Sep 25, 2009

Review | The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community.
When Jonas turns 12, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. Now, it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Thoughts: I know many people my age who have read The Giver, because it was assigned reading in junior high and high school. I heard of it in 6th grade from a fellow classmate and even though I was curious, I never read it. Anyways, I've heard from some that it's an okay book, and from others that its a great book.

One day the boyfriend, his best friend and I are hanging out. We make a quick trip to Target and while we wandered around, the boyfriends best friend walks away, and we find him later in the book section. He was looking around for a while, and finally decides to get The Giver. It's one of his favorite books, and he's read it fourteen times before(!). He's so excited about reading it (or maybe we've bored him) but he starts reading it right away, and just follows us around with his nose, literally, in the book. He read it twice that night. So I borrow it from him a few weeks later, and it takes me a while to get to it but finally I get to reading it.

This book is beautifully written, and deeply disturbing. It is a haunting story of what human-kind would have to do, and the sacrifices we would have to make in order to create and maintain a Utopian society.

I loved the authors writing style, the way the book deals with disturbing and complicated themes, but I thought it might be a little too complex and powerful for ten and eleven year old's. I found this book very hard to read, only because of the plot, how it develops into a painful experience through Jonas eyes, and the struggle that he goes through in the end. I found the ending very intense, and have heard different interpretations of what it means from a few friends.

I highly recommend this book to anyone 14+ because I'm not sure if many younger readers will appreciate or understand the emotional roller coaster this book puts you through, especially when its assigned reading at school.


  1. My oldest read it in school and loved it. Surprised me since he wasn't much of a reader.

  2. My teacher pulled this off the shelf for me when I was in fourth grade, even though it was in the sixth grade section. I devoured it, and it was my favorite book up until I read the Harry Potter books in seventh grade..

    For sure, the content is mature, but I think there's real value in handing a younger kid a challenging book like this, even if they don't totally get and appreciate all of it.

    I wonder what more I would take away from it if I read it now? Almost makes me want to go check it out, too... Thanks for the reminding me of one of my favorites :)

  3. The content is really mature, I agree with you there. This, I have to say, was a really good book. There's a LOT of crazy things happening and I just cannot believe what they do in the book.

    Fantastic review.