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The Giver (Giver Quartet, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Lois Lowry
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8,046 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

This ebook includes a sample chapter of sequel Gathering Blue.

Books In This Series (4 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews Review

    A Sneak Peek of THE GIVER, in theaters August 15.
    Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgard star as Jonas’ mother and father in THE GIVER.
    View larger
    The Giver (Jeff Bridges) and Rosemary (Taylor Swift) reflect on the memory of music in THE GIVER.
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    Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) shares his new-found knowledge with Fiona (Odeya Rush) in THE GIVER.
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    The Giver (Jeff Bridges) describes the world beyond their community to Jonas (Brenton Thwaites).
    View larger
    Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) and baby Gabriel escape their community in THE GIVER.
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    The Giver (Jeff Bridges) prepares Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) to receive memories of the past.
    View larger

    From Publishers Weekly

    In the "ideal" world into which Jonas was born, everybody has sensibly agreed that well-matched married couples will raise exactly two offspring, one boy and one girl. These children's adolescent sexual impulses will be stifled with specially prescribed drugs; at age 12 they will receive an appropriate career assignment, sensibly chosen by the community's Elders. This is a world in which the old live in group homes and are "released"--to great celebration--at the proper time; the few infants who do not develop according to schedule are also "released," but with no fanfare. Lowry's development of this civilization is so deft that her readers, like the community's citizens, will be easily seduced by the chimera of this ordered, pain-free society. Until the time that Jonah begins training for his job assignment--the rigorous and prestigious position of Receiver of Memory--he, too, is a complacent model citizen. But as his near-mystical training progresses, and he is weighed down and enriched with society's collective memories of a world as stimulating as it was flawed, Jonas grows increasingly aware of the hypocrisy that rules his world. With a storyline that hints at Christian allegory and an eerie futuristic setting, this intriguing novel calls to mind John Christopher's Tripods trilogy and Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl. Lowry is once again in top form--raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers. Ages 12-14.
    Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 3737 KB
    • Print Length: 204 pages
    • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Rep Mti edition (April 26, 1993)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003MC5N28
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    1,031 of 1,073 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, thoughtful read October 22, 2001
    Jonas lives in a "perfect" world where war, disease, and suffering have all been eradicated. Everything is in order; everything is under control. The people have no worries or cares. The Community strives for "sameness," in which everyone and everything are the same and equal. To help the Community function as a cohesive unit, each member is assigned a position in society. When Jonas turns twelve, the Community selects him to be the new "Receiver of Memories." Only the "Giver" knows the truth and memories of the past, and now he must pass these memories on to Jonas.

    The Giver is a wonderful book. Lois Lowry skillfully crafted an intriguing and profoundly thoughtful story. She subtly creates an uneasy feeling that something is wrong with this "perfect world." The Community's advisors intend to establish security within utopian society, but they really establish a stifling dystopia. To protect people from the risks of making poor or wrong decisions in life, the advisors plan and dictate the lives of the people. In effect, the citizens have no freedom of choice; they do not choose their job or even their spouse. Moreover, the advisors inhibit the people's ability to feel because they want to spare them from the hardships and pain of life. For instance, individuals must take a pill everyday, which suppresses passionate feelings. The citizens do not know or experience true emotions like love. One of the goals of the Community is to achieve "sameness" so that no one feels embarrassed or gets excluded for being different. However, this limits individuality and freedom of expression because everyone conforms to a certain desired image.
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    473 of 508 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars What Will We Give? April 4, 2001
    Jonas, an Eleven when THE GIVER opens, lives in a Community where everything is meticulously ordered: houses look alike, people dress alike, each family unit includes a father and a mother (who can apply for one male and one female child). Children begin their volunteer hours when they are Eights, and the Committee of Elders assigns them their roles in the Community at the Ceremony of Twelves. Because the people have chosen Sameness, nothing in their Community is unexpected, inconvenient, or unusual. They have no hills, no color, no cold, no sunshine. Their feelings are only superficial; their memories encompass only one generation. Pain is relieved instantly by taking a pill. They have abdicated choices.
    The Receiver of Memory holds the position of highest honor within the Community, serving as the repository for the memories and knowledge of generations. Whenever the Committee of Elders are faced with a new situation, they are able to seek the counsel and advice of the Receiver. They have the benefit of experience without having to bear its pain.
    Because of his intelligence, integrity, courage, wisdom, and Capacity to See Beyond, Jonas is selected to be the next Receiver of Memory. The current Receiver, who has held the position for decades, then becomes the Giver.
    Ms. Lowry paints a vivid picture of this Community. Referring to everyday concepts in a slightly unusual way helps to set that society apart from our own. Babies younger than one year are called "newchildren," for example; children of the same age are "groupmates"; the elderly, the unhealthy, or those who have broken the rules three times may be "released."
    Why might parents or teachers consider THE GIVER inappropriate for their children?
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    269 of 314 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Suspensful Plot and Awesome Theme March 3, 2000
    In a community that is all the same lives Jonas, who discovers he is very different. Jonas is the main character in the book The Giver, my favorite book. I loved The Giver because the plot was very creative, the theme was magnificent, and the setting was vivid. I think you should read this book for many reasons. The theme of this book is clearly represented: freedom, the right to make your own choices, uniqueness, and individuality are worth dying for. In Jonas's community, a commitee selects one's job, war is unheard of, all people wear the same attire, and all are assigned spouses and families. When Jonas is given the special, wonder-filled occupation of becoming the Receiver of Memory, he finds that there is much more to life. Through his task of becoming the Receiver of Memory, he discovers the meaning of love, pain, frustration, color, and cold. That is when Jonas realizes how much more there really is. Life soon becomes overwhelmingly unbearable in his world of "sameness." He finds life isn't worth living without the qualities (often that we take for granted) he discovered. That is when Jonas goes on a dangerous journey to find a land that is different. The setting in this book made it quite a pleasure. Everything in the community was predictable and pre-planned. The housing units were all the same. There were designated spots for everything. The setting helped develop the plot and theme. The mysterious ending leaves one filled with curiousity and wonder. The book, The Giver, by Lois Lowry is guaranteed enjoyment, especially for someone who likes a good theme and plot that ties in with the setting. I loved the boook The Giver, and I truly believe that everybody should read it!
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me up late
    This is a book I think is meant for reading in one session, I enjoyed it. It is well written.
    Published 4 hours ago by Pam Owen
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    the ending left me hanging, no sliding
    Published 19 hours ago by Theresa M
    5.0 out of 5 stars Liked reading this so much I went out and bought ...
    Liked reading this so much I went out and bought the quartet after I finished this one. This book really makes you think... Read more
    Published 23 hours ago by Amazon Customer
    3.0 out of 5 stars A failure of math
    Other reviews have said so much that there seems little to add. A haunting distopia.

