Friday, July 21, 2006

The Giver by Lois Lowry

What a great book! Targeted at young adults, it's about a young boy in a utopian society. This is, I think, the third time I've read it (for a book club this time), and it was still good. Some of the surprises were still chilling and horrific, even when I knew what was coming, or maybe partly because I did know what was coming.

There are apparently a couple of companion books to this one, not exactly sequels but somehow associated. They are Messenger and Gathering Blue. I'm looking forward to reading them, especially after an article in Reason magazine recently, which was about children's literature with libertarian themes.

5 comments:

  1. Mom listened to this on her trip to Utah. She loved it, but agreed that it was probably wasted on Justin cuz he's too young (fifth grade). Why don't teachers think of that? I don't think they even discussed it much in class, which is pretty dumb since, with these kids being "too young" for the book, they needed extra discussion. I have discussed it with him some, though. He still says he didn't like the book. I believe his turning point (from liking to NOT liking the book) was when he read about Jonah's dad "releasing" the smaller of the twin babies. I don't blame Justin. A great book, but for an older youth or for adults.

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  2. It's crazy to have fifth graders read The Giver and then not discuss it with them. It really is way too serious for that age, unless you want to also talk about why Nazis did what they did to Jews and how they justified it. That's one way you could look at parts of The Giver. Justin might like The White Mountains series by John Christopher. There's a trilogy that starts with The White Mountains and a prequel called When the Tripods Came. It's about a future society when aliens have invaded earth and control people's minds after a certain age. The main character figures out what's going on before he reaches that age and tries to escape. Jon read it when he was young, and we both ready it recently (as adults, anyway, which is to say, not that recently). They are full of adventure but also address some of the themes commonly addressed by books that describe societies that seem perfect.

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  3. We are reading this for our next book club book in September.

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  4. this book is great! I'm only a 5th grader and I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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