"Well..." Jonas had to stop and think it through. "If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! ..." -From The Giver, page 97-
Jonas lives in a Utopian society where everything is managed and everything is safe - a world without color, or music, or even love. The year Jonas turns twelve, he is selected to become the Receiver of Memory...and as his training progresses, life for Jonas forever changes.
The Giver is a book about keeping the world we live in safe and sanitary vs. the value of freedom...and ultimately about the power of hope and faith. Lowry's writing is rich and provocative and stimulates the reader to think about what is truly important in our lives. This is children's literature at its best. Through the power of simple language, a tightly woven plot, and characters who come to reside within the reader's heart, Lowry makes us take notice of our world and to appreciate the simple things we often take for granted.
Lowry won a number of awards and accolades for this slim volume - not the least of which was the Newbery Medal in 1994. The Giver is worthy of this prestigious award.
Highly recommended for children aged nine to 100 years old; rated 4.5/5.
Why Was It Banned?
The Giver is one of the most frequently challenged and banned books in middle schools across America. It has been referred to as "the suicide" book by some groups because it portrays a Utopian society that relies on euthanasia and suicide to create the perfect community. Read this article published in 2001 by USA Today. Despite the controversy, this is a beautifully written and conceived book. My view was that rather than support euthanasia and suicide, it shows the horror and devastating results of those acts. This is a great book for parents to discuss with their children.