    But one question I would ask is this: Is it some kind of rule that writers of... Read more
    Published 1 day ago by Von
    5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and thought provoking.
    Really enjoyed this book. Lowery draws you in with enough detail and story and then leaves you wanting more. Read more
    Published 1 day ago by D. Mongin
    5.0 out of 5 stars This was a great story. I couldn't put it down
    This was a great story. I couldn't put it down. So I have to give it 5 stars. But be are going to get reeeeeally into this book...and just ends. Read more
    Published 1 day ago by RLane
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very Good product, thanks
    Juan Carlos
    Published 1 day ago by Juan C. Borrego
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    This book is very puts a twist on reality.
    Published 1 day ago by jlh
    5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
    ougstanding wonderfull jaw dropper loved it perfect nice clofhanger great story i liked it lotts so good and outstanding you wil stsy up reading it all night
    Published 2 days ago by Amy Clark
    5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it.
    I've always heard of this book, but never read it. Now I have and it was interesting to believe you had no choices or feelings of any sort ever. Read more
    Published 2 days ago by Veronica Swimmer
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    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 

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    Topic From this Discussion
    Is The Giver appropriate for a class of 10-year-olds?
    I'm the author of the book---and based on what I've heard from hundreds of teachers over the years since The Giver's publication, it is most effectively used with kids 12-15 years old. With that age group it seems to provoke vigorous discussion, debate, and a good deal of thought about the issues... Read More
    Jan 25, 2009 by Booklover |  See all 74 posts
    For teachers: What is attractive about this book for adolescents?
    from a K-12 librarian......defying authority and supporting what is right attracts kids, the discussions on MANY subjects that this book has sparked......these themes never age....the sacrifices that Jonas made are a lot to ask of a kid....
    ps- parents had this excellent book pulled from my... Read More
    Mar 22, 2010 by M. Fuka |  See all 3 posts
    Need something besides The Giver
    If your students are good readers and unintimidated by unfamiliar vocabulary, then you might try That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. It would be an interesting follow up for students who are wondering just how Jonas's community got to be the way it is. The Giver depicts the end results of a... Read More
    May 30, 2013 by Alicia Adams |  See all 5 posts
    Jonas and Gabriel? (probably Messenger spoilers)
    Read the rest of the trilogy ("The Messenger" and "Gathering Blue") to find your answer. Be prepared to inference.
    Sep 26, 2010 by Rosie |  See all 3 posts
    Good Book
    All I got from this book was that if you can't accept living within the social norm- refuse to conform- you will die.
    Mar 29, 2011 by S. Lindstrom |  See all 4 posts
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