The Giver

I’ve just finished the first book in my Book Awards Reading Challenge, The Giver. The Giver is a children’s book, written for kids about Maya’s age (aka, probably found in the young adult section in the library), and it won the Newbery Medal in 1994. The Giver is sort of science fiction, set in the future, and at first appears to be a Utopian setting. The main character is Jonas, a 12-year old boy. At the age of 12, children learn what their careers are going to be. A group of elders watches them for a couple of years prior to them turning 12, while they volunteer throughout the community, so that the elders can see where the childrens’ interests and skills lie. Jonas is selected for a very rare role, that of the Receiver of Memory. In this Utopian society, memories have been lost to most of the population. Children only have contact with their parents until they grow up and move out, and thus there are no stories handed down, no grandparents, no history. The elders know that some wisdom comes from knowing what happened before, however, so they keep the Receiver of Memories around, so they can ask him or her for advice when something new happens, something that they haven’t dealt with before. The Receiver of Memories has memories going back to perhaps the beginning of time, memories of starvation, war, disease, happiness, joy, love, holidays, everything.

I could go on and tell you more, but I don’t want to ruin the story for you. This was an excellent book, a quick, easy read, and one that I would recommend to anyone.

13 thoughts on “The Giver

  1. If I am not mistaken, my daughter had to read this book in Grade 7 or 8 and I remember she was so taken with the book that she read almost everything else the author had written…I must get around to reading this book soon.

  2. I liked the book. Mama, you forgot to mention that the parents aren’t really the children’s parents…:)

  3. I remember loving this book when I read it.
    I like the idea of picking up the occasional young adult book to read again as an adult. Just to see my reaction as perspectives change.

  4. Michelle, I read A Summer To Die way back when the bookmobile used to come around, when I was a kid…or maybe a young adult? I had no idea it was the same author.

  5. Yay! Good to know. I’m looking forward to it. It seems like it’s sad. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I did finish “ttyl” and it was funny and smartly written. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a tween book that didn’t have some type of recommendation from the Times or an award or SOMETHING.

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