Son (The Giver #4)
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Son (The Giver Quartet #4)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  17,037 ratings  ·  3,133 reviews
They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? S...more
Hardcover, 393 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Joe
no no no no no no no No No No No NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NONONONONONONONONONONONONONO NO , Lois Lowry! NO.

No.

This cannot be how you chose to end the quartet.

I am flabbergasted and bereft and... cheated. I feel cheated.

In the same way Suzanne Collins ruined The Hunger Games trilogy in its crummy final act, so too has Lowry with Son.

Despite being weaker efforts, Gathering Blue and Messenger felt like stepping stones toward an ending that would seamlessly combine disparate storylines. Ins...more
Jenny
I'm struggling with this review. I love Lowry and I love the Giver. The Giver is one of the most poignant stories written for middle grades. I think it lends itself to such great discussion about what it means to be a human being, a community. I also love the companion books: Gathering Blue and Messenger. I especially love the Messenger and the profound message of what it takes to overcome evil. When I got an advance copy of Son, I was thrilled. I have been anticipating this for months. The char...more
Katy Jane
Was this book awesome? Heck yes.
Did I still have questions at the end? Yes.
1. If there were Birthmothers then they needed sperm from males who didn't take the pill. Where were these guys?
2. What happened to the original community when Jonas, Gabe, and Claire left?
3. Did Lame Einar heal from the destroying of the Trademaster, too?
4. Did Einar heal and then climb out to find Claire?
5. Did Claire and Einar get married?
6. Did Gabe and Deirdre get married?
7. What happened on the boat ride that made...more
Donna Ludovico
This book did everything I wanted it to do. It wrapped up three other books into one story. Book one, The Giver, was suggested to me for reading by my son after he was required to read it for middle school language arts class. I enjoyed the book and the book discussion with my son. He was certain that Jonas and Gabe died at the end and the vision of a cozy, happy world was a dying dream since no two such different worlds could have existed in the same time period. This led to a discussion of the...more
Michale
Spoiler alert!!! I have such mixed feelings about this series and book. The Giver was wonderful, but it was clear to me that the boys died at the end - old handed down memories of a sled in the snow do not lead to real redemption from freezing and starvation. Then I enjoyed Gathering Blue even more, except that it seemed that Lowry believed that her characters from the first book had survived, and were living in some sort of utopian village. Then, in The Messenger , she had a beloved characte...more
Rhea
Son is made up of three parts: Before, Between, and Beyond. If I were to name them, I would gather them into one book and name it Boring.

WHY THE HELL WAS THIS NOVEL 400 PAGES LONG!?! The previous three were about 200 pages. If you delete the double spaces, this book would be 300 pages, and from there, pointless descriptions and subplots would be easily cut down to 200 pages. Yes, I'm serious.

I mean, we spend 140 pages with Claire JUST TRAINING TO CLIMB THE F*CKING CLIFF!!! I DON'T GIVE A SH!T LO...more
Stephanie
Son brings us back to the original community we read about in The Giver, and tells us the story from the perspective of Water Claire and ties up the questions about the place where Jonas and Gabe were born.

Everyone in the community is assigned a ‘job’ at the age of 13. Claire was given the job of Vessel. ‘Vessels’ carried ‘Products’ (um, babies) and at 14 Claire produced her one and only product in the form of a Son. There was an issue with the birth and she was relieved of her vessel duties, bu...more
Lacey
Spellbinding Conclusion to "The Giver"

Almost twenty years after "The Giver", Lois Lowry offers up the story's conclusion in "Son" (aptly named). The story begins with Claire, a girl of fourteen who lives in the same Community as Jonas (from "The Giver"). At her Ceremony of Twelve Clarie is given her assignment, Birthmother. But during the birthing something goes wrong and while both Claire and the child (product number 36) are spared, Claire is reassigned. Yet even in her new job, Claire cannot...more
Mary (Ravenclaw FTW!)
I love The Giver. I count it as one of my favorite books of all time. It was the book that inspired me to read and made me want to write.

And I should have stopped at The Giver. My ratings of the books in the series have gotten progressively worse. I liked Gathering Blue, wish I didn't read The Messenger, and now wish I could take back time with The Son. I spent money on it, and I want it back. Sort of. I do love Lois Lowry.

