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The Giver #2

Gathering Blue

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In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

240 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2000

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About the author

Lois Lowry

136 books20.2k followers
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 seemed to have their heads under the raised hood of a car. That left me in-between, and exactly where I wanted most to be: on my own. I was a solitary child who lived in the world of books and my own vivid imagination.

Because my father was a career military officer - an Army dentist - I lived all over the world. I was born in Hawaii, moved from there to New York, spent the years of World War II in my mother’s hometown: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and from there went to Tokyo when I was eleven. High school was back in New York City, but by the time I went to college (Brown University in Rhode Island), my family was living in Washington, D.C.

I married young. I had just turned nineteen - just finished my sophomore year in college - when I married a Naval officer and continued the odyssey that military life requires. California. Connecticut (a daughter born there). Florida (a son). South Carolina. Finally Cambridge, Massachusetts, when my husband left the service and entered Harvard Law School (another daughter; another son) and then to Maine - by now with four children under the age of five in tow. My children grew up in Maine. So did I. I returned to college at the University of Southern Maine, got my degree, went to graduate school, and finally began to write professionally, the thing I had dreamed of doing since those childhood years when I had endlessly scribbled stories and poems in notebooks.

After my marriage ended in 1977, when I was forty, I settled into the life I have lived ever since. Today I am back in Cambridge, Massachusetts, living and writing in a house dominated by a very shaggy Tibetan Terrier named Bandit. For a change of scenery Martin and I spend time in Maine, where we have an old (it was built in 1768!) farmhouse on top of a hill. In Maine I garden, feed birds, entertain friends, and read...

My books have varied in content and style. Yet it seems that all of them deal, essentially, with the same general theme: the importance of human connections. A Summer to Die, my first book, was a highly fictionalized retelling of the early death of my sister, and of the effect of such a loss on a family. Number the Stars, set in a different culture and era, tells the same story: that of the role that we humans play in the lives of our fellow beings.

The Giver - and Gathering Blue, and the newest in the trilogy: Messenger - take place against the background of very different cultures and times. Though all three are broader in scope than my earlier books, they nonetheless speak to the same concern: the vital need of people to be aware of their interdependence, not only with each other, but with the world and its environment.

My older son was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. His death in the cockpit of a warplane tore away a piece of my world. But it left me, too, with a wish to honor him by joining the many others trying to find a way to end conflict on this very fragile earth.
I am a grandmother now. For my own grandchildren - and for all those of their generation - I try, through writing, to convey my passionate awareness that we live intertwined on this planet and that our future depends upon our caring more, and doing more, for one another."

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Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews154k followers
June 11, 2021
As a sequel - horribly disappointing.

As a standalone - mildly interesting.

Honestly, I was expecting a lot more...like the characters from book 1 to show up in book 2.

I mean, there's a hint (and it's barely a hint) so I guess, it might be able to be classified as a companion novel.

We follow Kira, a young teen with an almost magical artistic gift. She is forever hindered by a birth defect, causing lameness in one leg.
“Take pride in your pain," her mother had always told her. "You are stronger than those who have none.”
Her society is cruel, stupid and evil. Women are little more than breeding stock and homemakers - A far cry from the orderly yet emotionless one we saw in the first book.

Kira's fate would've been to marry and breed... well, until the village realized her flaw (to paraphrase - no one wants a crippled wife).

Unsurprisingly, her society also suppresses all forms of educations (especially for women).
But it made her smile, to see it, to see how the pen formed the shapes and the shapes told a story of a name.
Kira is on the cusp of losing her home and everything she's ever known. When she performed a vigil over her mother's body...the village women hatch a plan toseize newly orphaned Kira's land and build a pen for the toddlers.

Their justification?

Kira is lame, so really...she should've been given back to the forest (aka left to die) years ago.

Just before they can carry out their plans, the council of elders swoo in to save her. Kira suddenly finds herself in a brand new world. One with plumbing, and beds, and with all the embroidery string she could want.

The council (conveniently) needs a new artist to repair the singer's robe and were willing to take Kira in when she was desperate.

Only now that she's there, she begins to realize that perhaps she wasn't rescued at all...

This book was a bit frustrating. It didn't have the same magic as book 1 and my interpretation is colored by my bitterness - how is this even considered a book 2??

Maybe because I'm older this time, but it's so. painfully. obvious. when Kira gets manipulated or the reasons behind a unexpected death.

It just frustrates me so much when the main characters are so darn oblivious.

