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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark emotional and political issues dealt with for children
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...
Published on 5 May 2008 by John

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little bit let down
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...
Published 8 months ago by Char


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25 of 25 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little bit let down, 8 April 2014
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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
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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3 of 3 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 The Giver - an Amazing Film - I Must Read the Book Soon!, 26 Sep 2014
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I watched The Giver at the cinema with my 12 year old daughter today. Wow, what a brilliant family sci-fi movie. A utopian future society suppresses feelings and emotions in people, using drugs, to avoid violence, crime, wars, hatred, and love. One man has access to memories and emotions, The Receiver, it's his job to protect the society, and hide the mistakes of the past from them. The Receiver is an old man and standing down, and a teenage boy, Jonas, is being trained up for the job. As he learns more about mankind's past, the more he despises his existence in a bland, colourless, emotionless society. He realises things need to change and this leads to a thrilling conflict. The film is absolutely wonderful, great acting, intelligent script, minimalist but perfectly judged CGI, and the young lad who plays Jonas is outstanding. The story obviously owes a lot to Orwell's 1984 but that's a compliment not a criticism. Watching it had me thinking of the likenesses with Terry Gilliam's Brazil. I've just started reading Maggott Moon this week, which, coincidentally, is a similar tale of a young lad in a dystopian, rigid society with draconian rules. As soon as I've finished it, I'll make sure to read The Giver, because, if it's half as good as the film, it will be a treat.
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16 of 18 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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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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This review is from: The Giver (Essential Modern Classics) (The Giver Quartet Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Recommended probably for 12 and over, some thought provoking ideas, give it a try if you enjoyed The Hunger Games
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth reading, 17 Jun 2004
By 
Tina (Seeheim-Jugenheim,Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Giver (Cascades) (Hardcover)
This book is really worth reading. I liked it very much, because of it's fictive and strange world, which is difficult to understand. "The Giver" is about a boy, called Jonas, who lives in a community without strong emotions like love or hate. The life of these citizens is ordained by rules and everything is subordinated to "Sameness". Everything is strictly organized, the people have no freedom. Jonas is elected to be the new "Receiver of Memory". That means he is the only one who has memories of the past, the only one who knows that there was a world full of good and bad emotions before. Because of this knowledge Jonas feels alone, he wants to get out of this world and go to an "Elsewhere".
Lois Lowry has a great writingstyle, she is abled to express difficult subjects with a simple language. You feel like yourself being in the story. While reading you go deeply into this world and you understand Jonas`s feelings and his distress to change it.
Many readers disliked the sudden and short ending, but I also liked it. Because of this open end you can interpret so much and create your own ending as you like.
From: Christina Löw
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impulse for thoughts, 17 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Giver (Cascades) (Hardcover)
Although thinking I won't like this book, chapter by chapter I have found more intresting aspects which made me going on to read and to change my oppinion in the end.
Jonas, a small boy living in a community without love, animals or colors, gets the job of the new receiver, who shares the memories of on old man called the Giver. After a time Jonas is able to see colors and he is touched by feelings like pain or love, he'd never felt before.
Than Jonas looks with other eyes at his community where the most important thing is "sameness".
Not knowing exactly what the book is about during the first lines, the chapters seem to be pieces of puzzles which fit together to show the reader the whole picture of the community. This way the book gets more tension.
I like the idea to show at an irreal community problems about themes we also have/ or had in our society. It`s a pictureful way to handle this and make it interesting to thing an talk about our history.
Lois Lowry`s "The Giver" isn`t only white paper with letters on it - it's an emotional story full of signs which touch you.
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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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