THE GIVER by Lois Lowry

THE GIVER

From the "Giver Quartet" series, volume 1
Age Range: 12 - 16

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a radical departure from her realistic fiction and comic chronicles of Anastasia, Lowry creates a chilling, tightly controlled future society where all controversy, pain, and choice have been expunged, each childhood year has its privileges and responsibilities, and family members are selected for compatibility. As Jonas approaches the "Ceremony of Twelve," he wonders what his adult "Assignment" will be. Father, a "Nurturer," cares for "newchildren"; Mother works in the "Department of Justice"; but Jonas's admitted talents suggest no particular calling. In the event, he is named "Receiver," to replace an Elder with a unique function: holding the community's memories--painful, troubling, or prone to lead (like love) to disorder; the Elder ("The Giver") now begins to transfer these memories to Jonas. The process is deeply disturbing; for the first time, Jonas learns about ordinary things like color, the sun, snow, and mountains, as well as love, war, and death: the ceremony known as "release" is revealed to be murder. Horrified, Jonas plots escape to "Elsewhere," a step he believes will return the memories to all the people, but his timing is upset by a decision to release a newchild he has come to love. Ill-equipped, Jonas sets out with the baby on a desperate journey whose enigmatic conclusion resonates with allegory: Jonas may be a Christ figure, but the contrasts here with Christian symbols are also intriguing. Wrought with admirable skill--the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-64566-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1993




MORE BY LOIS LOWRY

ChildrenGOONEY BIRD AND ALL HER CHARMS by Lois Lowry
by Lois Lowry
ChildrenSON by Lois Lowry
by Lois Lowry
ChildrenGOONEY BIRD ON THE MAP by Lois Lowry
by Lois Lowry

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman
by Peggy Eddleman
IndieSHATTERED VEIL by Tracy E. Banghart
by Tracy E. Banghart
ChildrenTHE GLASS SENTENCE by S.E. Grove
by S.E. Grove