By: Lois Lowry
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Jonas lives in a perfect Community, where leaders decide everyone’s lives to prevent conflict. During his Ceremony of Twelve, he’s surprised when he is chosen to be a Receiver. When he meets The Giver, whose job is to hold ancient memories for the Community, he begins to teach Jonas about how the world used to be. As Jonas starts to recognize the Sameness in the Community, which has caused strong emotions, like Love, to diminish, he grows frustrated and begins to rebel against the system.
This 1993 novel is slow-paced compared to modern, action-packed dystopians. However, the story arouses thought-provoking questions, and the original writing and intriguing plot will hold readers’ interests.
The Giver is the first installment in a series, and though it’s targeted toward children, it is quite intense throughout. Parents should be aware that it includes the following:
• Jonas has what are called “stirrings” for his friend Fiona, and wants to bathe her in a dream
• The Giver shows Jonas memories of death, loneliness, hunger, and other hardships
• Violence (much talk of “Release,” which readers will know to mean death; blood, vomit, and broken bones are vaguely described, and there is a scene where an infant is injected in the head with a needle and dies)
Readers who enjoyed The Giver may also like:
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin