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The Giver

(The Giver #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,924,721 ratings  ·  67,768 reviews
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragi ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 24th 2006 by Ember (first published April 26th 1993)
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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)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  1,924,721 ratings  ·  67,768 reviews

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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
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
James Carroll
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Miranda Reads
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Stuck at home? Got some time on your hands? Want to start a long series? But you don't want a dud?

Then I have some suggestions for you!

Check out this booktube video all about which series are worth your time (and which ones aren't)!

Thanks for watching and happy reading!

Check Out the Written Review!

Man oh man, for a children's book...Lowry certainly didn't pull any punches.

Jonas lives in a perfectly perfect world.

Every family has one mother, one father, one girl and one boy.

Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it

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

Julie Ruble
Jan 21, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
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
Emma Giordano
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.5/5 Stars! I read this book previously in middle school for English class and was still able to appreciate it almost a decade later.

The Giver is a story that sticks with many of us as it is often a part of required reading in school. I consider it one of the most impactful academic reads from my adolescence as it was one of the first stories to feel targeted towards me. I think the concept is fantastic and appreciate it's method of tackling serious issues through the lens of a teen. Though it
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i have read this so many times throughout my life, that i have lost count. this is definitely the first book that introduced me to a dystopian world and it has become my standard for judging all others.

i think if i picked this up for the first time now, im not sure i would love it as much as i do. with an objective view, i can understand how it might feel outdated with some loose ends. but this will always have a place in my heart for helping me imagine a world and reality outside of my own.

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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The giver (The Giver Quartet, #1), Lois Lowry

The Giver is a 1993 American young adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses.

The novel follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas. The society has taken away pain and strife by converting to "Sameness", a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives.

Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who

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
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: YA
Recommended to Joyzi by: Goodreads
My Reaction After Reading This:
wtf haruhi Pictures, Images and Photos

2 stars





(*coughs* sorry I forgot to turn off the C
mark monday
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it

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
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
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
The style of the wording pleased me very much. So much that it threatened to engulf my perception of the story. I liked the book's plot, but what made me rate the book 5 stars was the presentation of the characters.

I thought the Giver would be someone who is the main character...but maybe he still is. Jonas, as a special and precocious boy, is the classic hero in this book.

I think many people have read The Giver. If you haven't, then there's no hurry. The story will remain actual at any time of
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,
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"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
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 YA the p ...more
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Hang on to your books...

In these days when memories, and indeed history, are being overwritten by bland sameness we still think of Lois Lowry.

We have indeed come much too far to regress, and I think - now that all Givers are segregated from the heap, and pretty well left to their own devices - that we are all forced to cut our losses and smile wistfully at our lost pasts.

Our pasts seem, more and more now, jagged and uneven - but my own past I am not willing to sever from my sou
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this dystopian YA novel in two sittings, at the urging of a real-life friend. He said I should try to imagine my 12-year old self reading it, which would have been at boarding school, where I was in a house of 34 girls aged 11-16. It was a really interesting way to read it. Here’s the reviewer:

12-year old Cecily’s review (as imagined by adult Cecily)

I didn’t get excited about my 12th birthday last month because it was my first one away from home. A couple of girls had birthdays last term
Clumsy Storyteller
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
• Lindsey Dahling •
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bitchin
In times of anguish, I always turn to The Giver. It reminds me that feelings, no matter how painful, are vital to our humanity.
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
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
Dan Schwent
Jonas' world seems like a utopia of peace and harmony with little conflict and everyone doing their job. That is, until Jonas is selected to be the new Receiver of Memories and learns utopia isn't all it's cracked up to be...

Once upon a time, sometime in the nebulous nineties when the only things I read were Star Wars and Anne Rice, my brother was assigned to read this in school. My mom read it after him and assigned it to me. Now, years later, my wife and I read it together. It still holds up.

snif. this book 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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.5) Not really surprising but turns out this is more enjoyable when you actually understand English!
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Do Gabe and Jonas die at the end 476 7238 May 31, 2021 10:53PM  
Catching up on Cl...: Giver, The: No Spoilers 23 79 May 08, 2021 04:17PM  
Catching up on Cl...: Giver, The - SPOILERS 27 67 Apr 20, 2021 06:29AM  
Through the Booki...: Chapter 6 2 2 Apr 12, 2021 09:05PM  
Through the Booki...: Chapter 5 1 1 Mar 29, 2021 09:35PM  
Through the Booki...: Chapter 2 2 3 Mar 09, 2021 05:50PM  

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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)
  • Gathering Blue
  • Messenger
  • Son

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Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
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“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” 5377 likes
“We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” 592 likes
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