10 member(s) found this review helpful.
The plot of this book has been described, well and often, in the editorial and customer reviews already posted, and I will not repeat that.
The Giver earned five stars from me on two points: technical quality and content. Technically, this book is very well-written, with a fast pace, no lulls, three-dimensional characters, a well-described setting, and no plot contradictions.
It is the story content that really elevates this book to five-star quality, however. Diversity and conformity are issues that surround us, in the news, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in government and politics, and in the courts. "The Giver" puts the debate under a microscope, and it leaves room for no simplistic answers. It portrays an artificial society where diversity has just about been abolished. It depicts the benefits of that society, the shortcomings of it, and the internal conflicts caused in the mind of the protagonist. "The Giver" gives no answers, but gifts us with a wonderful way to look at an important question. This is a great book for a classroom project, or for a parent to read with his/her child. There are discussion questions listed at the end, that can be used as a launching pad for an intellectual exploration of the issues portrayed.
A non-spoiler spoiler: The end is intentionally ambiguous. While I have decided, for myself, what the ending means, each reader must make his/her own decision on what happened at the end.
7 member(s) found this review helpful.
This book is supposedly for young adults, but, frankly, is so scary I'm not sure I'd recommend a teen-ager read it. It has won a half dozen major literary awards, and clearly deserves them; is probably going to become a classic distopia like 1984 or BRAVE NEW WORLD.
-----From back cover:-----
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth.
There is no turning back.
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Very interesting story once it gets started. Very quick read.