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The Giver Quartet
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Some Leftovers! (Previous Reads) > The Giver Quartet

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message 1: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Hello Everyone,

Some of us have enjoyed reading Lois Lowry's The Giver but found out that there's more to the story than its abrupt ending. So, we decided to continue the quartet as a side read.

All group members are very much welcomed to share with us thoughts on the quartet whether by participating in the discussion and/or reading along with us. We've agreed in the side dishes main thread to start reading Gathering Blue by the beginning of May and depending on how we go along we'll set time for continuing the quartet. So, here we are.

For those of you who haven't started reading The Giver Quartet yet, you can catch up with our previous discussion on The Giver right here.

Can't wait to start. Happy reading.

message 2: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I started reading Gathering Blue last night. I am really enjoying the story so far, although I am having a little trouble following Matt's dialect. I also found out my 12 year old sister just finished The Giver for school. I was so excited to talk with her, for the first time, about a book we both read. I am encouraging her to read the rest of the series:)

message 3: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Olmstead | 15 comments I had a similar experience Ashley. I was able to talk to a friend's daughter about the book since she too had just finished it for school. I really like this one a lot better than The Giver. Part of it is probably because I am a sewer and love the crafters in the book.

message 4: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments I'm also enjoying Gathering Blue more than it's prequel. I've finished about one third of the book and I like it very much so far. I can't help wondering what'll happen next.

message 5: by Brenda (new) - added it

Brenda (butterflyprincess) | 62 comments Hi everyone! I have yet to start the second book, Gathering Blue. But plan to soon. Looking forward to it

message 6: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments I'm half way through the book and I think the community is in contrast to the one in The Giver. It seeks individuality rather than conformity with the whole and it cherishes the personal talents of its individuals.

But I still can't grasp the mechanics of the community itself for its so vague. While the emphasis in The Giver was on the structure of the community, the opposite is in Gathering Blue where the emphasis is on the main character's idiosyncrasy.

message 7: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ Marwa wrote: "I'm half way through the book and I think the community is in contrast to the one in The Giver. It seeks individuality rather than conformity with the whole and it cherishes the persona..."

Good points Marwa:)

message 8: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Thanks, Ashley. How do you find it so far?

message 9: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I just finished it. The ending kind of dropped off for me. I hope the next next book continues on. I really like the character development in this book. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book because I like The Giver so much I assumed it wouldn't match up. I wish Kira would've stood up for herself more, no pun intended.

message 10: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments I agree with you, Ashley. The story to me was much more enjoyable than The Giver and I think that Kira's peaceful attitude is a sort of weakness in her character but there's a desire for exploring in her that might make up for her weakness if she used it to push the boundaries of her community even if little by little. I think that's the common point between her and Jonah.

message 11: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I agree Marwa. I admire the curious natures of Jonas and Kira. They both seem to courageously explore the unknown. I am excited to start the next book in June:)

message 12: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments I've finally started this one. :)

message 13: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Ashley, June will be great for the next book in the quartet. I hope we'll be joined by other members.

Amber, fill us in on what you think of it so far.

message 14: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments I finished it last night. I didn't like this one as much as The Giver because I wasn't as interested in this community as that one and the writing seemed more childish. I started to wonder if Lowry let the people who don't like that The Giver is middle grade lit get in her head. On the plus side there weren't any details that weren't at all believable, like the low number of birth mothers in the Giver community.

message 15: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I am assuming we are reading Messenger this month, everyone in??

message 16: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments I'm in!

message 17: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Me too.

message 18: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ Just finished this book today. It's a very quick read, but I found this book seemed to move faster than the other two, and I was anxious to find out what happens next. The 3 books start coming together, and you're left wanting more.

message 19: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Yeah, Ashley. The third book wraps up the first two. But fore some reason the plot gets easier and it was vexing somehow and very expected. Also, the trading concept was somewhat a puzzlement in that community and I think there's more to it.

message 20: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I'm interested to see how she wraps everything up in the final book (Hopefully) lol.

message 21: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Me too, Ashley. I guess Son is quite bigger than its siblings :D . Gotta spare some time for this one.

message 22: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments I'm a month behind. But I've finished Messenger. I liked it more then The Giver. (view spoiler)

message 23: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Amber, Messenger kind of wraps it up, don't you think? I wonder how it will unfold in the end?!

How about starting Son first thing in August?!

message 24: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments I'm fine with whenever you and Ashley would like.

Messenger does seem like it could be an ending for the series. Which might be why Son is so much longer then the others.

message 25: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I will try to get to Son by August. Trying to finish up Gulliver's Travels and a read for another group. I'm excited to see how everything will wrap up:)

message 26: by Brenda (new) - added it

Brenda (butterflyprincess) | 62 comments I have been following along with the quartet and your discussions. I have finished Messenger as of last night. I agree that this book could have been the final one. The ending to this story was upsetting to me and I'm hoping that the Son will lead us to a different conclusion.

I also started reading Son which explains the very beginning of the series. It reminded me of a character that I had forgotten about and introduces a new character. We will see what happens in this conclusion.

message 27: by MiA (last edited Jul 13, 2014 02:57AM) (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Ashley & Amber, I have been away from group reads for a while now but I shall start Gulliver's travels soon and other readings for a challenge I'm doing which will deter me from starting Son anytime sooner than August.

