CJC's Reviews > The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry
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's review
Sep 18, 2011

it was ok
Read in April, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I know this was written for children so I am trying not to judge too harshly, it is a great idea – but in my opinion not as well done as it could have been.

Some of the bits that annoyed me –spoilers…

Ok – these people who are not allowed choice at all, do not have any poverty or crime, they do not read books (outside of the rules, and a map) have tv or movies and cannot imagine a hill, music, love, color on their own can come up with the game of war – complete with different types of guns and the noises each gun would make, as well as how death by gun would occur?
Really? Maybe – maybe the author’s point is that humans are so pathetic that given the opportunity to imagine anything at all outside of the life they are living all they could come up with is how to kill each other off – but I don’t think so. I think she used the game the children were playing to as a quick easy way to give Jonas a chance to recognize that he had been playing at something he couldn’t have really understood until he had ‘the memories’.

And the end – that’s it – so some communities opted for ‘sameness’ but right down the road there is color and sunshine and rain and snow – oh and happy families living normal lives and the 2 groups never interact? Or did they die and the sled ride down the hill to happy family land was Jonas’ idea of ‘heaven’? There are 2 more books so I kind of assumed Jonas carries on – I won’t be reading the next 2 to find out though.

I read this with my 9 year old, I love how involved he gets in books and he made some good points. He was annoyed that they talked about the birthmothers but not the dads – he knows the basics – it takes ‘boy things and girl things’ to make a baby so was mad the boys didn’t get credit for babies too. He was also bothered that Lily called her elephant a comfort object – he thinks she was so chatty and good at stories she probably would have named it. (There were a lot of instances of that where the author had the characters describe everyday life – helpful to the reader but probably not how the characters would have talked to each other so I don’t think it was the most effective way to get the point across).

Overall – we didn’t love it.
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