Jonas has a childhood many people would wish for. He has structure, order, purpose, affection. He is never hungry or frightened. He knows his place in the world, and he is content with it. Then, as he turns 12, he is selected for a special job, one that destroys his world by making him look deeper into it, to understand why it happens the way it does, what the moral cost of his comfort is.
I should have read this book years ago. My mom finally gave up and bought it for my Kindle because we were talking about THE TERRORISTS OF IRUSTAN, and bounded societies.
The Sameness reminded me of the dys/utopia in Madeline L'Engle's A WRINKLE IN TIME, where all the children bounce balls at the same time, and all the mothers call the children in at the same time. There is obviously this thread of fear and horror in both books about being required to be regimented, or pay a terrible price. I wonder if it's a coincidence that THE GIVER and WRINKLE IN TIME were written by women at a time when women were fighting to get out of the regimented and nicey-nicey world. To go on one's own, beyond the boundaries of civilization and rules, is fearful and dangerous and you don't know how it's going to end, but sometimes you have to head for the woods, or the giant throbbing brain, whichever is relevant. Interestingly, Lowry's character, Jonas, is male, and I would perhaps have found the story less interesting if he were female, because the choice he made might be considered traditionally feminine. The gender roles were actually pretty interesting through the whole book.
I thought the characters were sketched in lightly, but the plot and problem were compelling, and it almost makes sense that personality was not something Jonas thought a lot about. Lowry did a great job of capturing the incuriousity some children have about adult things.
Read if: You want to think about what you are used to and the value or lack thereof in compliance and equality.
Skip if: You are horrified by utopias, your issues are not about fear of being the same.
This book was wonderful- until the end. It was beautifully written, completely original, absolutely gripping. However, I was so disappointed by the ending that I haven't been able to read another of Lowry's books since I read this one. Actually, the problem for me wasn't in the ending, it was the lack of an ending. There was no ending. When I finished the book, I thought there was supposed to be another book to go along with it- there isn't. The book is great besides that. If there had been an ending, any ending, it would have been one of the best books I've read. I would recommend the book to someone who doesn't mind imagining your own ending, other than that I would not recommend it to anyone who wants a sense of closure after reading the book.
I had to read this book in school, and I thought it would be stupid. When we started reading it, it was really kind of boring. Eventually when we were about 30 pages into it, it got very interesting. It wasn't really exciting, just interesting. I had to know what would happen next to all of the character. I think the ending was really stupid because it kinda ended in the middle of the story.
I'm not sure I fully appreciated this book for what it is. First of all, I would've never read this because: 1. I'm not a fan of sci-fi, and 2. It seems too short to give me the wonderful pleasure of reading. As I read this, I felt just as I had predicted. Well, it was actually quite a good book. The only problem is that we were reading it as a class (in grade 7), and reading in my mind is so much faster. So it was so slow, disappointing me. Otherwise, I think it was pretty good. It twists our world around to let me truly value my freedom. This was a well-written book. I would not, however, recommend it to younger children that are younger than thirteen years old because they won't understand some of it.
I read this book in sixth grade, and I was told that it was really good. I must admit, it was pretty good. However, I didn't think that it was as good as others had perceived it to be. The storyline was interesting and very unique, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. Throughout the whole book I was like "Ohh, this is good", and then at the end I was left with "huh?".
i also read this book for school, in grade eight. at the time, i found bits comfusing but it was very interesting to see people live in the world they loved in. it definately opened my perspective and made me see life through a different light. the ending didnt excite my too much though.
I first picked up the Giver recently this year as my English teacher passed out this remarkable novel. I figured it was just another "boring" school read. By the fifth chapter I was proved wrong. The Giver isn't just a school read it's a book for anyone and everyone. The Giver shows us the importance of feelings, memories, and choice. So please make the right choice and pick up this great read.