young and old adults I probably started this book with higher expectations than I should have.
Even for the target audience I believe this book was too simple and too vague. Lowry assumes that each reader will have the same morales and beliefs as her own. The ‘community’ that Jonas lives in may seem extreme, unfair and unjust to someone who comes from a privileged background, but for someone who lives in extreme poverty, the ‘community’ may not seem too bad at all.
The book indeed does raise questions on the idea of ‘utopia’ and if there could ever be such a thing as a ‘perfect world’. I believe it holds answers to some religious questions people may have. It also showed me that I shouldn’t take the fact I can make many of my own choices in life by myself, to a certain extent. The Giver is not completely unrealistic; the control in the community is not completely fictional and still happens to this date in some countries. Therefore, as a book for school children, it does open up many points for important discussion.
However, I found myself left frustrated at the end of the book as I still had so many questions that were not answered. I also felt that the last part of the story is rushed. I had been reading the book waiting and waiting for something to actually happen, and when it did, after a couple of chapters it was over.
I did enjoy reading this book however I wouldn’t read it again. I felt no attachment to any of the characters (apart from baby Gabriel). I will be watching the film and I will not be surprised if the film will actually be better than the book, which is a rarity!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
Can you imagine a world where everything is the same? No colour, no music, no hills, no history. This is Jonas' world - where no-one knows when exactly their birthday is, and when children are assigned careers at twelve, without any choice in the matter. Do you think it would be safer? That's what Jonas thought, until... If you want to expand your horizons from our own world, and see how Sameness could rule, then read The Giver. It'll be worth it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 May 2008
Format: Paperback
Lois Lowry is one of those unique authors who has won the John Newbery Medal for children's literature twice. Once for the first book in this trilogy and once for a book about the Holocaust called Number the Stars. (Just as an aside only one other author has ever done that Madeleine L'Engle who I would also recommend highly.) I would begin by recommending any of her books; they are all worth the time and the effort. This trilogy is set in a post apocalyptic world. The first two books each focus on different community's who have recovered from the devastation differently, both have strengths and both have weaknesses. And a young boy must heal them both and the land if either is to survive.

The Giver
Lois Lowry

Jonas is a young boy who lives in a community with a lot of technology and many rules about it. He has only seen an airplane twice for planes were not suppose to over fly villages, it was against the rules. Children of the same age are raised together and each December they move up a grade, when the reach the age of twelve they are selected for occupational training Jonas in talking to his friend states about selections: "Jonas Shrugged. It didn't worry him, how could someone not fit in? The Community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made." However all the other Twelve's were assigned and Jonas was skipped then at the end of the ceremony it was announced that he had been selected he was chosen to become the `receiver of memory.' He was to learn all the history and story of the people and become an advisor to the council that ruled the village. It only happened every so many generations and only 1 keeper of memories was installed in each village. Jonas and his family take in an infant who is not maturing and growing quickly enough.
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