The Finer Books Club 2018 Reading Challenge - A book with a color in the title

Audiobook Comments
Extremely well read - a pleasure to listen to. Hats off to the narrator - Katherine Borowitz.

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Profile Image for Dani.
40 reviews22 followers
February 4, 2008
That's not a plot, that's a twist!

I read this book as a companion to "The Giver," and I was pretty disappointed. The underlying sense of unease and the tense pacing that makes the Giver so fantastic just isn't present in "Gathering Blue."

Part of this, is that because it is a companion book, I read this book differently than I read the Giver. Instead of reading the book with white knuckles and wide eyes, thinking, "What the heck is wrong with these people???" I read it thinking, "Yeah, yeah, creepy village -- what's the twist?" I think the book might actually be better read if you haven't read "The Giver." However, I'm hesitant to say that, because if you're going to read one dystopic Lowry novel, you should definitely go for The Giver.

Because the main character is an outcast and the reader is therefore also kept at arm's length from the village, the reader doesn't feel a strong sense of betrayal or shock when the inevitable twist occurs. We're not connected with the village, in the way that we were connected to Jonas's community through his ties for his parents and friends. Furthermore, the world is not incredibly well-crafted (Do we really need the beasts? Another device might have been even more menacing), to the point of being uninspired.

Kira is also very passive and it was hard for me to connect with her. Things happen to Kira -- she doesn't make things happen, which doesn't make for a gripping read. I wish the story had been told from the point of view of her adventurous young friend Matt, the only character in the novel who is dynamic enough to act. Also, the pacing is horribly slow. I don't think I would have had the patience for this novel as a young reader.

If you think that reading about someone sitting around and weaving is absolutely thrilling, then this book is for you. Or, if you keep a framed photo of M. Night Shyamalan on your nightstand, then you'll definitely like this book.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
January 2, 2022
Gathering Blue (The Giver, #2), Lois Lowry

Gathering Blue is a young adult social science novel, written by Lois Lowry and released in the year 2000.

It is a companion book to The Giver (1993) being set in the same future time period and universe, treating some of the same themes, and is followed by Messenger (2004), and Son (2012) in The Giver Quartet.

The central character, Kira, who has a deformed leg, is orphaned and must learn to survive in a society that normally leaves the weak or disabled exposed to die in the fields.

In the course of the book, she begins to learn the art of dyeing thread different colors, except for blue, which nobody in her community knows how to make. She also learns more about the truth of her village and the terrible secrets they hold.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 2014میلادی

عنوان: در جست و جوی آبی ه�� کتاب دوم از چهارگانه بخشنده؛ نویسنده: لوئیس لوری؛ مترجم: کیوان عبیدی آشتیانی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، چشمه، سال1388، در248ص، شابک9789643626822؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

داستان، دختر نوجوان یتیمی، به نام «کایرا» است، که با پاهای کج، به این دنیا میآید، و پس از درگذشت مادرش؛ میفهمد، در دهکده ای که، زندگی میکند، طبق قوانین، و رسوم حاکم بر آن، افراد معلول، از حق زندگی کردن، محروم هستند؛ پدرش، شکارچی ماهری بوده، اما شایع است، در یک حمله، توسط جانورها، در جنگل دریده، و شکار، شده است؛ «کایرا»، نگران آینده ی خویش است، اما او هنرمند است، و برخوردار از توانی کم نظیر و استثنایی، در بافتن پارچه، با نخهای رنگی، تواناست؛ شورای سرپرستی دهکده، از هنرش، آگاهی دارند؛ شورا، «کایرا» را، مورد حمایت قرار میدهد، تا هنر جادویی خود را، برای ترمیم شنل تاریخی دهکده، و بقای نظام حکومتی، به کار گیرد؛ «در جستجوی آبیها»، داستانی فانتزی، و علمی تخیلی است، از سری داستانهایی، با موضوع تلاش، برای تغییر جامعه، که توسط «لوئیس لوری»، نگاشته شده است؛ داستان نخست از این سری «بخشنده» نام دارد؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 21/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 11/10/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,632 reviews4,997 followers
February 16, 2016
Alright kids, settle down! It's time for our lesson of the day. Today we will be focusing on Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, which is her follow-up to The Giver, a popular modern classic that I know many of you loved.

But first let's clear the room of any adults disguised as kids. You know who you are! You read books written for children and young adults that are intended to be modern day parables, stripped of details and complicated, "realistic" characters, stories that are intended to be less about the world being built and more about the theme being developed, and you dismiss them as trite, two-dimensional, and predictable. Get out of here!

