Monday, June 05, 2006


The Giver, Lois Lowry, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993, 179 pp

Lois Lowry is an award winning author but I had never read her before. She won a Newbury Award for this book and while it is considered to be Young Adult fiction, The Giver is fine for full adults as well. It is a great story,

Jonas is about to turn twelve, on which day he will learn what his life's work will be. This will be assigned to him, because Jonas lives in a Community where everything is planned, where there is no war, no hunger or poverty, just peace and security and predictability.

But Jonas has been assigned to become the next Giver. The Giver is a person who holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. In the Community, which you learn along with Jonas, there is only "sameness". There is not even color. There is medication for the slightest pain. Certain women have the babies, which are assigned to families, but only two per family.

So Jonas begins his training with the current Giver and learns the truth about life. In the end, he makes a choice, using what he has learned. He has never had a choice before because no in the community does. His choice will change everything.

The way that Lowry reveals the Community and its set-up is brilliant. Jonas is a fine hero. What a book!


  1. It really makes you think, doesn't it? I'd already read the Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 dystopias where the government tries to victimize it's people. Then you see those books, like The Giver and even Brave New World, where the idea is to make people happy (although the authors found polar opposite ways for it to be done) and how badly it can turn out.

  2. Hi piksea,

    Nice to hear from you again! You know, the more I read, the more I come to realize that utopia is a good dream to have but probably not an actual option here in the dualistic material universe.

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