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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fantasy: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Lowry, L. (1993). The Giver. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston.
Awards:  The 1994 Newbery Medal
              The 1996 William Allen White Award
American Library Association listing for "Best Book for Young Adults,” and  “ALA   
    Notable Children’s Book,” and “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book
Winner of the Regina Medal
Booklist Editors' Choice
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Annotation:  This science fiction coming of age novel depicts a 12 year old boy named Jonas who struggles with the discovery of the truth behind his futuristic society.
Review: “Snap and Read”
Jonas is a 12 year old boy who lives is a futuristic society where families are assigned to each other. Husbands and wives are matched together based upon personality and are assigned only two children, one male and one female, to raise in a stable environment after which the family unit is disbanded and sent to live separately. He lives in a society where pills are given to suppress emotions, sexuality and they feel no pain. Jonas is anxiously waiting for the Ceremony of Twelve where he will be assigned his career by the Elders.
The Assignments continued, and Jonas watched and listened, relieved now by the wonderful Assignment his best friend had been given. But he was more and more apprehensive as his own approached. Now the new Twelves in the row ahead had all received their badges. They were fingering them as they sat, and Jonas knew that each one was thinking about the training that lay ahead. For some—one studious male had been selected as Doctor, a female as Engineer, and another for Law and Justice—it would be years of hard work and study. Other, like Laborer and Birthmothers, would have a much shorter training period.
       Eighteen, Fiona, on his left, was called. Jonas knew she must be nervous, but Fiona was a calm female. She had been sitting quietly, serenely, throughout the Ceremony.
       Even the applause, though enthusiastic, seemed serene when Fiona was given the important Assignment of Caretaker of the Old. It was perfect for such a sensitive, gentle girl, and her smile was satisfied and pleased when she took her seat beside him again.
       Jonas prepared himself to walk to the stage when the applause ended and the Chief Elder picked up the next folder and looked down to the group to call forward the next new Twelve. He was calm now that his turn had come. He took a deep breath and smoothed his hair with his hand.
      “Twenty,” he heard her voice say clearly. “Pierre.”
      She skipped me, Jonas thought, stunned. He had heard wrong? No. There was a sudden hush in the crowd, and he knew that the entire community realized that the Chief Elder had moved from Eighteen to Twenty, leaving a gap. On his right, Pierre, with a startled look, rose from his seat and moved to the stage.
      A mistake. She made a mistake. But Jonas knew, even as he had the thought, that she hadn’t. The Chief Elder made no mistakes. Not at the Ceremony of Twelve.

Jonas finds out that he has been given a very special job called The Giver. The Giver is a Receiver of Memories and he learns the true secrets of his society. Jonas struggles with the society rules and what he has learned from the previous Giver. During his struggles, Jonas connects with a baby named Gabriel which he tries to save from being Released for failing to be able to sleep soundly through the night.
Jacket photographs copyright 1993 by Lois Lowry

Westly age 15: I like Fantasy books becasue they allow me to escape from the real world.