Title:  The Giver                              

Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: Science Fiction, Utopian Fiction

Pages: 179

Ages: 11-17

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin,  Dell Laurel Leaf

Awards:  1994 Newberry Medal, ALA Notable Children's Book, 1994 Regina Medal, Booklist Editor's Choice, and more.

Why Did I Choose It?  It's on my list of Newberry Medal Books to read and I've been told it remains a much-loved book by middle and high school students even twenty years after publication and winning the Newberry Medal.

A Bit From The Back Cover:  Jonas's 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 twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from the Giver.  The Giver alone holds the memories of true pain and pleasure of life.  Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth.  There is no turning back.

Review: There's a reason The Giver has sold more than ten million copies. It is said that Lois Lowry is known for her  versatility and invention as a writer.  This book certainly covers versatility and invention.  I was totally mesmerized. Jonas's world is perfect....or is it?  While Jonas lives in what may be seen as a futuristic society that does not experience hatred, war or fear or even hunger and pain, neither do they experience color, love and other necessities of emotion or life experiences necessary to know true joy. Jonas learns the importance of memory, truth and love and what it actually means for someone to 'be released' from his community.  At first, Jonas tries to convince himself that experiencing love is dangerous, but brings himself to find the courage to face that fear to save another child, an infant. It is an eye-opening tale that brings to the surface many things we take for granted or wish did not exist and what would happen if those things did not exist. I would highly recommend this book to any middle or high school age child. I would caution that it is a 'heavy' read for emotionally sensitive children and those youth should wait for a higher age to read it.

Other Books By This Author: Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son, All About Sam, The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline, Number the Stars, and more.