Monday, July 21, 2014

The Giver

While browsing the book aisle at Walmart the other day I came across this book, The Giver. I had seen some trailers for the soon to be released movie and thought I would pick it up to read. It is a Newberry Medal winner so I thought it had possibilities.:)

I have to say that I found it hard to put this book down once I started reading it.  Written in 1993, it is a dystopian novel about a world of Sameness.  Jonas, the main character is an 11 year old boy who lives in a society where sameness is valued and everyone is supposed to be content with their lot.  Each family unit has been thoughtfully put together. Arranged marriages between a man and a woman are the norm. If they choose to have a child they must petition for one and after careful consideration they are given one boy and one girl.  Once the children are adults, the parents are sent to live with the child less adults. When they are old, they go to live with the older adults until they are released.  And here is where the reader begins to see that eugenics plays a large part in this society.

At 12 years old the children are Chosen for their future jobs in the society. Jonas is chosen to replace The Receiver.  The Receiver holds all the memories from history so that these memories do not "disturb" the larger population.  As Jonas begins to receive the memories from The Giver, he thinks that people should have choices in their lives and he begins to question his whole world view. I will warn you that the ending is ambiguous as the writer hopes each person will formulate their own ending. If you are like me, that is not good enough. I had to google the ending and found some answers in other reviews of this book.

This book gives the reader much to think about and I like those kinds of books. The only problem I have with this book is that I think it is not really age appropriate for sixth graders who are the target audience. I know if I had a sixth grader who was reading this book, I would want to read it with them and discuss the plotline.  The Giver can be very disturbing to those who are sensitive.

After reading the book, I plan to see the movie which will be released in August. Let's just hope Released in movie talk does not mean the same thing as it does in The Giver parlance.


Anonymous said...

I am not familiar with this book or upcoming movie. I do like a book that is hard to put down. Thanks for the review. Have a good Monday.

Arlene Grimm said...

I read this one in a day Mildred! I may read more in this trilogy. However, the trilogy is not a continuation of this book but more about dystopian societies.

Terri D. said...

Kind of like finding out, at the end, what Soylent Green really is. Seems like a similar story-line.

Dewilla Hooper said...

The Giver is a Newbery Award winner for children's literature. I love all of the award winners, and I have a collection of them from the first one given in 1922 up to the present day. You should try reading some of them. The book called "Hitty: Her First Hundred Years" is one of my favorites. It is about a doll who travels to many places during her 'lifetime'. Here is a link to the Newbery site.