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Messenger (Readers Circle) Paperback – August 22, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up-Matty, who has lived in Village with the blind Seer since running away from an abusive childhood, is looking forward to receiving his true name, which he hopes will be Messenger. But he is deeply unsettled by what is going on. He has discovered his own power to heal others and learned of disturbing changes within his community. Under the gentle guidance of Leader, who arrived in Village on a red sled as a young boy and who has the power of Seeing Beyond, the citizens have always welcomed newcomers, especially those who are disabled. But a sinister force is at work, which has prompted them to close admission to outsiders. Also, it seems that Matty's beloved Mentor has been trading away parts of his inner self in order to become more attractive to Stocktender's widow. When the date for the close of the border is decided, Matty must make one more trip through the increasingly sinister Forest to bring back Seer's daughter, the gifted weaver Kira. On the return journey, Matty must decide if he should use his healing but self-destructive power to reverse the inexorable decline of Forest, Village, and its people. While readers may be left mystified as to what is behind the dramatic change in Village, Lowry's skillful writing imbues the story with a strong sense of foreboding, and her descriptions of the encroaching Forest are particularly vivid and terrifying. The gifted young people, introduced in The Giver(1993) and Gathering Blue (2000, both Houghton), are brought together in a gripping final scene, and the shocking conclusion without benefit of denouement is bound to spark much discussion and debate.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Gr. 6-10. Like Lowry's hugely popular Newbery winner, The Giver (1993), this story dramatizes ideas of utopia gone wrong and focuses on a young person who must save his world. Teenage Matty lives with his caregiver in the Village, a place of refuge, where those fleeing poverty and persecution are welcomed with kindness and find a home. But the Village people are changing, and many have voted to build a wall to keep the newcomers out. The metaphor of the wall and the rage against immigrants ("They can't even speak right") will certainly reach out to today's news images for many readers. But Lowry moves far beyond message, writing with a beautiful simplicity rooted in political fable, in warm domestic detail, and in a wild natural world, just on the edge of realism. Matty lives with his blind caregiver, Seer. Both of them were driven from home and nearly perished. The drama is in their affection; in the small details of how they cook, care for their puppy, and tease one another. Matty teases Seer about his blindness, even though they both know Seer sees more than most. In contrast is the terror of Matty's secret powers and the perilous journey he must undertake to save the Village. The physical immediacy of his quest through a dark forest turned hostile brings the myth very close and builds suspense to the last heart-wrenching page. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
1) It does help to have read the Giver and Gathering Blue. If you have, some of the offhand references have a lot more power. It's wonderful to meet up with Jonas (here called Leader) and Kira again, and see that their worlds coexisted. It's also increasingly clear that this is definitely our own world in the future, for not only do they share some place names (in Gathering Blue) but there are references to Moby Dick and to Shakespeare. So it's not "like" Earth, it is Earth.
2) A society defined by how inclusive it is of outsiders is a great idea! so it was nice to make that a defining issue, since if you've read The Giver, you know firsthand how it is that people have a place to go.
3) But there are a lot of loopholes. If it is our world, how did it become so full of magic? The forest has a spirit all its own. This is an issue in the previous two books but it seems larger here. And:
a. who is the mysterious Trade Master? What's in this for him? Why is Trade bad, but market day not... do they have a currency they were using?
b. what has happened to the old society of Jonas'-- we know he got books... but I wanted to know more. it seems odd that he thinks about his sister, but not his brother. Unless his brother is referred to somewhere in the book by a True Name and I just missed it-- where the heck is Gabe?
These questions leave you wanting yet one more sequel! and that's all right with me, because I'm a fan of Lowry's-- may she go on writing these!
Raises some interesting philosophical questions, like the previous two, so I imagine it would be a good one to read with kids (I'm an adult).
Matty has been traveling back and forth through the forest to deliver messages. But the forest is changing, taking on a dark side, becoming alive with dark force that has affected some of the villagers who "trade the parts of inner self". It's not the same Village anymore - it no longer welcomes the newcomers. The village people vote to build a wall to keep the newcomers out; the vote prevails, and Leader of the Village has to give in.
Matty is changing as well, his change is new to him - he feels the healing power grow within him, the power he is not completely aware of yet. The boy decides to set on his last quest through the dark forest to bring Kira, the Seer's daughter, before the villagers finish building the wall. His trip trough the hostile forest turns out to be a life-threatening experience for both of them, and the price must be paid...
"Messenger" is a book about the utopia gone wrong. It's full of powerful metaphors that blend in with a great work of fiction.
Author of "Power of Plentiful Wisdom". Available on Amazon.
You may remember Matty from "Gathering Blue". Once a dirty gamin with a faithful pup and a dislike of baths, Matty has joined a wonderful community. In a world where deformity and dissent are punishable by death, a town has arisen that takes in and heals all people in need. Matty has lived with his blind guardian there for years and the two have grown comfortable together. Unfortunately, something terrible is happening to the town. People have begun to trade the deepest depths of their souls in exchange for less important objects and qualities. There is a growing movement amongst the townsfolk to no longer bring in any outsiders in need. Greed is devouring the good of the land, and this evil is reflected in the town's nearby forest. Suddenly Matty is sent on a journey of unknown peril to fetch his guardian's true daughter and bring her safely into the town. Worse still, the forest is preparing to destroy them.
Like the previous books in the trilogy, "Messenger" has a straightforward writing style that's appealing to read. This book is part post-apocalyptic, part out-and-out fantasy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was forced to read The Giver in middle school and I grew to love it. I later discovered Gathering Blue and only recently found Messenger and Son. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Tay-tay
I am really diggin’ this series you guys. Each book has its own sinister twist in it that leaves you on the edge of your seat until the end. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bookish Beauty
This seller is awesome. The book was in great condition and was an excellent read. The seller shipped it to me in a very timely manner. I highly recommend it.Published 1 month ago by Danielle
Unable to put it down. Mesmerizing, reaches back to former characters and ties the other books together. Will reccomend gladly.Published 1 month ago by Ellen