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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A seemly perfect world... ?!
The science fiction novel "The Giver" by Lois Lowry which was first published in 1993 is about life in a seemly perfect world.
Jonas, the twelve-year-old protagonist of the story lives in a place called Sameness that has eliminated poverty, war, crimes, individuality and all kinds of feelings. Moreover there are no colours and everything is perfectly organized, so...
Published on 1 Feb 2005

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian young adults novel
Recommended probably for 12 and over, some thought provoking ideas, give it a try if you enjoyed The Hunger Games
Published 14 months ago by Joanna Wilson


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A seemly perfect world... ?!, 1 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Giver (Cascades) (Hardcover)
The science fiction novel "The Giver" by Lois Lowry which was first published in 1993 is about life in a seemly perfect world.
Jonas, the twelve-year-old protagonist of the story lives in a place called Sameness that has eliminated poverty, war, crimes, individuality and all kinds of feelings. Moreover there are no colours and everything is perfectly organized, so that the inhabitants don't have to make any decisions on their own. They don't even have memories but in order toavoid making the mistakes of the past there is one person in Sameness called the Receiver who must keep them all in his mind and can be asked for advice if necessary.
During the annual ceremonies in December when all the children are announced one year older and are given new rights as well as responsibilities, Jonas is selected to be the new Receiver. After having discovered more and more dark secrets of Sameness, he has to make a momentous decision...
Althoug normally we don't like fantasy or science fiction novels at all, we must confess that "The Giver" is a very exciting and interesting book which shows us that an easier and more comfortable life that everyone would like to have sometimes is not automatically more advantageous. Besindes it asks us to take action if we don't agree with social structures so we think that it concerns readers of all ages.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book!, 4 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Giver (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark emotional and political issues dealt with for children, 5 May 2008
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 Amazon.com 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian young adults novel, 26 May 2013
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Recommended probably for 12 and over, some thought provoking ideas, give it a try if you enjoyed The Hunger Games
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boy and the Giver, 11 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Giver (Paperback)
This is the best i've ever read,and even though i've read it 100's of times since it was given to me 7 years ago it still holds me in a trance. It contains more knowledge than Harry Potter and deaper bravery than The Lord of the Rings. This book is about breaking boundries and overcomeing ostacles. Jonas is in a bleak world of no feelings, colour or choices, when he is chosen to become the new Reciver he is scared of what he will become and what will be come of him, but he strikes up a remarkable friendship and love for an old tired man, The Giver. As the Giver transmitts to the young boy memorys of before sameness, then together they relise things must change, for better or for worse. Anyone who goes through life having not read this book will never realise how wonderful this world is and even 1 person however young, with determination can change the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is Perfection?, 3 Feb 2009
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Giver (Paperback)
Jonas lives in a perfect society, where everyone is well-fed and healthy and carefree and happy. But is it perfect? Jonas and the rest of his society are so controlled and subdued that they do not even question any of the decisions made by the 'elders'. There are family units but children do not live with their natural parents. Once a child reaches the age of 12 they are assigned - they are given their alloted role for the rest of their life - and start to learn their new roles. There are no emotions - there is no hunger and no pain.

When Jonas reaches the age of 12 he is selected to become the next Receiver of Memory - a mysterious position that few people know about. Jonas starts to realise that the community is not quite perfect - he starts to question some of the more difficult decisions made by the elders.

Jonas receives memories - memories of war, disease, loss - also the memories of colour, sunshine and most important of all - love. Jonas cannot share these memories with anyone else and finds it all to be a burden.

A great read that really made me think about our world - and the idea of perfection. The ending of the book is very abrupt but there are more in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Series, 31 May 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Giver. (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. The child is given a year extension, when the child is marked to me replaced (abandoned and killed). Jonas takes the child and runs away. Through the winter Jonas knows he will not make it and pours all the memories he has learnt into the child. But can he save the child? What will happen to him and his community? Jonas thought his world was perfect, that the elders had everything under control, that there would never be war again. But also a world without choices. Till he is given the knowledge of the past the choice to save a child or let it die?

Gathering Blue
Lois Lowry

Kira, is an orphan and she has a twisted leg, she lives in a village with very little technology and one that casts aside those who do not contribute. The weak, injured, and helpless are abandoned. However things are starting to turn around for Kira, she has been spared by the all powerful Council of Guardians, for she has a gift she is a weaver and can die cloths in ways no other in the community can. As an artisan she is installed in the palatial Council Edifice and spends the whole year working her trade, her primary task is to care for the Robe of Remembrance that tell's the story of this community. But with her privilege comes expectations that she will do the council biddings. She befriends a young boy and his ragged dog, Matty `The Fiercest of the Fierce'. Matt tells Kira about another village where people are not cast aside, where they share their food. Matt brings her a gift the color blue, and a blind man that is her father. She is torn between staying and leaving the life she knows, and the truths she can find out what will happen.

