One of my favorite childhood books, The Giver is great for children and adults alike. Children can relate to the feeling of the main character, Jonas, and his struggle with growing up and being different. Adults will enjoy it because it shows what could happen in a community when every aspect of life is "controlled". This is a great read-aloud book, and even better as a gift!
The Giver deals with important issues including individuality, diversity, and euthanasia. The book is classified as young adult literature, but the novel appeals to readers of all ages. I found it powerful and provocative
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.
An interesting futuristic look into a "sameness" society. This book is not long and is suitable for pre-teens and teens. In fact, it was required reading for one of my children in Jr. High or HS. The ending packs quite a wallop.
I read this book in elementary/middle school and didn't think much of it. As an adult, however, it was one of the books that I remembered most. Your heart will go out to Jonas as he is given the information of the town. This book will make you feel just what the characters are feeling. I highly recommend this book for children and adults, alike. Happy reading!