Brenda, it's so good to know you've been following the thread. I'm pretty enthusiastic about the last part of the quartet for I have no idea what it might add to the story. I'm totally convinced that the third part forms a closure to the plot.

message 28: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I would prefer to read in August and discuss later as well, but I think since this is the last book we can kind of read at our own pace:)

message 29: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments August is good for me.

message 30: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I did happen to finish this sooner than expected. I will wait for everyone else to finish, but I must say this book wraps everything up nicely.

message 31: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments I've finished it too earlier this month. It sums up the previous books in the quartet, but I couldn't help feel the repetition through it. It also made me reflect more about the first part.

message 32: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ I just watched The Giver (movie) this week. I would recommend watching. I thought they did a good job with it.

message 33: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I'm late to the party but just need someone to chat with about this book, lol

I, finally, opened the Giver. In just 3 days I am almost done. I love this book. It's beautiful! I just had my first baby in June. Watching his development and having the knowledge about what he can see...the parallels are amazing. It's like I'm watching my child's development unfold in Jonas. It gives me chills. Lowry has done such an amazing job capturing what it is like to feel an emotion or see a color for the first time. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

message 34: by ♦Ashley♦ (new)

♦Ashley♦ Welcome Jessica! I really enjoyed this series and hope you do too:)

message 35: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Congratulations, Jessica and welcome to the discussion. I enjoyed this series a lot and I think Lowry did a great job putting it together like this. Let us know what you think of it as you go along.

message 36: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments I finally finished Son. I usually am more interested in female stories then male stories. But with this series I was a much bigger fan of the books about boys. Plus I kept wondering why the community would have 14 year-olds having babies when they would have to know that would raise the odds of complications during labor. Why wouldn't they just wait a few years. It wasn't as though they were having a lot of kids.

message 37: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments Lowry's book Gossamer which I also finished this month reminded me of the Giver books.

message 38: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments Amber, I've added it to my to read list. I hope I have the chance to read it sometime soon.

message 39: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments Enjoy Marwa!

message 40: by amber (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 116 comments I had forgotten about this until the discussion in another group reminded me. Here's an interview with Lowry about the series From the October 2012 edition of Bookpage magazine,

October 2012

Lois Lowry

A frightening and familiar world

BookPage® Interview by Deborah Hopkinson
Almost 20 years have passed since the publication of Lois Lowry’s Newbery-winning novel The Giver. While dystopian stories are widespread today, Lowry’s 1993 book was a pioneer in the genre for young readers, and it remains a searing and unforgettable reading experience.

It’s therefore chilling to be transported back to this colorless, controlled community where sameness is the norm, and where a boy named Jonas is designated as the “Receiver” of the society’s past memories. But that’s exactly what readers have in store with Son, Lowry’s latest book and the final volume in The Giver Quartet. Son introduces a new character, Claire, a 14-year-old girl who is somewhat embarrassed to be assigned the role of birthmother.

Things don’t go as planned for Claire. She becomes a “Vessel,” but has such difficulty with the birth of her first “Product” that she is sent instead to work at the fish hatchery.

Claire is filled with a sense of loss and an urgency to be with her baby. She finds a way to visit the Nurturing Center, all the while hiding her true intentions: to be with her son, no matter what it takes.

Claire’s story is riveting. And for readers of The Giver, reading Son is like visiting a place you lived long ago: Memories flood back; the landscape is eerily familiar; you start to recall people and events.

The events in Claire’s life connect so effortlessly with The Giver it seems as if Lowry must have planned it this way. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“I thought The Giver would be a single book,” laughs the author, speaking from her home in Maine. She was inspired to continue Jonas’ story in part because of young readers’ reactions to The Giver’s ambiguous ending.

“Kids like things tied up a little more,” she explains. “It was clear from letters and emails that kids didn’t like the ambiguity of the ending.” This led to the next books in the series, Gathering Blue and Messenger.

Similarly, readers’ curiosity about another character in The Giver prompted Lowry to write Son and return to the world that Jonas fled. (In preparation, Lowry herself sat down to reread the first book!)

Just as Lowry never planned to write a quartet, she also doesn’t do much planning for individual books. “I never have a plot carefully thought out,” Lowry explains. “As an author you want to create a journey.”

Critical to Claire’s journey is that somehow, after she is sent to the fish hatchery, no one remembers to give her the “pills,” which are used to stop stirrings—of love, dreams, longing and emotions. While she didn’t know what would happen to Claire, Lowry understood her character’s passionate need to connect with her son. For readers who know that Lowry herself lost a son (an Air Force pilot who was killed in the crash of his F-15), the story has added resonance.

Claire’s journey takes her to a place far from the world of The Giver, to an isolated village at the foot of a high, terrifying cliff. In Claire’s new home, the technology that permeates the community of The Giver is absent. Lowry’s juxtaposition of primitive conditions and advanced technology draws inspiration from her life and the connections she makes to others.

For some time, she has been part of Women for Women International, a program that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives. Through a monthly sponsorship, Lowry is helping a mother of five in Afghanistan support and educate her children; her photo is posted by Lowry’s computer, a reminder that many people in our world still struggle with poverty and difficult living conditions.

Lowry is a mentor and role model, as well as a mother, grandmother and a writer with an immense dedication to her readers. So it’s probably no accident that Claire finds help in her own quest to be reunited with her son.

“I realize in looking back that Jonas, Kira, Matty, Gabe and Claire each find a mentor, or someone who gives them wisdom,” the renowned author notes, reflecting on the main characters in The Giver Quartet. “It seems to be a recurring theme.”

While Lowry only works on one project at a time, she feels fortunate that inspiration still strikes. “Within the past week, the beginning of a new book appeared in my imagination,” she reveals. She started to write down what had come to her.

“I suddenly realized I had written five pages,” Lowry says. She closed the file on her computer: She has another deadline to fulfill.

But the book will be waiting for her—and hopefully someday for us—when she is ready.

message 41: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 125 comments I think the interview shows the humanitarian side of Lowry. Her own story is inspiring because she actually lives up to what she preaches. I believe that this is what writers should be like. They shouldn't touch our lives only by their magic words and great ideas that exist only on book pages, but also they should share the first hand experience behind their inspirational stories.

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