But this is a great example of how to set rules and not break them. The...more
Vikki VanSickle
Son opens with a captivating scene of a girl, referred to by her watchers as a Vessel, being blindfolded before ‘the process’ begins. The process is birth and the girl is Claire, a first-time Birthmother. She has been told little about ‘the process,’ but becomes even more confused as things get complicated and ‘the product’ (the baby) has to be surgically removed. After the process Claire is reassigned, but she can’t stop thinking about her baby. She finds a way into the Nurturing Centre, where...more
Mrs. Lapacka
This is definitely a four-star book in that it kept my interest. As far as wrapping up the stories of Jonas and Gabe, I think it also did that sufficiently. I will say, however, that parts of the plot seemed a bit forced. The end has shades of Harry Potter vs. Lord Voldemort, and while I realize that the concept of love overcoming evil did not begin or end with Harry Potter, the similarities were a bit too obvious for me. Those who liked the ambiguity of the ending of 'The Giver' will have lost...more
Traci
I've had a really hard time with this series. I read the Giver as a teen, loved it, have thought of it often, and one of my first acts when the internet really became a resource for knowledge was looking up to see if Lowry had ever said whether or not Gabe and Jonas made it, or just died of hypothermia. I remember vividly that the interview said that she left it ambiguous on purpose so the reader could decide.

Years pass and then suddenly I discovered that The Giver was now part of a trilogy. I...more
Luke Dani
I read The Giver when I was nine or ten and it blew me away. It echoed my sense that wanting to control too much, trying to seal off life's unpleasantness and valuing group harmony above difference and curiosity produce a world that is both sterile and tyrannical. That metaphor applies aptly to overcontrolling parents, religious hegemony, conformist-obsessed peer groups and the very American desire to rub the sharp edges off of every object a child is likely to encounter. It also serves as an us...more
Jessa
I was really excited to read this and it didn't disappoint, loved how it tied all the other books and characters together and was very pleased with the ending. If I had it my way I would have tweaked the ending just a little, but overall such a great series with a satisfying ending!
Jen Blackham
I think my rating is a bit of an emotional one, rather than strictly rational. If I stop and think/critique SON, there are things I didn't understand or care for ... but as soon as I picked up the book, I was immediately captivated and couldn't put it down. And as I finished it, I think back on it fondly *Ü*

The book is divided into three parts .. Before, Between and Beyond. Part 1 takes you right back to The Giver. Back to the community, with Jonas. You get to see the same things from another pe...more
Kerri Anne Stebbins
Preface: I was weary to begin this book knowing full well it was the official end of a new-found and much beloved series. But begin I did, and then proceeded to swim tirelessly through it, only stopping to sleep and even then, reluctantly so and really only because Matt reminded me the pathogens plaguing so many, the ones I've been narrowly avoiding for weeks now, are still just waiting patiently for my immune system to stumble. It's beautiful, is my overall point, and I could have happily read...more
Mary
Nov 23, 2012 Mary rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
What a disappointment! "Son" is divided into three parts: Before, Between, and Beyond. The first part started off really exciting. We were back in The Giver’s community, now through the eyes of Claire, contemporaneous of Jonas. Claire is the mother of the baby Gabe, with whom Jonas had fled the community. As soon as Claire finds out that Jonas has left the community with Gabe, Claire escapes too, aboard a boat, which ends up wrecking during a storm. Claire is rescued by some fishermen of a remot...more
Katy
I love the Giver. So when I heard that Lowry had written a sequel after all this time, I was beyond thrilled. For Son, I love the main character, Claire. She is beautiful, sweet, kind, and has a depth to her that I feel is missing in most female heroines/protagonists today. The underlying drive and theme is also noble-- love as expressed through a mother searching for her lost son. Is there anything more important? Lowry has a wonderful way of offering up themes that need to be considered and di...more
Carol
Too pat...and the math doesn't add up!

I was disappointed. I had found "The Giver" to be a thought-provoking, well-written book -- especially Lowry's portrayal of a community of chilling banality and the ambiguous ending -- and I was hoping to see this world flushed out in her subsequent books. (Warning, I'm going to discuss the books and while I don't give away endings, you might not want to know these details.)

But this didn't do it. It was too pat -- especially part 3 I wasn't keen on the super...more
Becky
Sep 15, 2012 Becky rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I found SON to be an amazing read!!!! I just loved, loved, loved it! Definitely a book I read in one sitting. In fact, I read The Messenger and Son the same evening. The book focuses on two characters: Claire and Gabe.

