While he is still in the cradle, a boy's family is murdered by a dark figure. Before the man can reach the boy, he is adopted by a graveyard of ghostsWhile he is still in the cradle, a boy's family is murdered by a dark figure. Before the man can reach the boy, he is adopted by a graveyard of ghosts who protect him and name him: Nobody, or Bod for short. Bod lives out his childhood within the gates of the graveyard, wrestling both with interest in joining the live world and with the mystery of his family's murder. Gaiman crafts this tale expertly, using a style that bridges the gap between an imaginative supernatural tale and believable character development. Readers may find the illustrations strange or even disturbing, but they match Gaiman's occasionally meloncholy or chilling tone well. Chapters in the middle book are somewhat episodic, which may appeal to readers new to long chapter books....more
Finally I've read the Newbery Medal winning The Giver! If I had read it as a kid, maybe 1984 wouldn't have made such a shocking impact on me...
Jonas iFinally I've read the Newbery Medal winning The Giver! If I had read it as a kid, maybe 1984 wouldn't have made such a shocking impact on me...
Jonas is apprehensive about the December Ceremony of the Twelves, in which he and his classmates will officially turn twelve and receive their Assignment. When the day finally comes, most young people are given jobs like Nurturer, Laborer, or Caretaker of the Old. But Jonas' Assignment is unique: for the first time in years, he is selected to be the community's Receiver of Memory, a job he doesn't understand at first. He starts training with the old man who has served as the Receiver for decades, a job he describes as being solitary and often very painful. Jonas learns that this man, The Giver, as he calls himself now that Jonas is the new Receiver, stores all the experiences and emotions of a previous way of life - things like snow, birthdays, colors, and music - and in a way, sparing the rest of the townspeople from these threats against Sameness. For although there are happy memories, there are just as many painful ones, too - memories of war, hunger, and hate.
Lois Lowry well crafts this dystopian world. The reader doesn't immediately understand all of its nuances and differences from our society. But slowly, as Jonas receives The Giver's memories and is surprised by concepts like color and familial love, we release how strange this world really is. Though as in any good dystopian novel, questions about our world inevitably emerge: how do we determine what makes a family unit? What we gain or sacrifice under more authoritative control? How much of our life is predestined or predetermined? If we could spare someone the pain of experience, would we? ...more
Miranda is a 12-year old girl who lives a normal life in New York City in the late 1970s. But mysterious letters start appearing for her, letters fromMiranda is a 12-year old girl who lives a normal life in New York City in the late 1970s. But mysterious letters start appearing for her, letters from someone that knows the impossible: future events in Miranda's life. It is hard to classify this book, which conceptually fits the science fiction mold but perfectly reads like a realistic fiction book about school, family, and friendship for any generation of readers. Frequent references to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time will satisfy science fiction fans, but children unfamiliar with the genre will still enjoy this book and identify with Miranda's life, despite its fantastic elements....more
In a futuristic Zimbabwe, the three children of a high-ranking general sneak out of their sheltered, robot-managed lives for a trip across the city. BIn a futuristic Zimbabwe, the three children of a high-ranking general sneak out of their sheltered, robot-managed lives for a trip across the city. But their plans change when they are captured and taken to strange places they never imagined existed outside of their plush house. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, a detective team, are hired to find the child using their special abilities which came to them from their mothers' exposure to toxic waste while pregnant. Farmer creates truly fantastic African settings, for example, a marshland completely composed of compacted garbarge where the poorest people mine for now-rare plastic; but these places and situations build upon a recognizable society: different tribes or races intersect and often conflict, and old traditions are fiercely protected by a minority in a rapidly modernized world. The children's odyssey reads like an adventure novel, but readers may also find deeper connections to contemporary issues, both global and personal. Tendai, the oldest child, begins to see not only the world outside his heavily-guarded fence in a new light, but he also recognizes greatness in the family members who used to annoyed or neglected him. A wonderful read, whether you're a science-fiction fan or not! ...more
Miyax is an Inuit girl. She's only 13, but she's married to a man she despises. One day she decides to escape her Alaskan home to meet her pen-pal inMiyax is an Inuit girl. She's only 13, but she's married to a man she despises. One day she decides to escape her Alaskan home to meet her pen-pal in San Francisco who knows her by her white name, Julie. But she gets lost in the tundra, a barren wasteland where she faces certain death by starvation or exposure to the cold. But Miyax sees hope in an unlikely place: a wolf pack. Instead of fleeing in fear from these wild animals, Miyax observes and learns how to behave like a wolf, slowing gaining their trust and becoming a member of the pack. As she struggles to understand her identity, caught between the Inuit and white worlds, she finds herself bonding as closely with the wolves as if they are her true family....more