Also - and I'm sorry for any hurt feelings at this announcement - I'd like to ask that any of the less imaginative among us to maybe take a walk or a nap. If you can't conceive of a second book in a series having more of a thematic rather than a literal connection to its predecessor, if the very idea of a "thematic connection" makes you annoyed... then discussion of today's lesson is not for you! Sorry, and enjoy your break.

Okay, now that our group is a little smaller, maybe feels a little safer, let's dive in. Gathering Blue is set in a harsh world filled with even harsher adults. It's very different from The Giver, albeit with some key similarities: both are set in places that suffer from a lack of empathy and kindness; both stories recognize that pain is necessary to existence, connection to others creates meaning, and your imagination will set you free. The fascinating thing to consider is that these important ideas about the necessity of certain feelings and bonds and the power of imagination are conveyed in two completely different settings within tales that remain strikingly similar in their thematic intentions. Just as an artist will continually revisit the same themes and ideas, an important lesson will be retold in multiple ways - and still retain its value. The world of The Giver was creepily placid; the world of Gathering Blue is starkly brutal. The importance of the lesson remains the same despite the change in the story surrounding it; and yet it is that change in the story, in its setting and characters, that keeps the lesson fresh.

So what is the lesson here? You're a smart group of kids, so instead of dumbing it down, I will just quote it verbatim from the book:
“But to use the knowledge of the threading, you must learn the making of the shades. When to sadden with the iron pot. How to bloom the colors. How to bleed.”
Any questions?
Profile Image for Aaron.
16 reviews8 followers
July 2, 2008
If you want to know what the book is about, read the synopsis. I stopped doing book reports when I was in grade school. If you want to know what I thought of the book, read on

Wow, what a well written little story. Little in the sense it isn't long but there is a wonderful sense of economy with her writing, no, or very little, extraneous material. No outside characters that clog up the narrative.

I did see one of the plot twist coming and wondered why the author took her sweet time about revealing it to the main character even though as I reader, I saw it coming. Seems to be my trend lately, I keep seeing when writers throw in their version of the "McGuffin" or whatever Hitchcock called it.

Which isn't a bad thing, just try not to make it so obvious next time. I'm not sure if the reader should be smarter than the main character. It's like in films when the audience knows something it takes the character on the screen half the movie to figure out. Not good.

At any rate, I love the characters and mostly loved the style of writing. It was told simply and elegantly.The introduction of the world inhabited by the characters was top-notch.

As I predicted, I was sorry to see the book end but was very happy with the resolution of the story. It made sense to me, which I can't say about a lot of books.

When I returned the book to my local library, I went looking for the prequel (The Giver) only to come away empty handed. It is a very popular book!

But, then to my surprise, I found "Gathering Blue" had a sequel. I'd love to say I'll be diving in this right away but I have a whole stack of books that need to get read. Plus, I'd like some time to ruminate over this generally well told story.

Not much happens, but it is still a very fascinating read.

(I got an older copy from my local library and like the older/original cover better than the one pictured.)
Profile Image for Emily B.
424 reviews417 followers
March 16, 2021
3.5 rounded up.

Ignoring the fact that this is part of a series, as a stand alone book I did enjoy this.

Although It wasn’t ground breaking for me it was entertaining and I found it easy to read Kira’s story. I particularly liked Matt’s character and without him it would have felt a little flat.
Profile Image for Jinky.
538 reviews8 followers
September 16, 2010
I had this book mapped out in my mind. From where The Giver left off, I was sure book #2 would begin with Jonas and Gabriel surviving and finding the mainstream community, like that of our modern civilization... with music, color, and love, and then they live happily ever after. But book #2 wasn't concerned about telling Jonas's life story or a respite to what might face humankind in the future. Lowry was continuing to explore the world of a post-apocalyptic society. In this book, she has created a Village that is hostile to young children, ranks a person by how many syllables are in their name, and casts out damaged individuals to the Forest.

Set years after The Giver, we are introduced to Kira in this book. We learn that before she was born, her father went to hunt and was said to have been taken by the 'beast'. She was born crippled (twisted leg) and according to law she should have been cast out, but her mother Katrina did not let that happen. Then upon Katrina's strange death (the start of the book), Kira found herself orphaned and faced the mercy of The Council of Guardians to determine her fate. Fortunately, she was an 'artist' that they needed so they allowed her to stay and she becomes the seamstress to handle the coveted Singer's robe. She befriends another 'artist', Thomas the Carver. Also maintains her previous friendship with Matt, a spirited young 'tyke'. Then she learns from Isabella Annabella, a dye-colorist expert, that there are no beasts in the Forest. That and upon discovering the mysterious captivity of Jo, another 'artist' (a young girl that beautifully sings), Kari begins to wonder what is going on. In the meantime, Matt's eccentric character leads him into the Forest where he discovers Christopher (Kira's father). Before she knew it, Kari was going to get the puzzle pieces together. The ending of course was another thought provoking cliffhanger! The seed of hope may or may not flourish.