When Claire was twelve, she was assigned to be a birthmother. Barely two years later, she gives birth to her first (and only) child. Birthmothers never raise their own children, never care for their own young, not even that first year before it is placed into an adopting family. B...more
Debrarian
The cover of this book hypes it as "The thrilling conclusion to The Giver," but here's the thing: Lowry's writing is not thrilling. It is measured, spare and thoughtful, and by the conclusion the plot is disjointed and too plainly a parable. The book begins in the realm of dystopian SF and then lurches abruptly in the final third into mystical allegory. In the first two parts Lowry puts care into her world-building, but in the final third she hurries to make her points and wrap everything up at...more
Mary
Nov 24, 2012 Mary added it
Shelves: 2012-kids-ya
Given the decades and years between books, this series was over for me; I had no plans/time to read the fourth book. Then I listened to Kathy J's booktalk to the Young Critics Club and was driven to read SON. What a mind Lois Lowry has. Brava! to her.
Katie
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. "The Giver" is one of my all time favorites, the story was just so poignant, moving, and left so much room for independent thought and interpretation. I also enjoyed "Gathering Blue" and while I was sort of underwhelmed by "Messenger" I enjoyed seeing the three protagonists of the books come together to vanquish evil through the giving of one of their own lives. It satisfied me as an end to this loosely tied together trilogy and then this book c...more
Lindsay
This was a near perfect conclusion to a brilliant series. This is probably my favourite MG series. It is imaginative and inspiring, and will definitely give young minds lots to think about.
Son is the long anticipated book four, and it did tie in all those loose threads from the previous three books. It brought back the favourite characters, and explained all the outcomes. It did, however, still leave me wanting more. It wasn't the nice, tidy ending I was hoping for. This series could very easily...more
Tracy
Really glad I read this...it's a satisfying ending to the story begun in The Giver. I loved Claire, her simply told story of how she lost her child. The story of how she found him is more complicated...but there is a fine resolution to the subplot of the Trademaster from Messenger that bothered me so much. I can't help but feel that perhaps someone made a trade with the Trademaster to create the community that Jonas and Claire were born into...a community where no one feels pain...bunt the trade...more
Crisadmaiora
I've read different sci-fi and fantasy and YA books before this Lois Lowry quartet but really, none of them has left me with such incredible emotions making me repeat wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!!! Son has been published almost 20 years after the first of this series, The Giver, but it is the perfect wrapping up of the story and I can't believe how many genres one can find on this book... We return in the dystopic community of the giver which sounds even more shocking, but we also visit a...more
jenna
As another reviewer pointed out, 'Son' moves more deeply into allegory territory than 'The Giver' - and with the arrival of a character called the Trademaster, settles firmly there for the last half of the book. With his advent, the protagonists' new home, a humane and civilized sanctuary, becomes a benign community threatened by one evil individual - and the inverse of the dystopian Community, which threatened the (humane, or merely human) individual with obliteration. It makes thematic and nar...more
Christy
Again, this was another well crafted novel by Lois Lowry. As many other readers have mentioned, I never really knew if Jonas escaped to a place of safety or not at the end of The Giver, which drove me to read the next two books in the series. I guess I fell in love with Jonas' character, because I was always frustrated with the lack seeing more of Jonas in any of the other books. He was always referred to, but we didn't know very much about how he turned out after escaping from the Community. Ag...more
Mia
It was an easy read, but I really got bogged down in part 2 when the author goes into meticulous detail about Claire's workout routine and climb. I find this series, overall, a little too neat and clean. A character finds out a secret about his or her community and, with little thought or conflict, defies the community. There are few obstacles to his or her actions, inner or outer. As for world-building, I think that falls short too. There are random dystopian communities all over the world - ea...more
Anila
Apr 22, 2012 Anila marked it as to-read
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I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS
gimme gimme *grabby hands*
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The ending (spoilers) 5 53 Feb 02, 2014 12:37PM  
Book Response # 9 4 29 Oct 20, 2013 11:55PM  
So... How did you like it? 13 55 Sep 26, 2013 05:30PM  
Talk About Juveni...: SON! 1 6 Jun 23, 2013 01:17PM  
Why climb the Cliff? 13 131 Apr 23, 2013 10:01PM  
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Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always...more
More about Lois Lowry...
The Giver (The Giver #1) Number the Stars Gathering Blue (The Giver #2) Messenger (The Giver #3) Gossamer

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“Fear dims when you learn things.” 22 likes
“It be better, I think, to climb out in search of something, instead of hating, what you're leaving.” 19 likes
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