Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Giver

After hearing Lois Lowry talk about Son last week, I decided I needed to reread The Giver before plunging into the new book.  I am so glad I did!  It had been so long since reading the first book that I really only remembered the high points (including the end) and that I loved it.  Reading The Giver after more than ten years felt like a new experience, and I was on the edge of my seat, completely enthralled, just like the first time.  If you haven't read this book, read it now!  If it's been a while, read it again!  You won't be disappointed.

It's almost time for Jonas's twelfth birthday, which will be celebrated with the rest of the children born in the same year.  This is the year they will be assigned their careers and begin training.  Jonas feels apprehensive because he has no idea what career the council of elders has chosen for him.

In this perfectly ordered society, there are very few choices to make.  Similarities are the focus, and differences aren't tolerated.  Everything seems perfect in the community; there is no pain, no discord, no crime.  Jonas has never questioned his life and his community, but when he is chosen as the new Receiver at the ceremony of twelve, he begins a journey that will reveal the truth about his community and himself.

The Giver is a masterpiece of YA dystopia.   Lowry presents her readers with a society free from many of the ills we lament in our own world.  As Jonas undertakes his Receiver training, the veneer quickly begins to fade, and we see, along with Jonas, the terrible price for this "perfect" society.

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