Once I understood where Lowry was going with this book, I liked the plot. However, I didn't find the characters as gripping as in the first book ... with exception of Matt, so I'm glad to see that he will have a major role in the third book.

I am curious to see how Lowry ends up tying it all together.

My quote-ables:
"Take pride in your pain, ...You are stronger than those who have none."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Chris Horsefield.
110 reviews120 followers
June 19, 2017
athering Blue is a companion novel to The Giver. This is a gentle warning that you won’t get any sort of resolution from The Giver with this book. Despite that little niggle, I actually really enjoyed Gathering Blue. I loved following Kira’s story as she faced an uncertain future. I really enjoy Lois Lowry’s writing style. I love how her books are frustrating, but so bloomin’ wonderful at the same time. The world which she imagines is rather terrifying.

Gathering Blue follows Kira, as she grieves for her mother who has recently died. Kira has a bad leg which disables her and makes her slower than the rest of her village. The other ladies want to get rid of her so they can rebuild a home on her mother’s land. Kira doesn’t give up easily and a talent that guides her through the tough times into interesting times ahead…

Gathering Blue is different from The Giver because it’s nowhere near as intense. Rating one over the other, I do prefer The Giver, but Gathering Blue is still a fantastic, wonderfully simple read. It was satisfying even though it was a short read. I feel like Lois Lowry doesn’t waste any time with pointless plot development or too many characters. Her writing is simple, to the point and it’s lovely to read. I hear the next book The Messenger, gives some resolution to the end of The Giver.
Profile Image for Caroline.
1,200 reviews141 followers
November 14, 2008
Reading this book reminded me a lot of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village (which a lot of people hated but is my favorite movie of his that I've seen!)--a village that seems just too good to be true, with a suspicious group of leaders and a question as to whether there really are monsters in the woods that are dangerous to the inhabitants.

I found it best to go into this without expectations, since I loved The Giver and knew this was supposed to be a companion novel to it, I didn't want to let my love for the previous novel make this experience less enjoyable. A lot of readers seem to have had that problem--they expect this to be some kind of sequel or the same story, whereas it's a companion in the sense that it shares a lot of the same themes from The Giver and it seems to be the same post-apocalyptic world where different societies have cropped up around the world and adjust to the new situations differently.

The plot in here isn't exactly fast-moving, but the mystery of it kept me very invested in it. I really enjoy dystopian novels, and this had an interesting twist to it with the children artists and the manipulation of them.
Profile Image for Keith Akers.
Author 6 books75 followers
December 3, 2012
At the age of 63, I've read "The Giver" and have now read "Gathering Blue." I continue to be impressed. I like authors who take simple elements and make a complex story out of them. There's no rich historical tapestry nor complicated interplay of personalities. This is a story that adults can appreciate, and I wonder what it would have been like to read this story when I was 12 years old. (Of course, when I was 12 years old, this story hadn't been written).

Once again, it is set in a society which is simpler than ours (or at least, not as technologically advanced). It is a society harsher than ours, though not entirely without feeling -- so this is not a leaden-handed "dystopia." In fact, in many ways it feels like our own society. If you've read "The Giver," the ending of "Gathering Blue" represents an interesting contrast.

If you read this book without reading "The Giver," the genre would be unclear at first. Is this science fiction, fantasy, or just a drama set in the future -- or in the past, or on a different planet entirely? In "Gathering Blue" it becomes clear for the first time that this is a drama set in the future, and is set on the planet Earth that we know. It is not a Middle-Earth like land created ex nihilo. This is evident from the "poetry" at the bottom of p. 171, "Ravaged all, Bogo tabal, Timore toron, Totoo now gone." But there are also fantasy elements, just as in "The Giver," in this case a piece of cloth that clearly conveys danger, or reassurance. Or is even this reading too much into the plot? I appreciate this kind of ambiguity in a story.