Messenger
Lois Lowry

Matt has returned he is with Kira's father and living in the new community from beyond yonder. This village is guided by love and compassion, and guided by the `Leader' a seer arrived in this village one winter night many years ago on a sleigh with an older boy who did not survive the journey. The Seer can see the future and can often see for people what might be for his people. Matty is almost at the age where he will be named, he is hoping to be named `Messenger' for he takes message both in the village and to other villages which many can not do. But things are changing, the village is becoming hostile, starting to turn people away and the woods are becoming ferial and people are dieing. Can the Leader save the village, can the world be healed, what will happen to Kira, her father and Matty?

These three books will challenge you, after reading The Giver the first time I was overwhelmed and it haunted me for a long time. I went back and have reread it many many times. All three books raise questions about community, love, friendship, and care for other people. They also show dark paths that we as a people can go down, and how it can devastate all around us when we make the wrong choices for the wrong reasons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy, 19 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Giver (Cascades) (Hardcover)
If you possess imagination and an innate curiosity about life and community, buy the book - you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Series, 31 May 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Giver (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. The child is given a year extension, when the child is marked to me replaced (abandoned and killed). Jonas takes the child and runs away. Through the winter Jonas knows he will not make it and pours all the memories he has learnt into the child. But can he save the child? What will happen to him and his community? Jonas thought his world was perfect, that the elders had everything under control, that there would never be war again. But also a world without choices. Till he is given the knowledge of the past the choice to save a child or let it die?

Gathering Blue
Lois Lowry

Kira, is an orphan and she has a twisted leg, she lives in a village with very little technology and one that casts aside those who do not contribute. The weak, injured, and helpless are abandoned. However things are starting to turn around for Kira, she has been spared by the all powerful Council of Guardians, for she has a gift she is a weaver and can die cloths in ways no other in the community can. As an artisan she is installed in the palatial Council Edifice and spends the whole year working her trade, her primary task is to care for the Robe of Remembrance that tell's the story of this community. But with her privilege comes expectations that she will do the council biddings. She befriends a young boy and his ragged dog, Matty `The Fiercest of the Fierce'. Matt tells Kira about another village where people are not cast aside, where they share their food. Matt brings her a gift the color blue, and a blind man that is her father. She is torn between staying and leaving the life she knows, and the truths she can find out what will happen.

Messenger
Lois Lowry

Matt has returned he is with Kira's father and living in the new community from beyond yonder. This village is guided by love and compassion, and guided by the `Leader' a seer arrived in this village one winter night many years ago on a sleigh with an older boy who did not survive the journey. The Seer can see the future and can often see for people what might be for his people. Matty is almost at the age where he will be named, he is hoping to be named `Messenger' for he takes message both in the village and to other villages which many can not do. But things are changing, the village is becoming hostile, starting to turn people away and the woods are becoming ferial and people are dieing. Can the Leader save the village, can the world be healed, what will happen to Kira, her father and Matty?

These three books will challenge you, after reading The Giver the first time I was overwhelmed and it haunted me for a long time. I went back and have reread it many many times. All three books raise questions about community, love, friendship, and care for other people. They also show dark paths that we as a people can go down, and how it can devastate all around us when we make the wrong choices for the wrong reasons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Specail greetings to my teacher ;-), 17 Jun 2004
By 
en vogue (Salina Xrutz, Mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Giver (Cascades) (Hardcover)
I enjoyed reading the book "The Giver" because it made me think about parallels between our society and the community in that book. The book is about a boy calld Jonas, who live in a cummunity where everything is the same, there aren't any colors,hills and fellings.
Jonas is selected as Receiver and the Giver gives him all that felling like love, pain, snow, sunshine and the seeing of colors. Finally Jonas and the Giver made a plan to change the behaviors in the communiy.
At first it was very difficult to understand what's the book about. Later I could imagine the situation of Jonas and I can't stop reading till the end.
I would recomment the book to other children and parents, because it makes you think about our life.
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The Giver (Essential Modern Classics)
The Giver (Essential Modern Classics) by Lois Lowry (Paperback - 27 Mar 2014)
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