When members of this society "don't fit"—for a baby, this includes not sleeping through the night, for an adult, growing too old or breaking the society's rules—they are "released" into Elsewhere, which is not as idyllic as it seems. There is no color in this world, as it causes problems.Everyone is given pills upon their first "Stirrings," or feelings of sexuality; all marriages are arranged, and new babies are born only by selected Birth Mothers (à la Jonas, a boy who has rare pale eyes in his community of dark-eyed people (The Giver, along with several other key characters have these eyes: Could they all be related?It's such a good argument for things I'm not good at, elegance and brevity, for example.Jen: The most dramatic, oh-my-God moment for me was learning that Jonas' dad was not the nurturing, sweet caregiver to infants we thought he was.He's nervous, and he has reason to be: The job he's given is unprecedented, at least in recent memory.He is chosen to be "The Receiver," which means that the former Receiver, now The Giver, will pass him all of the memories he holds for the society.(Note: Spoilers do follow, so if that sort of thing bothers you, make sure to read the book first.) The main character of the book is Jonas, a boy who, at the beginning, is on the verge of turning 12.
Written by Lois Lowry, author of such popular kids books as the , it was published in 1994 and went on to win that year's Newbery Medal.Following in a tradition of deftly wrought dystopian societies like that in , and introduces ideas built upon by many writers who've followed.It's a spare book, less than 200 pages, and can be read in an afternoon, but you'll think about its messages for far longer.But recently I was talking to a group of school kids, a class of 5th graders, and we got to the subject of endings, what makes them satisfying or not.
Someone brought up , and there was just this clamor. Lois Lowry did the keynote speech for BEA this year, though, and in her keynote speech, she says Gabriel is the main character in her fourth piece, think happened?
This book is required school reading for most kids of a certain age, despite (or maybe because of) those banned booklist challenges.