Finally, there is the idea that pain gives strength, which is laid on top of another idea, that cooperation compensates for weakness. I don't like this world of backyard chickens in an uncaring world, but I was warmed the idea that human beings can rediscover compassion within themselves all over again.
Profile Image for Lee  (the Book Butcher).
245 reviews65 followers
June 18, 2021
and now for something completely different...… no seriously this is totally different to the Giver on purpose that's how they tie in. get it? well I will try to help even though I am butcher from Georgia and not a magical future telling artist. the theme/lesson is the same as in the giver presented through the lens of a different community this one called the village. the community (giver) is emotionless, passive, strictly structured, and suppresses the past. the village (Gathering Blue) is demonstrative, violent, chaotic, and celebrates its past. both have head counsels lead by elders. In my opinion the communities' counsel seems evil but is acting in everyone's best interest. the village's counsel seems to help Kira but is only acting in their best interest. Jonas is a accepted member of the community. Kira is a outcast of the village. Jonas become isolated by the memories (insight). Kira becomes accepted for her talents (foresight). the giver begins with Jonas being secure and happy. and ends with him feeling detached until he escapes. Gathering Blue begins with Kira in danger of losing her life. and ends with her feeling needed and refusing to leave. and their evolving relationship are the motivators in both decisions. I could go own but you get it now I'm sure.

I liked the giver better but only because the community was more interesting than the village was. These are in fact perfect companion books. Two sides of the same coin, ying and yang, colored and colorless.

And to those who ask what happened to Jonas and Gabe? be patient. Is there any doubt that the pale eyed unbroken boy is Jonas. So he and Gabe are living with the third group that helps each other. And that Kira and Jonas will meet. After all my main complaint of the series so far is that they are to predictable. Or maybe I am a magical fortune teller after all.
Profile Image for Kelly H. (Maybedog).
2,391 reviews219 followers
October 28, 2015
Boring and predictable and trite and not at all what I was expecting. I thought it was a continuation of The Giver but it isn't. I thought it would be in the same world as The Giver but I can't see any similarities. I thought it would be science fiction but there is nothing along the lines of The Giver in that department.

This might be a great read for a young adult who hasn't read the giver or doesn't know it's part of that "series" but I didn't enjoy it at all and couldn't finish it. For those who will condemn me for not liking a young adult book because it's trite and predictable, please keep in mind that this review is about how I enjoyed the book and I acknowledge that others might like it. Please keep that in mind while you are bashing. :)
Profile Image for Maciek.
558 reviews3,272 followers
June 30, 2014
Gathering Blue is an unlikely sequel to The Giver, Lois Lowry's famous dystopia. It's unlikely because it has literally nothing to do with its predecessor, and I'm not sure why it was even written.

Like The Giver, Gathering Blue is also a dystopian novel andalthough you might find it difficult to believe the dystopian world in the novel is even less developed than the one in The Giver. Basically, the story is set in a village at some unspecific point in time, where people who cannot work and contribute to society are killed. The main character, Kira, is handicapped (a twisted leg), and was protected from being killed by her mother, who has just died. The Village Council decides to allow Kira to remain within the village as she is a skilled weaver, and gives her a important task - repairing illustrations embroidered on a robe which shows the history of the society, worn by a Singer who performs at a day-long Ruin Song Gathering, singing about the past.

Perhaps the fatal flaw of Gathering Blue is the lack of details, even more so than in The Giver - we do not connect with Kira's village because we know so little about it - the political and societal structure of he village is barely drawn, and is even more unimaginative than the one in The Giver. The plot feels contrived to the point of being absurd - the significance of the paintings which Kira repairs is never fully explained - and, like The Giver, the book ends with a cliffhanger - with a twist that would make M. Night Shyamalan cringe. But to get to that point you'll have to get through an unimaginative book which moves at a glacial pace, with events that we don't care about and people we don't care for - I can't possibly see how it could attract the attention of younger readers, let alone keep it.

I've just read that Gathering Blue is a "companion" book to The Giver, and not a sequel, which could at least partly be an explanation for absolute lack of links between the two. Which leads me to the question - what exactly was the point in writing it? Perhaps I'll find an answer in the later volumes of this saga, but if they maintain this level of quality then I'm not sure if I want to read them.
Profile Image for Julie.
72 reviews1 follower
October 5, 2009
Going into this book knowing that it is the companion to The Giver did not do me any favors. The problem is that The Giver is so darn good that any "companion" would not live up to it. This is what happened.

One problem is that there isn't a whole lot going on. Kira leads us through a ton of information about weaving/sewing, threads, dyes, plants, etc. I really expected something bigger to come out of this. Some sort of explanation for her being. Nope. None. You do get the feeling that a lot more is going on (i.e. with the Council) than Kira knows about, but we never really learn about that either.

