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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449014460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449014462
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (916 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up-Those frustrated over the ambiguous ending of Lowry's The Giver (1993) will be thrilled with the conclusion (2012, both Houghton Mifflin) to the quartet. Listeners are brought full circle, returning to the fate of Gabriel, the little baby saved from "release" by Jonas. The story begins with Claire, who emerges from unconsciousness following a difficult birth to find that her child (or product) has been cut from her, and she has been "decertified." In the haste to get her to a new assignment, no one has bothered to supply her with the pills that everyone must take to keep them from feeling things. Claire develops an intense longing to find her son, leading her on a daunting and epic journey that weaves together the worlds and characters of the first three novels. Bernadette Dunne's whispery voice is perfectly suited to this dramatic, satisfying tale. Whether portraying the naive 14-year-old Claire or the evil Trademaster, Dunne captures the very essence of the characters. Lowry has again created a powerful tale rich with themes like sacrifice, loss, the importance of memory, and the restorative power of empathy that will elicit exciting classroom discussions. A must-have for all libraries with audio collections.-Lisa Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.


Praise for THE GIVER: "The Giver, a powerful and provocative novel, is sure to keep older children reading and thinking." New York Times "Lowry is once again in top form - raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers." Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader.s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association.s Children.s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at

author interview

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.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#49 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#9 in Books > Teens
#44 in Kindle eBooks
#49 in Books
#9 in Books > Teens
#44 in Kindle eBooks
#49 in Books

Customer Reviews

The story is so well written.
Robin King
This last book of the series tied up the loose ends.
I read all 4 books in the series in about a week.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 95 people found the following review helpful By E.B. Bristol VINE VOICE on August 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While I was thrilled to see "The Son" by Lois Lowry, the final book in the "Giver" series available through Vine, I also felt guilty, having rated "The Messenger" more harshly than it perhaps deserved, having believed all along that the series was a trilogy, not a quartet. It didn't really explain what happened to Gabe, whose fate was left ambiguous in the first book. So that was one question I thought would remain a mystery.

"The Son" starts with the birth of a "Product" to a fourteen-year-old girl named Claire, who has been chosen as Birthmother in the same community where Jonas originally lived. Something goes drastically wrong, and although the child survives, Claire is left sterile, and relegated to a dull job at the Fish Hatchery. She's also left in the dark as to what has happened, having been blindfolded throughout the procedure. None of her fellow community members can offer any enlightenment and do not share Claire's maternal yearnings (or any type of passion). (Fans of "The Giver" will easily figure out why Claire is different.) As a result, she is somewhat alienated but very determined to see her son again.

From the hatchery, Claire gets a chance to view the incoming ships and a taste of what a different community might be like. She also begins volunteering at the center where the "newchildren" are and becomes friendly with Jonas' father, who works as a nurturer there. As she figures out that Gabe (or the fractious young "Number Thirty-Six") is indeed her son, the series reader is on familiar territory and knows ahead of time what's going to happen.
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90 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Amara VINE VOICE on August 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like so many others, I loved "The Giver". I finished reading it and started right out reading it again, something I have done with almost no other book in my life. I felt like it was a near perfect book. I eagerly read "Gathering Blue" and "Messenger" and was rather disappointed with both of them. They contained good enough reading, but felt far more ordinary than The Giver---like books that had been written before about fairly primitive societies with mild supernatural elements. They didn't have the stunning oddness of the society in The Giver. I had high hopes that Son would loop back to where it all started and revisit that world.

"Son" does indeed start in the same society as "The Giver", but it is set during the same time period as the first book, and in a lot of ways, simply retells that story from a different perspective. The story then moves to a new society, a seaside world set at the edge of a cliff seperating it from the rest of the world, and then to the world of "Messenger". The story follows Claire, a birthmother from the Giver society, on a quest. I won't give away any plot points, but the book works to tie everything up, and in a lot of ways, it does. However, in the ways I truly wanted, it didn't. We really have no more idea than when we started as to the whys of it all. How did this world come to be, split in small odd societies? How did the strange world of The Giver get planned and started? Why is technology so different in each world? Most of all, I would just like to find out more about Jonas and Claire's original home, the planned, sterile world of The Giver.

The writing is skilled here, and the emotions portrayed are dramatic.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David Becker Jr. on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Before I begin, allow me to say that I read an advance copy, so there may be changes to what this final book became. No matter the changes, it is clear the direction that this book was going. And it is a disappointing end to this series, one whose quality declined with each successive book.

The Giver itself, of course, is wonderful. It is everything that young adult fiction should be, from start to finish. Even now, with technology being what it is, the book holds up perfectly well and will probably hold up for a great deal longer. If you've read Lowry's acceptance speech for the Newbery Award for The Giver, you know how much of her life went into this book. It shows. It's crafted, with precision. I enjoy The Hunger Games series, but they're about as far apart as possible while both still being Young Adult fiction. I get the sense of time spent with The Giver, and it's both in how the book was written and how it is presented. Watching Jonas digest his world in the bits and pieces he is fed by the Giver is spellbinding.

Lowry's acceptance speech in 1994 has always bothered me, however. Her insistence that she won't tell you the true ending ("There isn't one," she says. "There's a right one for each of us, and it depends on our own beliefs, our own hopes.") of course was eliminated with the two previous sequels, Gathering Blue and The Messenger. We know what happened at the end of The Giver, or at least what did NOT happen. A great deal of guesswork was eliminated, and that flies in the face of that first book and what ending was published. We actually DO know what happened with Gabriel and Jonas on that sled at the end of the Giver.
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