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


(The Giver #4)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  86,505 ratings  ·  8,734 reviews
They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? S ...more
Hardcover, 393 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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 Son, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mommooshka You should read all 4 books in sequence for the best experience: The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Some of the characters reappear in the…moreYou should read all 4 books in sequence for the best experience: The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Some of the characters reappear in the later books. It's a great series for older kids as well as adults.(less)
Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
126 books — 1,327 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsInsurgent by Veronica Roth
YA Dystopia Novels
1,559 books — 11,315 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  86,505 ratings  ·  8,734 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Son


This cannot be how you chose to end the quartet.

I am flabbergasted and bereft and... cheated. I feel cheated.

In the same way Suzanne Collins ruined The Hunger Games trilogy in its crummy final act, so too has Lowry with Son.

Despite being weaker efforts, Gathering Blue and Messenger felt like stepping stones toward an ending that would seamlessly combine disparate sto
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miranda Reads
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
2.5 stars

I'm done. I'm so done right now.

This one dragggggged. The answers we've been waiting for since book 1 were never truly given and we were forced to watch (yet another) set of side characters become the mains.

This time we follow Claire - a birth mother from Jonas's original city. Much like Jonas, she doesn't take the emotion-suppressing pills and thus develops the ability to love.

And she loves her son fiercely.
She would die, Claire realized, before she would give up the love she fel
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Son is made up of three parts: Before, Between, and Beyond. If I were to name them, I would gather them into one book and name it Boring.

WHY THE HELL WAS THIS NOVEL 400 PAGES LONG!?! The previous three were about 200 pages. If you delete the double spaces, this book would be 300 pages, and from there, pointless descriptions and subplots would be easily cut down to 200 pages. Yes, I'm serious.

I mean, we spend 140 pages with Claire JUST TRAINING TO CLIMB THE F*CKING CLIFF!!! I DON'T GIVE A SH!T LO
Apr 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
I love The Giver. I count it as one of my favorite books of all time. It was the book that inspired me to read and made me want to write.

And I should have stopped at The Giver. My ratings of the books in the series have gotten progressively worse. I liked Gathering Blue, wish I didn't read The Messenger, and now wish I could take back time with The Son. I spent money on it, and I want it back. Sort of. I do love Lois Lowry.

But this is a great example of how to set rules and not break them. The
Spoiler alert!!! I have such mixed feelings about this series and book. The Giver was wonderful, but it was clear to me that the boys died at the end - old handed down memories of a sled in the snow do not lead to real redemption from freezing and starvation. Then I enjoyed Gathering Blue even more, except that it seemed that Lowry believed that her characters from the first book had survived, and were living in some sort of utopian village. Then, in The Messenger , she had a beloved characte ...more
Donna Ludovico
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book did everything I wanted it to do. It wrapped up three other books into one story. Book one, The Giver, was suggested to me for reading by my son after he was required to read it for middle school language arts class. I enjoyed the book and the book discussion with my son. He was certain that Jonas and Gabe died at the end and the vision of a cozy, happy world was a dying dream since no two such different worlds could have existed in the same time period. This led to a discussion of the ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Too pat...and the math doesn't add up!

I was disappointed. I had found "The Giver" to be a thought-provoking, well-written book -- especially Lowry's portrayal of a community of chilling banality and the ambiguous ending -- and I was hoping to see this world flushed out in her subsequent books. (Warning, I'm going to discuss the books and while I don't give away endings, you might not want to know these details.)

But this didn't do it. It was too pat -- especially part 3 I wasn't keen on the super
mark monday
There is a lovely story in Son, all about a girl who has forgotten her traumatic past, slowly finding herself and redefining herself at a leisurely pace in a small and very rural coastal village. I was enchanted by this deliberately reflective middle section. Lowry's talents were in full bloom: a pastoral scene was perfectly set and a meditative mood established; the sweet peacefulness of this community and its potential for kindness - for human kindness in general - was illustrated while the po ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Son (The Giver Quartet #4), Lois Lowry
Son is the final entry in The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, first published October 2, 2012. It was preceded by Messenger, the third book of the series. The book follows Claire, the mother of Gabriel, the baby seen in The Giver. Son is written in three parts, each with a subtitle: Before, Between, and Beyond.
Before takes place in the same location ("The Community") and at the same time as The Giver. Claire's assigned occupation in the community is Birth Mothe
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I've had a really hard time with this series. I read the Giver as a teen, loved it, have thought of it often, and one of my first acts when the internet really became a resource for knowledge was looking up to see if Lowry had ever said whether or not Gabe and Jonas made it, or just died of hypothermia. I remember vividly that the interview said that she left it ambiguous on purpose so the reader could decide.

