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The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,288,614 Ratings  ·  50,519 Reviews
This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he's given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
Mass Market Paperback, 180 pages
Published January 24th 2006 by Ember (first published April 26th 1993)
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Josephine The magic gets lost in translation. - Richard Roeper
I thought the movie wasn't as good as the book. Although the visuals were great, the movie didn't…more
The magic gets lost in translation. - Richard Roeper
I thought the movie wasn't as good as the book. Although the visuals were great, the movie didn't go as deep as the book's thought-provoking ideas. I was also disappointed that there were many changes made in the movie.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Steve Wasling
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Giver by Lois LowryCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Best Young Adult Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
Lowry's book is a piece of nationalist propaganda, using oversimplification, emotional appeals, and dualistic morality to shut down her readers' minds. More troubling is that it is aimed at children, who don't yet have the critical faculties to defend themselves from such underhanded methods.

Unsurprisingly, Lowry adopts the structure of the monomyth, equating a spiritual journey with a moral one. Her Christ-figure uses literal magic powers to rebel against his society. This rebellion and the mor
Jul 14, 2007 Kristine rated it it was amazing
I've taught this book to my 6th graders nine years in a row. Once I realized that the book is actually a mystery, and not the bland sci-fi adventure it seemed at first skim, I loved it more and more each time. Nine years, two classes most years... 17 TIMES. I've come to see that the book isn't the story of a depressing utopia. It's the story of the relationship between the main characters the Giver, Jonas, and... I won't say her name. And of course, the baby Gabe.

Every year, as we read the book
James Carroll
Feb 12, 2014 James Carroll rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: fiction
This book is perhaps the best refutation that I have seen in some time of a common philosophy of pain that is sometimes found in the popular media and in some versions of Buddhism. According to this philosophy, pain is the ultimate evil, and so, to eliminate pain and suffering we must give up desire, and individuality. Self is an illusion, and leads to pain; desire and agency are dangerous, so we should give them up and join the cosmic oneness "enlightenment" to find a utopia without pain. As Ge ...more
Oct 12, 2009 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching
I think I'm missing something. Everyone loves this book and I liked it too, but it wasn't amazing or anything.

The Giver felt like a very sparse story to me. First, there isn't much characterization, so I didn't form an emotional connection with any of the characters -- not even with Jonas or the Giver (two central characters). Asher and Fiona (particularly Fiona) are introduced such that you assume they will play greater roles in the book than they do. I don't feel like I knew Mom or Dad or Lily
Mar 06, 2014 Matt rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who want to analyze how not to write sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lola  Reviewer

Woah, I can easily understand why such a grand amount of people loved this book and definitely see why many were not satisfied with the movie. I cannot believe how many elements of this story they changed. However, there is something that I must admit: I preferred the movie because of how melancholic and hopeful it made me feel and for the suspense inside it that the book irrevocably lacked. It is not something that I hear myself say often at all. I have always been that little full of criticism
Aug 23, 2008 Jj873 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-possess
Upon finishing this book, not 20 minutes ago, I'm left with several thoughts:
1. This book should be required reading for everyone with the emotional maturity to handle it! (I believe that blindly labeling The Giver as a children's book is neither realistic nor necessarily wise, in some instances. Parents would be well advised to thoroughly screen it before offering it to an emotionally sensitive child to read.)

2. Very few things leave me mentally stuttering as I struggle to put my thoughts into
Jeffrey Keeten
*******SPOILER ALERT*******

“I don't know what you mean when you say 'the whole world' or 'generations before him.'I thought there was only us. I thought there was only now.”

 photo the-givermovieposter_zps5d66ff4f.jpg
Read the book, watch the movie, experience the synergy.

We don’t live in a dystopian world, but we do have a growing number of our population who believe that all that exists is NOW, that history is irrelevant, and that there is no future. It simplifies existence when a person can convince themselves of this. No need to lea
Sep 18, 2015 Etnik rated it really liked it

Mountain View

I don't remember reading a book as fast as I read this one.It was a great read.I couldn't put the book down for hours.And I must say is different from other books that I have read so this review actually is going to be somehow different from others.So let's start.

I enjoyed the beginning , maybe because it looked like dystopian kind of book and as you may know I love dystopian books.Also the colorless nature and emotionless were things that made me to continue read the book.This is


After a re-read, I can no longer think of The Giver as simply a childish sci-fi tale with heavy moralistic leanings.