This book was predictable. Part of this might have come from the links between M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and this book. Because of this, we already had a feeling that the Council had a dirty secret, that there were no beasts, and that there were other, better communities out there.

I read someone else's review that made a good point: in The Giver, we are connected to the community because Jonas is. Because we are invested in how great it is, we feel real disquiet and betrayal at the truths behind the community. Since Kira is an outcast and has always been treated poorly, we don't really feel any pain at the loss of what we thought was home. This was something Lowrey did wonderfully in The Giver and didn't manage in Gathering Blue.

It was still a good book. I kept at it, eager to know what would happen in the end. And I will eventually want to read The Messenger. But I'm not in any hurry. I would have given this book 2.5 stars if possible.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sandy .
356 reviews10 followers
March 26, 2017
While Gathering Blue is the second book in The Giver Quartet, it is not a sequel to The Giver. There are similarities, though. Both stories explore themes of physical and emotional pain, individual worth, communal memory, and the role of the governing body of a community -- all, amazingly through the eyes and experiences of children.

I really love the main characters, Kira, Thomas, Matt, and Jo. (I even feel fond of Matt's resilient dog, Branch.) In the midst of the violence and anxiety of their dystopian village, the children remain incredibly calm and reliable; intelligent and thoughtful; gentle, sensitive, and loving. They seem too "perfect" to be real children but nonetheless each day I looked forward to escaping to their world and hearing of their adventures.

I was deeply moved by the vivid descriptions of surroundings and events, both beautiful and horrible, apparently a trademark of author Lois Lowry. Like The Giver, Gathering Blue has strong spiritual overtones. I was astounded by the symbolism which is woven into the story, much as Kira weaves her colourful threads into the fabric of the community's sacred robe. Kira is a girl with a challenge and a gift, and throughout the story there is a sense of divine presence and purpose in her life.

Although this book has been on my virtual "to-read" shelf ever since I read The Giver a couple of years ago, I am glad that I did not rush to read it sooner. It has come to me following a long fallow time, a trudge through a spiritual wilderness, like blue sky after a storm or cool water on a hot day. Its loving tones, its rich symbolism, and its hope for the future in Kira's world have begun to revitalize me and once again, as often happens during the time of Epiphany, when the days have begun to lengthen, I feel confident that the Inner Light will also return.
Profile Image for A..
333 reviews48 followers
November 8, 2021
Si este libro es la continuación de "El dador de recuerdos" la autora prefiere que ni lo notemos. Nos arroja fríamente a un Mundo diferente al que conocimos en su libro anterior, con nueva protagonista y nuevas circunstancias. La historia es una suerte de coyuntura para unir el anterior relato con los que vendrán. Y así debe entenderse (la verdad es que así la entendí yo, si alguien entendió otra cosa, iluminadme)
Nora queda huérfana y con una discapacidad motora en una pierna. A pesar de las prácticas y lacónicas sugerencias de algunos ("Matémosla") el Consejo de Guardianes la conserva porque la niña muestra una excepcional e inexplicable habilidad para el Tejido. Y pronto se unirá a otros niños que muestran una excepcional e inexplicable habilidad para algo y que también han quedado huérfanos.
Una historia que va escalando en tensión pausadamente, con personajes queribles y donde Lowry muestra su elegancia narrativa y una notable capacidad creativa: Una auténtica Creadora de nuevos Mundos con sus sistemas de gobierno, leyes, reglas sociales y valores culturales.
La historia es lenta, simple y breve. Un puente hacia lo que vendrá. Y deja un buen sabor de boca. No es mucho más que eso, pero tiene sus méritos.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,688 reviews1,266 followers
December 7, 2015
This started out okay, but I lost interest as it went on.

I felt quite sorry for Kira and the way she was treated in this book, the people of this village were seriously harsh, and really didn’t give anybody a chance if they had any kind of disability or impairment!

The storyline was about Kira being at risk of being thrown out of the village where she lived after her mother died, and her life thereafter. There were a lot of plot-points that were entirely too obvious and the slow pace in the second half killed this book for me.
The ending was okay, although it was clear that the story would be continued.

6 out of 10
Profile Image for Spider the Doof Warrior.
433 reviews238 followers
March 12, 2015
The problem with this book is it doesn't seem like it's the same world as The Giver.

The Giver world was full of technology that blocked out WEATHER and they genetically altered people. They had pills that suppressed feelings and passion. There were no mammals and birds allowed!