Years pass and then suddenly I discovered that The Giver was now part of a trilogy. I
Lacey Skorepa
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Spellbinding Conclusion to "The Giver"

Almost twenty years after "The Giver", Lois Lowry offers up the story's conclusion in "Son" (aptly named). The story begins with Claire, a girl of fourteen who lives in the same Community as Jonas (from "The Giver"). At her Ceremony of Twelve Clarie is given her assignment, Birthmother. But during the birthing something goes wrong and while both Claire and the child (product number 36) are spared, Claire is reassigned. Yet even in her new job, Claire cannot
Duke L
I'm reasonably certain that Lois Lowry wrote this after overhearing two potheads discussing their great philosophical ideas from inside a massive cloud of smoke.

-What if evil was, like, a dude?
-If you could trade, like, 40 years of your life for anything you wanted, would you do it?
-Oh dude, I think I can actually feel inside your brain. Like I can feel your thoughts, dude.
-I bet a dude who was, like, really evil would smell evil.
-I could beat that evil dude with just good thoughts, man. Good vi
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 4-star
4 stars. THIS BOOK. ASDFHKSLFJAJSDS. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LONG I'VE BEEN WAITING TO SAY THAT I ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THE GIVER SERIES??? Like…years. YEARS, BRO. But I'm still not exactly sure I understand it 100% (lololol) which is why I'm not giving 5 stars here BUT! IT WAS SO GOOD. And the ending was amazing I was smiling so hard. :') OKAY LET'S MAKE A LIST BEFORE I RUN AWAY WITH MY EMOTIONS.


Everything?? HAHA SO MUCH FOR NOT RUNNING AWAY WITH MY EMOTIONS. This was a good book. It wa
C.G. Drews

YAY I'M FINALLY FINISHED THIS SERIES!! I've been reading The Giver Quartet since I was, 14?! The Giver came out in 1993 and the final book, Son, came out in 2012. SO YEAH. I suppose we can add Lois Lowry to the list of authors who-takes-forever-to-finish-their-books. But I'm happy! I think Son had pacing issues, and it broke my heart a little, but it was a satisfying conclusion.

I still think my favourite book is Messenger and Mattie.
Sarah Elizabeth
This was a good end to the series, and my favourite book of the series too. I liked that things finally came together, I liked how things from the previous books that I hadn’t understood were finally explained, and I liked that we got a kind-of happy ending!
(view spoiler)

6.5 out of 10["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Vikki VanSickle
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, classics, middle-grade
Son opens with a captivating scene of a girl, referred to by her watchers as a Vessel, being blindfolded before ‘the process’ begins. The process is birth and the girl is Claire, a first-time Birthmother. She has been told little about ‘the process,’ but becomes even more confused as things get complicated and ‘the product’ (the baby) has to be surgically removed. After the process Claire is reassigned, but she can’t stop thinking about her baby. She finds a way into the Nurturing Centre, where ...more
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, ya, dystopia
Son brings us back to the original community we read about in The Giver, and tells us the story from the perspective of Water Claire and ties up the questions about the place where Jonas and Gabe were born.

Everyone in the community is assigned a ‘job’ at the age of 13. Claire was given the job of Vessel. ‘Vessels’ carried ‘Products’ (um, babies) and at 14 Claire produced her one and only product in the form of a Son. There was an issue with the birth and she was relieved of her vessel duties, bu
Mary N
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liam Degnan
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody lol
Let me be frank. These books got super weird.

As mentioned in my review of book three, The Giver (book 1) was a fast favorite for me because I read it when I was much younger, and it kind of helped transition me into more adult writing. Lots of real world themes, great characters, a convincing plot, and a truly touching story. The remaining books attempt to continue this story, beginning with the development of Kira, who lives in a Community that is extremely different from the one Jonas was rai
Jen Blackham
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think my rating is a bit of an emotional one, rather than strictly rational. If I stop and think/critique SON, there are things I didn't understand or care for ... but as soon as I picked up the book, I was immediately captivated and couldn't put it down. And as I finished it, I think back on it fondly *Ü*

The book is divided into three parts .. Before, Between and Beyond. Part 1 takes you right back to The Giver. Back to the community, with Jonas. You get to see the same things from another pe
I am glad this was a satisfying conclusion to this series (I sometimes wondered if it would be satisfying in the end). As a whole, this series had many highs and many lows. In the end, I was pleased with the resolution.

