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The Giver (Giver, Bk 1)
The Giver - Giver, Bk 1
Author: Lois Lowry
At the age of twelve, Jonas, a young boy from a seemingly utopian, futuristic world, is singled out to receive special training from The Giver, who alone holds the memories of the true joys and pain of life.
ISBN-13: 9780440219071
ISBN-10: 0440219078
Publication Date: 9/1/1994
Pages: 180
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 568 ratings
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
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
reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
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!
reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
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.
reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
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.
reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 8
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!
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reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Perhaps I'm biased, because I just read 1984 not too long ago, but this book does remind me of 1984. I wouldn't be surprised if the author got inspired by 1984, either consciously or subconsciously. But again, she might have come up with it on her own. That this and 1984 belong in the same dystopian framework is fairly apparent: the orderly society, the all-imposing bureaucracy that dictates what you do and controls how you should behave, the lack of real emotion including love, hate, anger, longing, ... (Now, if you're a Buddist follower, you'd think that the lack of those emotions is not necessarily a bad thing, but that's a totally different topic).

What is more unique about this book (and make it a good read) is the calmness and nonchalance with which society seems to carry on. Unlike 1984, here there's no outwardly sinister characters or scheme. Society appear to have been designed for everyone's own good. Thus the malevolence (if one can call is that) is very subtle, almost like the breeze (that no longer exist in a climate-control society). Gradually one comes to really how chilling life really is behind the gentle and caring facade, and I give the author kudos for being able to do that in a relatively short book.

My reservations about the book is the lack of logical coherence. For example the setting: it's set in a futuristic society, but they're just a small part of the land? Their climate is controlled, the outside is not, but there's no apparent boundary? What do people do outside, why can't they just come over and visit (and cause upheaval in this society)? This advanced society has so many technological means, and yet they can't find a boy carrying a baby on bicycle? For months? And the two of them can survive months on the road, in the open, with nothing to eat and no tool to find food? I felt like in the rush to make a "cool" ending, the author kind of rushed a bit and didn't quite think through what would make sense. Granted, I know the plot is more important than the details, but I'd still prefer it to make sense than just force things on us and ask us to accept.

Btw I've also watched the movie version. Unlike other book-to-movie projects, for this I like the movie a great deal. They've managed to adapt very well, while also attempted to address some of the book's incoherence I talked about. In an effort to make the movie more exciting and less subtle, they've made the society and the Chief Leader a lot more sinister than in the book. It's all good though, it makes for a pretty compelling movie, while many of the original themes in the book are still retained. If you've read, I'd recommend the movie too.
reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
This is such a beautiful story -- very simple, yet very deep and thought-provoking. I was challenged and entertained, and I will keep this book as part of my permanent library!
reviewed The Giver (Giver, Bk 1) on + 19 more book reviews
This book was suggested by my older son's teacher. I like the writer's writting style. Great book!

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