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The Giver (Giver Quartet) [Kindle Edition]

Lois Lowry
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,395 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.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

From Publishers Weekly

Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal, this thought-provoking novel centers on a 12-year-old boy's gradual disillusionment with an outwardly utopian futuristic society; in a starred review, PW said, "Lowry is once again in top form... unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers." Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
720 of 747 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, thoughtful read October 22, 2001
Format:Paperback
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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331 of 354 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Will We Give? April 4, 2001
Format:Paperback
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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201 of 235 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspensful Plot and Awesome Theme March 3, 2000
Format:Hardcover
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 LOVED it, although
LOVED it, although... I would have given it 5 starts, but was disappointed that in order to know the whole story, you have to read all 4 books! Read more
Published 55 minutes ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I loved it except for the ending
Published 3 hours ago by Amber Caron
5.0 out of 5 stars classic good book
I love distopian novels. This is the second time I've read this book and still love it. My older brother recommended it to me when I was about 12 when I first read it. Read more
Published 8 hours ago by Jperr
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I will never forget
Great storytelling. Beautifully written. I first read it in 6th grade and just finished it now at 30. I loved it then and I loved it now.
Published 11 hours ago by Kayle Neeley
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian for kids. A good read.
I read The Giver as a buddy read with my son. I'm trying to get him to read more and I thought me reading a book with him would motivate him more and keep him honest. Lol. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by Angie IsA ReadingMachine
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing
I honestly really love this book. In my short life I've realized that i read a lot, yet I've failed to come across a book such as this one. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Isabela aguilar lasky
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think...
Favorite quotes from the book:

"...We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with differences." He thought for a moment. Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Jennifer
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing premise
I enjoyed the Giver and look forward to reading more. What would happen if we were all surrounded by "sameness"?
Published 1 day ago by saraht16
5.0 out of 5 stars The Giver....
I am going to a new school this year and one of the requirements was I had to read a certain amount of books... One of the books was The Giver... Read more
Published 1 day ago by E. Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing but sad
I started reading this for school and my mom told me I would like it, but I didn't realize how horribly sad it was! I love little Gabriel. thanks Lois Lowry!
Published 1 day ago by John Bridges
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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 www.loislowry.com

author interview
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.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#10 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#5 in Books > Teens
#10 in Books
#10 in Kindle eBooks
#5 in Books > Teens
#10 in Books
#10 in Kindle eBooks

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Is The Giver appropriate for a class of 10-year-olds?
I have to say, as a 38.5 year old (with a 7 y child), that images from this book are still haunting me - suicide, killing a newborn, the intent to kill an infant, an adult deliberately, repeatedly, hurting a 3 year old, and the final struggle for survival that is left unresolved. I can't imagine... Read More
Jan 21, 2009 by Nirit |  See all 67 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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