The Giver

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The Giver

by Lois Lowry

Random House Children's Books | September 10, 2002 | Mass Market Paperbound |

4.3862 out of 5 rating. 145 Reviews
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Lois Lowry's The Giver is the quintessential dystopian novel, followed by its remarkable companions, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Jonas''s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Published: September 10, 2002

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0440237688

ISBN - 13: 9780440237686

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17
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– More About This Product –

The Giver

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Published: September 10, 2002

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0440237688

ISBN - 13: 9780440237686

About the Book

Winner of the Newbery Award and named as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and ALA Notable Book for Children, Lowry’s unforgettable tale introduces 12-year-old Jonas, who is singled out by the Community to be trained by The Giver.

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. He had seen it both times. Squinting toward the sky, he had seen the sleek jet, almost a blur at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Then one more time, a moment later, from the opposite direction, the same plane. At first, he had been only fascinated. He had never seen aircraft so close, for it was against the rules for Pilots to fly over the community. Occasionally, when supplies were delivered by cargo planes to the landing field across the river, the children rode their bicycles to the river bank and watched, intrigued, the unloading and then the takeoff directed to the west, always away from the community. But the aircraft a year ago had been different. It was not a squat, fat-bellied cargo plane but a needle-nosed single-pilot jet. Jonas, looking around anxiously, had seen others — adults as well as children — stop what they were doing and wait, confused, for an explanation of the frightening event. Then all of the citizens had been ordered to go into the nearest building and stay there. IMMEDIATELY, the rasping voice through the speakers had said. LEAVE YOUR BICYCLES WHERE THEY ARE. Instantly, obediently, Jonas h
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From the Publisher

Lois Lowry's The Giver is the quintessential dystopian novel, followed by its remarkable companions, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Jonas''s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

From the Jacket

"A powerful and provacative novel."
-- The New York Times

About the Author

Lois Lowry is a multi-award-winning author who has written many popular books. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of the popular Anastasia Krupnik books and was the recipient of the Newbery Medal for Number the Stars and for The Giver.

Editorial Reviews

"A powerful and provacative novel."
-- The New York Times

Bookclub Guide

1. In The Giver, each family has two parents, a son, and a daughter. The relationships are not biological but are developed through observation and a careful handling of personality. In our own society, the makeup of family is under discussion. How are families defined? Are families the foundations of a society, or are they continually open for new definitions?

2. In Jonas's community, every person and his or her experience are precisely the same. The climate is controlled, and competition has been eliminated in favor of a community in which everyone works only for the common good. What advantages might "Sameness" yield for contemporary communities? Is the loss of diversity worthwhile?

3. Underneath the placid calm of Jonas's society lies a very orderly and inexorable system of euthanasia, practiced on the very young who do not conform, the elderly, and those whose errors threaten the stability of the community. What are the disadvantages and benefits of a community that accepts such a vision of euthanasia?

4. Why is the relationship between Jonas and The Giver dangerous, and what does this danger suggest about the nature of love?

5. The ending of The Giver may be interpreted in two very different ways. Perhaps Jonas is remembering his Christmas memory-one of the most beautiful that The Giver transmitted to him-as he and Gabriel are freezing to death, falling into a dreamlike coma in the snow. Or perhaps Jonas does hear music and, with his special vision, is able to perceive the warm house where people are waiting to greet him. In her acceptance speech for the Newbery Medal, Lois Lowry mentioned both possibilities but would not choose one as correct. What evidence supports each interpretation?

6. There are groups in the United States today that actively seek to maintain an identity outside the mainstream culture: the Amish, the Mennonites, Native American tribes, and the Hasidic Jewish community. What benefits do these groups expect from defining themselves as "other"? What are the disadvantages? How does the mainstream culture put pressure on such groups?

7. Lois Lowry helps create an alternate world by having the community use words in a special way. Though that world stresses what it calls "precision of language," in fact it is built upon language that is not precise but deliberately clouds meaning. What is the danger of such misleading language?

8. Examine the ways in which Jonas's community uses euphemism to distance itself from the reality of "Release." How does our own society use euphemism to distance us from such realities as aging and death, bodily functions, and political activities? What are the benefits and disadvantages of such uses of language?

Prepared by Gary D. Schmidt, Department of English, Calvin College

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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