But the world in this book is gritty and dirty. Parents smack their kids. Men hunt with spears. Women can't read, it's sexist and horrible. Everyone has to punch each other and beat each other up for the slightest thing. They live in mud huts and put children in chicken pens.

the only nice building is the one Kira lives in after her mother dies and she becomes an orphan with no father but a lot of talent. Despite the fact that her world is dirty and gritty, the stakes just aren't as high for her as they are for Jonas.

She lives in a cushy place with hot water where Jonas was running away from a place of comfort to the unknown.

I don't see how she and Thomas are going to change things, but at least they're safe?

Also, I really don't find it believable that Jonas and her marry in the 4th book. Marrying Thomas makes a bit more sense. Also the syllable thing DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. Some names don't need four syllables. Really, the Giver is better than this book.

Also, did M Night rip off this book for the Village?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Howard.
1,115 reviews66 followers
June 16, 2022
4 Stars for Gathering Blue: The Giver Quartet, Book 2 (audiobook) by Lois Lowry read by Katherine Borowitz.

This is a interesting story and it gives us more of a understanding of the Giver’s world but it’s just not as special as the first book for me. I think I’ll go a head and give the third book a try.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Caston.
Author 8 books130 followers
May 7, 2022
It wasn't really clear to me if or how this one tied to The Giver from a plot standpoint, but as a "thematic sequel," it was quite interesting. I saw parallels of more "rules" in Kira's society and that instead of gaslighting everyone into thinking life is awesome, when it really sucks, as we had in The Giver, here we have rules that are just trying to put young people on a physical and emotional control and get them used to labor in a cutthroat society where you better pull your weight or you're dead meat. This one almost seemed even more draconian than the Giver.

Still, it didn't quite grab me as much as The Giver. I'll still continue with this series though. I can see how this would be important YA literature.
Profile Image for Amber J.
868 reviews54 followers
May 20, 2020
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. Unfortunately, there is still always a risk of slight spoilers despite my best efforts. If you feel something in my review is a spoiler please let me know. Thank you.

This book was really pretty good. I was surprised cause it was given a lower rating than The Giver and also many reviews were saying that it wasn't as good, but I thought it was great. It had a different setting than the first book, but a lot of the underlying issues are still there but in a different form. Where the first book was more futuristic and everything pleasant, this book was more barbaric. And the way they treat the children was just horrible. That was the hardest part of the book to read.

I'm curious as to how the next book will go. I'm hoping it will be another different sort of setting as its interesting to see how the different worlds can go. Although this one didn't explain why it was that way, maybe that's cause it didn't need much of an explanation.
Profile Image for Yeganeh Moeini.
67 reviews25 followers
April 2, 2021
برعکس کتاب اول، بخشنده، که با فریب دادن و محدود کردن عواطف و آزادی برای تمام مردم زندگی مصنوعی راحتی ساخته بودند و هنر هم به همین دلیل وجود نداشت، توی این داستان به هنر ارزش داده شده و کسی جز هنرمندها و رئیس‌ها از هیچ رفاهی برخوردار نیست. اما باز هم رفاه رو به قیمت از دست دادن خانواده، آزادی و با فریب به هنرمندها اعطا می‌کنند.
Profile Image for John Gilbert.
828 reviews83 followers
April 7, 2022
Gathering Blue is the second book in the Giver series of four books by Lois Lowry. There is no direct relation of this story to the first, only a different place with different circumstances. The Giver was a perfect society on the surface, this one is far from it.

Again we have a dystopian world, this time young Kira is our heroine, growing up in most difficult circumstances where a special skill sets her apart from others in this fraught environment. Orphaned, she survives and eventually thrives, but she begins to see just what her world really is.

This was very slow starting, but with Matt, her urchin friend and Thomas, another talented boy, to share her journey, the story unfolds. Like The Giver, there are no easy answers or conclusive endings, but once again Ms Lowry writes a beautiful story with meaning.
Profile Image for Trisha.
276 reviews112 followers
April 1, 2021
After the magnificent The Giver, this was definitely a disappointment! I wish Lowry had rather continued the story from The Giver and not written a brand new story (which doesn’t even seem brand new because it has a similar kind of dystopian world, just poorer) that clearly lacks the quality of its predecessor.

Tenth book read for 2021 Reading Challenge's 25k Readathon.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,723 reviews6,664 followers
December 30, 2015
Gathering Blue is the second installment in author Lois Lowry's The Giver Quartet. I was pretty confused going into this book as I just assumed the story would be picking back up at the point where The Giver ended. But Gathering Blue is a different story with different characters. Dystopian? Yes. But it features a much calmer world than what I've become accustomed in the dystopian genre. It's not bad at all, just different. This story taught me that dreams of darkened alternate futures don't always have to be filled with dehumanizing technological advancements, man-made disasters, or class-based revolutions... they can be filled with passivity and the accepted discard of the weak, which in the end is just as terrifying.