What I see now is a story about growing up and confronting the world outside of the safe haven of childhood.
Well, yes, of course, it *IS* a dystopian tale about a young boy growing up in the commune of sameness that is devoid of colors or intense feelings or individuality - and the said boy has an unusual ability to experience what the others are missing out on, and he selflessly
Mohammed Arabey
May 30, 2016 Mohammed Arabey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مـاذا لــو كــان الإنسان مســـيرا وليس مـخــيرا؟

لا اديان مختلفة ولا لون بشرة مختلف عن الأخر , مساواه كاملة مطلقة
نعم..قد يكون هناك عدل مطلق، مساواة، مجتمع منظم يسير كالساعة
لا يمكنك مخالفة القانون اكثر من مرة وإلا فسيتم اخراجك من ذلك المجتمع
يختار لك منذ صغرك المجال الذي ستدرب فيه..ثم نجد لك عملا يناسبك
يختار لكل فرد زوجه او زوجته طبقا لنظام مراقبة يناسبا بعضهما
ثم نختار لكما ابن واحد وابنة واحده يناسبكما
فالزواج ليس كاملا بعواطف وعلاقة كما تظن
هذه هي اسرتك..هذا هو عملك..وعندما تكبر تجلس بدار المسنين ب
mark monday
Mar 23, 2012 mark monday rated it really liked it

brief synopsis: at some point far in the future, an 11-year old boy named Jonas comes of age in an unnamed utopic community. coming of age means he is given his life's work; in Jonas' case, h
My Reaction After Reading This:
wtf haruhi Pictures, Images and Photos

2 stars





(*coughs* sorry I forgot to turn off the CAPS
Apr 23, 2008 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Stacey by: Lisa
How have I missed out on this book for so many years? The premise of living a life without agency is something to think about. I can't tell you how often I have wished (prayed) for a world filled with only peace and happiness, where no one feels pain, hunger or sadness. This book made me seriously rethink that wish and realize - once and for all - that without feeling the depths of sadness, we can never know happiness. What an amazing story!
Victoria Hansen
Jul 06, 2016 Victoria Hansen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
"Things could change, Gabe," Jonas went on. "Things could be different. I don't know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors. And grandparents," he added, staring through the dimness toward the ceiling of his sleepingroom. "And everybody would have the memories."

"You know the memories," he whispered, turning toward the crib.

Garbriel's breathing was even and deep. Jonas liked having him there, though he felt guilty about the secret. Each night he gave mem
Emily May
Reread just in time for the new movie!

I've been meaning to come back to The Giver and write a better review for some time now and the soon-to-be-released movie seemed like as good an excuse as any. My rating remains the same even though it's been several years (and many badly-written YA dystopias) since I last picked this up. I still think it's a good book, with an interesting concept and sophisticated writing... but I was never 100% sold.

For one thing, the protagonist and narrator has just turn
I Loved it, I remember reading it on the beach :D, Major worldbuilding, a chilling and exciting story line, a very interesting dystopian novel.

In this book everyone is identical, choices are very limited. Every aspect of life is controlled and decided by elders of the community, everyone is content simply because they don't know any different, but Jonas (the hero) is different, he sees things no one else can see.

"Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I was a little creeped out when I first started reading this story. In fact, I almost didn't continue. It seemed like some kind of freaky propaganda for a fundamentalist society where everyone obeys without question and acts all fake nicey-nice and pretends everything is fine when it's not. I kept reading just to find out why the book is so popular. I really liked it once I found out what was going on. It's the opposite of what I thought at first. Conformity and uniformity are traps that rob us ...more
Riku Sayuj
Sep 27, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it it was ok

Plato sans Philosophy

I liked the set-up and the basic concept, but just basing it on Plato's Republic does not make something deeply philosophical. Initially it was fun to trace various elements to Plato and see what Lowry has done with them in her 'community,' but soon it became clear that the book is based on a very dumbed-down version of the Theory of Forms and by applying it to memory (thus making memory inhabit/come form the mysterious ill-defined place the Forms were supposed to). That is
Jul 30, 2015 Mario rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, own-read
The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.

Wow... just wow.

I'm really ashamed that I haven't picked up this book sooner. I went on a vacation today, and I spent more than 10 hours in the bus, so I brought few short books to kill the time and this book was one of them. If it wasn't for this trip, who knows when I would pick it up.

