Overview from Barnes and Noble:December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man-the man called only the Giver-he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
I first read this book in college for a class and I loved it. I've reread it a few times since then. This time around I decided to listen to the audio version and I was disappointed. It fell flat somehow. I don't know if it was the way it was read, if I wasn't in the right mind frame for it or if I felt too rushed. I kept thinking it would get better, since I know I have enjoyed it before, but it never did.
I read an interview with Lowry after her most recent book, Son, was released and was struck by how people considered this book to be controversial when it first came out. With a society that has taken away peoples choices in the name of their own good. Who has taken away colors, weather, hills,physical relations and even having your own children. There are now so many books that take away so much more, that this one seems quite tame. I think Lowry paved the way for a lot of the dystopian young adult books that are out there to be read and enjoyed now.
Everything is regulated and polite and has an order, but something is missing. Jonas has sensed this missing for some time, but not until he becomes the received of memories does he start to understand. The Giver starts with simple, pleasant memories like snow and the color red, but Jonas must also start to receive unpleasant memories like pain. Learning the truth about what the Ceremony of Release is all about changes something inside of Jonas.
I would love to read the other three books in this series. I checked Son out of the library before Christmas, but decided to return it until I can read the other two so I can enjoy them in order.
- ISBN-13: 9780547995663
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date: 9/25/2012
- Pages: 225
- Sales rank: 10,995
- Age range: 12 - 17 Years
- Series:Giver Quartet Series , #1
Meet the Author
Lois Lowry is a multi-award-winning author who has written many popular books. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of the popular Anastasia Krupnik books and was the recipient of the Newbery Medal for Number the Stars and for The Giver.