Review – The Giver
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  • Posted:
  • June 30, 2010

I decided to read three different Newbery Award winning/honor books this summer for work. First up in the roster is 1994 Winner The Giver by Lois Lowry. I adore Dystopian fiction, and always enjoy anything which centers on this sort of plot.

The Giver is about a future society where everyone has given up all semblance of feelings, choice, and pain. With this goes much of what makes us humans, though no one within the society realizes it. On the day of his 12 ceremony a boy named Jonas acquires a much-lauded position within the community – he is to be the new Receiver, a very rare position. At the start of his training with the aged Receiver, renamed The Giver when Jonas takes up the position, Jonas begins to understand just how difficult his task will be. The Receiver must act as a conduit for everything the community has given up. Through a series of touches the Giver hands off the knowledge that has been passed down through the ages; that of pain, sorrow, war, and loss. He also passes on the knowledge of colours, music, joy, and acceptance. These concepts have all been phased out and upon learning any of them Jonas world will never be the same.

I enjoyed this immensely. It’s incredibly well done. Perfect. Lowry has such skill with this kind of story. We feel every bit of Jonas’ anguish and heartache as his horizons are broadened beyond belief. The descriptions of joy and pleasure are equally as impacting. It’s a gorgeous book that is a very quick read. I sat down this very morning and read it in about 3 hours. And, yes, I probably should have read it years ago. But I read it now. So there.

For the first of my three Newberies this summer I give a well deserved 5 of 5 stars. I hope the other ones turn out to be this good.

– BP

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