I devoured every single page of this book so fast, and in the end I was left wanting more. But I do h
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨
A masterpiece.

I listened to the audio, narrated by Ron Rifkin, who has a slight New York accent. It took me a bit to get into his narration, but I ended up coming to the conclusion that he did an awesome job. I am not sure whether I would have rated this five stars if I had read it. Four stars for sure, but listening to this story kicked it up a notch for me, I think.

The story is told in a simple way, yet so poignant and emotional. I cried, I raged, I smiled. I was immensely touched. Thank God
snif. this books marks the end of dystopian month. it's okay, it was getting a little bleak in here. i'm not sure if this counts as dystopian, because it reads more like a teen cult novel. with magic. we never really find out what is happening in The World Outside - this could all take place in some small gated community like that one in disney which is totally creepy in its forced perfection. i absolutely support lowry's apparent stance on the twin agenda - but the rest of it seems underthought ...more
As every Newbery Medal winner, The Giver is a very well written children's book. Its deceptively simplistic language reveals a rather horrifying dystopian world. This is a world where people are not given freedom to decide anything for themselves - their spouses, children, careers, future, even clothes or haircuts are all pre-planned and pre-selected for them. They are not allowed to even own their feelings and dreams. Their sexuality is suppressed. Of course, it is done for common good - to pre ...more
This is the part where I'm supposed to go, "Ooh, this book is such a terrifying wake-up call to the dark side of our views of Paradise, and even though we wish death and pain weren't a part of our lives, they're necessary because without them we would be ignorant and lost, and blah blah blah..."

So: Ooh, this book is such a terrifying wake-up call to the dark side of our views of Paradise, and even though we wish death and pain weren't a part of our lives, they're necessary because without them w
Another book I wouldn’t have read if not for becoming a teacher. This is a dystopia based on Plato’s Republic and I’m particularly fond of such dystopias. It is much the same as the film The Matrix in its own way (same philosophical roots) except this one focuses more on the dark side of Plato’s vision – where as the Matrix focuses much more on the obligations of the Philosopher Kings (those who know) to fix things.

It really surprises me that so many people write books that so clearly refer back
¿Qué estaría la humanidad dispuesta a pagar por la utopía… por la sociedad perfecta?

En una comunidad futurista se han eliminado varios de los problemas que aquejan a la humanidad, no hay guerra, ni hambre, el dolor físico es extraño y el dolor emocional desconocido, pero lo tétrico de este libro, como una verdadera buena distopia, es que cada “solución” elimina algo de la humanidad, principalmente han eliminado las decisiones personales, porque una decisión siempre tiene la opción de estar erra
Gloria Mundi
I've been on a dystopia roll recently, it seems. So here goes. This is supposed to be 1984 for children.

Jonas, the protagonist, is a 12 year old boy who lives in a world without war, pain, hunger, death, misery or, even, bad weather, where everyone is happy and has their place in society. Yet gradually a much more disquieting picture emerges of a world where all personal choice has been taken away, where every decision is made for the individual by the "state" (I have put state in quotation mar
Oct 03, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly impressed by "The Giver," a two-decade old gem in a genre that always leaves me wanting more. No, this is concise and has all the basic elements of a dystopian horror tale. The sketchy subjects of individuality and color (in that pleasant "Pleasantville" way) and community are handled incredibly well (yes, "Hunger Games" is a rip off of this and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies")--the subject of infanticide just gives this classic YA the push re ...more
Liz* Fashionably Late

There must be something wrong with my edition because there's no freaking way this book ends this way!(view spoiler)

“If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!”

Okay, I'll be honest with you. This is a classic and therefore reviewers out there will talk about how powerful this book is and how strongly they felt about it reading it back in high school. The
May 04, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
The Giver by Lois Lowry is an entertaining young adult novel that also fits into the dystopian genre.

Telling the story of Jonas in what must be a far future community where Sameness is the norm and emotions are watered down to the point of non-existence, though family members routinely discuss their feelings and dreams.

Imaginative and creative, this still seems to be “dystopian light”. Nonetheless, this could be a good introduction for a young reader into the genre and is extremely well writte
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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 about Lois Lowry...

Other Books in the Series

The Giver Quartet (4 books)
  • Gathering Blue (The Giver, #2)
  • Messenger (The Giver, #3)
  • Son (The Giver Quartet, #4)

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“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” 4467 likes
“We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” 478 likes
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