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Gossamer Hardcover – April 24, 2006
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From School Library Journal
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
More About the Author
A CONVERSATION WITH LOIS LOWRY ABOUT THE GIVER
Q. When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
A. I cannot remember ever not wanting to be a writer.
Q. What inspired you to write The Giver?
A. Kids always ask what inspired me to write a particular book or how did I get an idea for a particular book, and often it's very easy to answer that because books like the Anastasia books come from a specific thing; some little event triggers an idea. But a book like The Giver is a much more complicated book, and therefore it comes from much more complicated places--and many of them are probably things that I don't even recognize myself anymore, if I ever did. So it's not an easy question to answer.
I will say that the whole concept of memory is one that interests me a great deal. I'm not sure why that is, but I've always been fascinated by the thought of what memory is and what it does and how it works and what we learn from it. And so I think probably that interest of my own and that particular subject was the origin, one of many, of The Giver.
Q. How did you decide what Jonas should take on his journey?
A. Why does Jonas take what he does on his journey? He doesn't have much time when he sets out. He originally plans to make the trip farther along in time, and he plans to prepare for it better. But then, because of circumstances, he has to set out in a very hasty fashion. So what he chooses is out of necessity. He takes food because he needs to survive. He takes the bicycle because he needs to hurry and the bike is faster than legs. And he takes the baby because he is going out to create a future. And babies always represent the future in the same way children represent the future to adults. And so Jonas takes the baby so the baby's life will be saved, but he takes the baby also in order to begin again with a new life.
Q. When you wrote the ending, were you afraid some readers would want more details or did you want to leave the ending open to individual interpretation?
A. Many kids want a more specific ending to The Giver. Some write, or ask me when they see me, to spell it out exactly. And I don't do that. And the reason is because The Giver is many things to many different people. People bring to it their own complicated beliefs and hopes and dreams and fears and all of that. So I don't want to put my own feelings into it, my own beliefs, and ruin that for people who create their own endings in their minds.
Q. Is it an optimistic ending? Does Jonas survive?
A. I will say that I find it an optimistic ending. How could it not be an optimistic ending, a happy ending, when that house is there with its lights on and music is playing? So I'm always kind of surprised and disappointed when some people tell me that they think the boy and the baby just die. I don't think they die. What form their new life takes is something I like people to figure out for themselves. And each person will give it a different ending. I think they're out there somewhere and I think that their life has changed and their life is happy, and I would like to think that's true for the people they left behind as well.
Q. In what way is your book Gathering Blue a companion to The Giver?
A. Gathering Blue postulates a world of the future, as The Giver does. I simply created a different kind of world, one that had regressed instead of leaping forward technologically as the world of The Giver has. It was fascinating to explore the savagery of such a world. I began to feel that maybe it coexisted with Jonas's world . . . and that therefore Jonas could be a part of it in a tangential way. So there is a reference to a boy with light eyes at the end of Gathering Blue. He can be Jonas or not, as you wish.
Top Customer Reviews
An old woman lives with her dog, all by herself, in a two-story house. Unbeknownst to her, she is visited nightly (as are we all) by creatures that make us their business. In this particular case, two such creatures have visited the old woman. One is an old hand at the work they are going to do. The other is known simply as Littlest One. She is sprightly and curious and filled to brimming with questions. By night, these creatures gather the memories they find attached to objects around the home and create dreams out of them. These they bestow to the residents of the home. Only now, the old woman is taking in a foster child for a time. An angry eight-year-old boy with an abusive past and who's dark thoughts prove irresistible to the Sinisteeds.Read more ›
GOSSAMER tells the story of a group of mythical creatures (for lack of a better expression to describe them) who are responsible for the creation and distribution of dreams. After being assigned to various households by their leader, Most Ancient, the creatures settle into their roles as dreamweavers by acquainting themselves with objects in the house (photographs, articles of clothing, trinkets on a bureau) that contain significance and memories of the owners. After they have gathered enough meaningful fragments, the dream-givers combine them to create a story, or dream, to bestow onto the sleeping inhabitants. This process is, in fact, how dreams are born.
So, too, are nightmares created by the evil Hordes, who attempt to undo all the good that the dream-givers impart by banding together to flood their victims' subconscious with dark and stormy thoughts. If enough insidious nightmares are inflicted upon these sleeping individuals, their waking hours can become increasingly negative and damaging until they no longer can remember how to be happy and at peace.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yet another beautiful story from Lowis Lowry. If you are looking for a quick and intriguing read, this is a good one.
Book came in good quality as described.
The book may be good. I don't know because the copy sent to me began as a different book. By the time I gave the book to my son to read, the return time had expired. :(Published 1 month ago by janese carrigan
Just a beautiful story about dreams and how they can heal us. It really brought a smile to my face reading it.Published 1 month ago by Joseph Alnas
I am going to start rereading this as soon as done with this review. Now that's the Mark of a great book in my mind.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
What a sweet little story!! I loved it so much, it was magical! I wanted it to be longer! Littlest One is sweet and precocious, curious and hungry for life! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Elyse