Review Detail

Kids Fiction 5250
Wow
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
I picked this book up to see if it would be appropriate for my precocious nine-year-old, and was blown away by Lowry's daring plot and wonderful prose. The book takes on themes that are incredibly sophisticated and examines them in ways that even a bonehead like me can wrap his mind around. Every bit as daring as 1984 and Brave New World, Lowry forces us to look very closely at what it is that makes us human, and what the costs and benefits of conformity really are. The conclusion of the book is--I hate to overuse the word, but it's the only one that fits--daring, forcing the reader to decide for him or herself just what has happened. Either way, the moment is transformative.

Beautiful as this book is, it ISN'T appropriate for my nine-year old. Not because of the very mild and beautifully drawn budding sexuality of the protagonist, Jonas. Rather, the themes are deep and disturbing enough--and the ending open-ended enough--that I don't think a preteen would be able to take it all in. But for a teenager--or an adult--I think it is a wonderful, provocative read.
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