My favorite quote:
"Take pride in your pain," her mother had always told her. "You are stronger than those who have none."
Profile Image for Kaora.
559 reviews281 followers
November 19, 2014
A quick read, that is a little confusing as it didn't seem to relate to the first book in the series.

Kira has just lost her mother and the only thing standing between her and the cruel women of the village. She is crippled, and in their eyes she is just another mouth to feed. One that contributes nothing. But she does have one skill, one that may save her life.

This world is very different from the one I entered with the first book in the series. People are dirty. They fight for food, keep their toddlers in pens with the fowl and live in huts. It was not what I was expecting at all.

The treatment of kids in this book was sad for me. People in the town were selfish, and got what they wanted even at the expense of their children. The slapping and kicking was also shocking to me.

However, I enjoyed the main character, Kira. Despite her naivety I really liked seeing through her eyes. I'm intrigued to see what happens to her, and how these worlds combine.
Profile Image for H.
1,155 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2014
Is it just me, or is this book missing an ending? I understand cliffhangers and I understand open endings, but this books ends without anything being resolved whatsoever. THE GIVER has an incredibly open ending, but the main conflicts were resolved and action was taken. In this, I have no idea how anything is fixed or changed. There is no confrontation with Jamison, no confrontation with Vandana, no confrontation about Annabella's/Katrina's/Thomas's & Jo's parents deaths, nothing about the treatment of the special children (Thomas, Kira, and Jo), nothing about how Kira might make changes in the village, nothing about the current Singer, etc. It would be like if THE GIVER ended after Jonas witnesses his father euthanizing the newborn. It lists all the problems and stacks them up nicely, but there's no continuing step. If this was a community like that in THE GIVER, fine. It's easy enough to imagine up change for that place, since it is so orderly and peaceful and the people are so passive. But this is a community of violence, oppression, and cruelty. That Kira discovers some deep dark secrets and resolves to make things better, and leaving it at that, doesn't cut it, not for me. It's too unbelievable, considering the lack of respect she commands from pretty much everyone but Thomas and Matt. Why would people who leave their neighbors and children to die in the Field, and want to leave her there to die already, and who have a history of killing anyone that gets in their way, listen to anything she has to say or even care? That, I can't figure my way around. It just feels like lazy writing, which is not what I think of when I think of Lowry's books. Maybe there's some deeper meaning or hints or something, but I didn't see it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alondra Miller.
966 reviews55 followers
February 13, 2016
4 Stars

Well, I must say this was pretty good.

We get to experience another enclave in this mysterious world, created in the first book of the series; The Giver. Another settlement of higher council stiffs, lording over those less fortunate. When special gifts are displayed, those gifted are chosen (stolen) to serve; and everything and everyone around them is expendable.

A few twists in the story, but the ending was not satisfactory. Why choose that route?? Why not peace?? Why?? I am not saying the ending was as heart-breaking as The Giver, but not sure if it will work. Not under the circumstances dealt.

Profile Image for Terris.
990 reviews49 followers
November 25, 2017
I really enjoyed this Book #2 of The Giver series. It has a little mystery, drama, and sweetness all put together in this one book. And it has enough of a secret at the end that it leaves the reader wanting to get to the next book (Messenger) to see what happens! Can't wait!
Profile Image for Irene ➰.
403 reviews76 followers
June 18, 2018

Considering how much I loved the first book, I don’t really know how to feel about this one.
The whole concept and idea was very interesting, the idea of an archaic society that at the same time is futuristic, where the people that are considered weak can’t be part of it.

The thing that didn’t convince me was the plot itself.
Kira is a girl with a “defect” for this type of society, but thanks to her talent in needlework, once her mother mysteriously dies because of a sickness, she is brought to work for the finest people of this society.
There she meets Thomas and little Jo, who have too incredible talents.

Throughout the book there are little peculiar things that got my attention, like that they can earn a longer name with time, that’s a cool thing to add.
But plot speaking, it lost me a little from its middle till the end.
Even if it’s very easy to follow, there are some parts that for me are still a mystery.
The characters didn’t help to build the entire story, I found them interesting but with little personality.

The finale too was very predictable and nothing too exciting happened throughout our story. The setting and idea got immediately my attention but unfortunately it faded while continuing with the read.
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