Jj873's Reviews > The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry
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Aug 23, 08

bookshelves: must-possess
Read in August, 2008

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 words, but, somehow, The Giver has done just that. It will take me a while to be able to make sense of, not the story, but my response to it.

3. The Giver is a deftly crafted work, both stunningly beautiful and deeply disturbing... Finding myself being imperceptibly lulled by the peace, order, safety and serenity of Jonas's world; being awakened by the sickening thud of reality's steel-toed boot in the gut, leaving both him and me breathless and disoriented in the aftermath. This story is haunting and powerful. It's a raw portrayal of the presumed moral sacrifices that man would have to make in order to create and maintain a Utopian society, and the acceptable naivety of the horrors that would accompany it.
Perhaps what is most frightening to me is the way I so easily assumed, at first, that Jonas saw the world as I do.. that the words were being used in the way I understood them. The realization that his newly deposited knowledge gives him is almost terrifying, definitely unnerving. The depth of my emotional response still has me reeling!

4. This is NOT a happy-ending, feel-good read... although I suppose it could be for those who read books without truly experiencing them, but I don't know how to do that, so for me it was a painful experience. I'm glad I read it, as it's made me think about things in a way I wouldn't have otherwise, and I appreciate that. I don't know that I would have read it had I known how real Jonas's and the Giver's pain would be to me.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Kolleen I truly agree with your entire review! I have no idea why children are reading this in school (I was once of them who had to read this in middle school, and didn't understand it at all!). Further, it ultimately is a depressing book and I agree that it is something that parents should decide whether or not thier children should read first. I can't say that I wouldn't have been disturbed if I had actually understood the concept of this book in childhood. I would certainly classify this as an adult book.


Rain (Notebook) I agree completely. I was a bit creeped out by this book yet I am still drawn to it. In fact I just ran across it and it was a blast from the past. Its been about 10 years since I've read it but now have the desire to read it again. Never have I thought I would find a creepy book is worth reading again.


Luis Vazquez What she says is completely true because of the shocking things that happen such as the act of releasing. This is a concept that younger children may not even comprehend the concept that is presented to them. To me alone it was disturbing enough to read in school. The book was good but I do not recommended it to younger children.


Jenna I read this book in 7th grade and I felt I understood it just fine. My teacher helped guide us but I felt I understood the main points. If I were to read it now that I am older I think I would pick up more on the little things and have a new outlook on the on the novel but I don't think it is not a children's book.


Lisa Gremore good thoughts, I agree.


Devon Herron Completely agree. It's going to take me a while to process what I just read. I have overwhelming pain in my heart at the moment, but my eyes are open so much wider then yesterday. I am 31 and I would not have been emotionally ready to read this as a child, it's still tough at 31.


Cecelia If I'd read this in this in sixth grade, I'm not sure I'd have understood it. It could be that I was naive as a child. But, one thing that I don't see mentioned much in the reviews is that Jonas lived in a sexless/asexual community - which was weird. I wondered how the birth mothers became pregnant? I'm assuming they were artificially inseminated? The female children had their hair cut short at a certain age - giving them a kinda "sameness" as the men. Also, the men kinda reminded me of women, a little bit. Jonas's dad, the way he nurtured and cared for newborns, he just reminded me of a woman a little bit. Also, the Stirrings. Taking a pill to kill sexual desire? So, you're matched with someone as husband and wife, but, I'm assuming there is no sex involved? All children are adopted from birth mothers...I don't know how I'd fathom this as a middle schooler - but perhaps, my young mind doesn't grasp things as quickly as other MS kids..


Travis Best book ever!!!


Cecelia Travis wrote: "Best book ever!!!"

Travis, what were your favorite scenes in the book?


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