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The Giver by Lois Lowry

I’ve heard numerous things about The Giver over the course of my 23 years. But I’ve never been persuaded enough to read it. I first discovered it in the library at my elementary school. It was one of those books that “You must read” if you’re a reader, and so I never wished to read it.

So why did I finally read it?

I have to teach it. Thankfully, it’s not one of those awful books that are forced down students’ throats. In fact, I kind of liked it. I’m not saying it was brilliant, but it was definitely different and startling.

The themes, plot, and characterization reminded me a lot of Divergent, The Hunger Games, and other YA dystopian novels. It also reminded me of the 90s movie version of Merlin…probably because I envisioned the old Giver as the old Merlin who tells the audience the tale of Arthur and the beginning of a civilized land.

If I had to rate Lois Lowry’s most famous work, I’d give it a 3 out of 5…maybe a 3.5 in some aspects, especially the ending. I didn’t see it coming.


4 responses »

  1. Hmmm. I haven’t read this one yet (just read the blurb on Amazon) and I like it when the ending is a surprise. Maybe I will check it out.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Interesting. I really loved The Giver when I read it. Of course, I read it for the first time when I was in the 3rd grade, so it is permanently tied to my childhood. I felt it was somehow better than the Hunger Games (which I am a big fan of) and possibly darker. After all, The Giver is presented as a perfect society which I think makes the entire book all the more disturbing.

    • I definitely agree that The Giver is darker. After all, the Capitol never hides what it’s doing from its citizens, but the community in The Giver does. I think I equated The Giver with The Hunger Games because many utopian-described countries turn out to be dystopias. One could also equate The Giver with 1984 in this regard. Really, they’re very much the same…hmmm. Never really thought about that.


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