Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Giver” as Want to Read:
The Giver
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Giver (The Giver #1)

by
4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,351,637 Ratings  ·  54,504 Reviews
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community.

When Jonas turns twelve he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is n
...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published September 1994 by Bantam Doubleday Dell (first published April 26th 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Giver, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
...more
Kristine
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
James Carroll
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Julie
Jan 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Matt
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
description

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
...more
Jj873
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Candace
Yesterday, I took a road trip with my two daughters to get pick up my 88 year-old grandmother, who will be staying with us through the holiday season. At 5 and 9 years-old, my usual audiobook choices were clearly not an option. So, I found myself listening to some books that definitely are not my usual type, yet again.

With over 4 1/2 hours in the car each way, we were able to finish 2 audiobooks from start to finish. By pure coincidence, they both ended up being authored by Lois Lowry. I have n
...more
Etnik
4.5 HOLY STARS!

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

...more
Nataliya

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
...more
Mohammed Arabey
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مـاذا لــو كــان الإنسان مســـيرا وليس مـخــيرا؟

وماذا لو كانت هناك مساواة كاملة مطلقة؟
لا أختلاف أديان، ولا لون بشرة مختلف عن الأخر..بل لا ألوان علي الإطلاق
بالطبع فلا عنصرية هنا..لا أحكام مسبقة
نعم..قد يكون هناك عدل مطلق، 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 يجد لك عملا يناسبك
يختار لكل فرد زوجه او زوجته طبقا لنظام مراقبة يناسبا بعضهما
ثم نختار لكما ابن واحد وابنة واحدة يناسبكما
فالزواج ليس كاملا بعواطف
...more
mark monday
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ATTENTION CITIZENS! OUR BROTHER COMMUNITY OF SAMENESS HAS FALLEN! DOUBLEPLUS UNGOOD! BUT DO NOT FEAR! OUR REVOLUTIONARY RHETORIC AND UTOPIC IDEALS REMAIN SACROSANCT! IN OUR BROTHER COMMUNITIES OF OCEANIA, ANIMAL FARM, PANEM, THX 1138-VILLE, AND FAHRENHEIT 451 TOWNSHIP! AND SPREADING FURTHER! DOUBLEPLUS GOOD!

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
...more
Joyzi
My Reaction After Reading This:
wtf haruhi Pictures, Images and Photos

2 stars

Whoa?

Why?

Really?


SO FIRST OFF I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANTED TO LIKE THIS BOOK SINCE MANY HUMAN BEINGS READ AND LOVE THIS BOOK AND MANY HAVE CONSIDERED THIS AS ONE OF THEIR FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME AND BEFORE I POSTED MY RATING I BROWSE THE RATINGS OF OTHER GR MEMBERS SO THAT I KNOW THAT I'M NOT THE ONLY ABNORMAL HUMAN BEING WHO DOESN'T THINK THAT THIS BOOK IS GOOD OR GREAT OR WHATEVER!!!

(*coughs* sorry I forgot to turn off the CAPS
...more
Stacey
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Lisa
"What does 'release' mean in The Giver?", my daughter asked me this morning, when she had just started reading the novel on a strong recommendation from myself and both her older brothers.

"I can't tell you that, it will spoil the reading experience!" I answered. "What do you think of the book so far?"

"Well, the community has many rules."

"Is that good or bad, do you think?"

"I don't know, some rules are good, but some seem a bit too much. Like not being allowed to choose your profession."

We went
...more
Khadidja
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
...more
Fabian
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly impressed by "The Giver," a two-decade old gem in a genre that basically always leaves me wanting more. No, this is concise & 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 & Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies")--the subject of infanticide just gives this classic ...more
Matthew
At one point I wrote a review for this book. That review was very well written and could have won awards! Sadly, when I went to submit it was one of the times that the Goodreads server crashed and the review was lost for the ages . . . only I will ever remember how truly great that review was!

On to a new review that will be much shorter and definitely inferior to the original.

This is one of the granddaddies of the YA dystopian genre. Without this book we may not have The Hunger Games, Divergent,
...more
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

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
...more
Kai
Apr 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, overrated
“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

This book is a fuss.
Yes I like the concept and yes what Jonas is going to find out about the world he lives in is very shocking.
But why, with all the stuff going on, isn't it thrilling in any kind of way? Why didn't I feel anything while reading it? To be honest, for me this was like Divergent without the suspense and the fun. It's your typical, cliché dystopian book, minus everything
...more
P
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”




If I read The Giver before The Hunger Games or Divergent, this book would be the best of this genre. I decided to read the book after watching the movie, which is not much clarified . But I liked how ingenious the movie was, it dragged me too very simple things, such as opportunities, lives and rules of the society. I felt the power from its narration alone, it hit me straightly and
...more
karen
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
Mario
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.5) Not really surprising but turns out this is more enjoyable when you actually understand English!
Tatiana
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
Madeline
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
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
UCAS English 10 H...: My Review of The Giver and Gathering Blue 2 5 Sep 15, 2017 06:19PM  
AP Language SHS: Bradyn Jackson Summer Reading 2 5 Sep 14, 2017 10:57PM  
2017 Reading Chal...: The Giver (The Giver #1) 24 44 Sep 10, 2017 05:51PM  
Who else HATED this book? 141 355 Sep 02, 2017 06:47PM  
What books turn movies did you hate/love and why? 3 8 Aug 31, 2017 02:25PM  
HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review: The Giver 30 61 Aug 23, 2017 03:55PM  
  • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
  • The View from Saturday
  • Sahara Special
  • Lily's Crossing
  • A Single Shard
  • Catherine, Called Birdy
  • Page (Protector of the Small, #2)
  • Lincoln: A Photobiography
  • Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #4)
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4)
  • Bud, Not Buddy
  • Juniper (Doran, #2)
  • Among the Barons (Shadow Children, #4)
  • Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
  • Bloomability
  • Home of the Brave
  • The Gospel According to Larry (Gospel According to Larry, #1)
  • Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze
2493
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...

Other Books in the Series

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

Share This Book

223 trivia questions
15 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” 4732 likes
“We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” 523 likes
More quotes…