Son was divided into 3 books - here is a quick review of each:

Book 1 - 5 stars
This was an interesting return to the world of The Giver. I was very drawn in by Clare's story and her yearning for her son - I think having kids myself helped me connect to this part.

Book 2 - 2 Stars
Faith M ✨
I really liked this, but I didn't love it.

The Writing and World-Building

I really liked how this book goes into some more mature themes, like motherhood, apathy, abuse, and depression, but found that in the third part, where it should have climaxed and been at its literary peak, I found it somewhat lacking. There were some characters whose arcs weren't really completed. I did, though, really appreciate the return of the Trademaster, though he did feel rather stereotypical and cliché.

The Ch
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. "The Giver" is one of my all time favorites, the story was just so poignant, moving, and left so much room for independent thought and interpretation. I also enjoyed "Gathering Blue" and while I was sort of underwhelmed by "Messenger" I enjoyed seeing the three protagonists of the books come together to vanquish evil through the giving of one of their own lives. It satisfied me as an end to this loosely tied together trilogy and then this book c ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-borrowed
The Finale

In Son, Lowry returns to the original socialist village from whence Jonas came and traces the story of Claire, who was also in the Village. Claire was a fourteen year old birthmother, who lived in the birthmother’s house and was tasked with producing products (babies) for the nursery to then be distributed to families who qualified for another child. Claire gives birth to a son and longs to rescue him, but her son, Gabe, is taken by Jonas on his sled to a new world. This is Claire’s p
Spider the Doof Warrior
May 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I wish the connections were deeper to all the stories, but it was a nice end to this quartet. See 'The Giver', it's a great movie.. ...more
Kerri Anne
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Preface: I was weary to begin this book knowing full well it was the official end of a new-found and much beloved series. But begin I did, and then proceeded to swim tirelessly through it, only stopping to sleep and even then, reluctantly so and really only because Matt reminded me the pathogens plaguing so many, the ones I've been narrowly avoiding for weeks now, are still just waiting patiently for my immune system to stumble. It's beautiful, is my overall point, and I could have happily read ...more
Son is the fourth and final installment in Lois Lowry's young adult, dystopian series titled The Giver Quartet. I enjoyed seeing how all the books in this series finally tied together. I was definitely wondering for a while why the series was set up the way it was, but it all came together in the end. Overall, I liked this book and I enjoyed the series as a whole. It's doesn't make my favorites list but that's just personal preference. If you enjoy young adult, dystopian novels then I would
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison County NC...: Son 1 1 Oct 20, 2020 04:37AM  
So... How did you like it? 18 117 Mar 31, 2020 01:06PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Son {February 22, 2019} 2 17 Feb 25, 2019 04:44AM  
Play Book Tag: Son by Lois Lowry - 2 stars 4 19 Aug 19, 2018 08:10PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Messenger by Lois Lowry
  • Lois Lowry Giver Series: The Giver, Messenger, Gathering Blue
  • The Messanger
  • The People of Sparks (Book of Ember, #2)
  • The Prophet of Yonwood (Book of Ember, #3)
  • The Diamond of Darkhold (Book of Ember, #4)
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)
  • The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3)
  • Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
  • Extras (Uglies, #4)
  • Out of My Mind
  • A Weary World: Reflections for a Blue Christmas
  • Specials (Uglies, #3)
  • Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
  • The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, #2)
  • The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1)
  • The Fever Code (The Maze Runner, #5)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

The Giver (4 books)
  • The Giver (The Giver, #1)
  • Gathering Blue
  • Messenger

Articles featuring this book

As fans of The Hunger Games know, your enemies always seem to reemerge right when you least expect them. That's right, this month, Suzanne...
100 likes · 66 comments
25 trivia questions
1 quiz
More quizzes & trivia...
“Fear dims when you learn things.” 92 likes
“It be better, I think, to climb out in search of something, instead of hating, what you're leaving.” 52 likes
More quotes…