THE GIVER

Novel by Lois Lowry; Flyer created by Aaditi Kulkarni

Quote

"Is it worth giving up the experience of beauty and joy and love in order to end pain and suffering?" -Lois Lowry The Giver

Book Summary

Jonas lives in a perfect community...or that's what he is forced to believe. From designated birthmothers to assigned family units to predetermined Life Assignments, everyone is forced to obey without questions. It's just how it works. This way, the community is free of conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, injustice, and choice. Everyone is the same. They dress the same, act the same, live the same way, eat the same food every day and oh yeah….nobody sees in color. To them, their world is a blur of black, white, and grey. But Jonas is different. During the Ceremony of twelve, all of the other twelve-year-olds are given their Life Assignments, but Jonas is given one very special job. One that will change his life. Jonas is chosen to be the new “Receiver”. Every day after school, Jonas rides his bike to the Annex to meet the Giver who transfers to him memories (good and bad) of the past world. From sunshine and snow to war and broken ankles, Jonas’s view of the community is permanently altered. During this time, Jonas uncovers the many hidden secrets his community is harboring. But when he learns that his community’s Ceremony of Release is actually just injecting the person with a fatal liquid, Jonas breaks. The Giver and Jonas devise a plan: Jonas will run away to Elsewhere (a place outside of the community). This will cause all of his memories to be transferred to the people inside the community, and they will learn the harsh secrets of the community. But, their plans backfire when Jonas learns that the baby living with his family unit, Gabriel is being released the next morning. Jonas leaves that night, taking Gabriel with him as he makes a thrilling bike escape. Many days later, Jonas is still biking away from the community with Gabriel, barely surviving as the two battle rain, snow, and hunger. Along the way, Jonas transmits memories of happiness and love to Gabriel. At last, Jonas and Gabriel reach the top of a snow-hill where they find a sled. Jonas, completely sure that Elsewhere is at the bottom of the hill, pushes down the hill with Gabe in tow and finds a house full of people waiting.

CHARACTERS

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Jonas

The main protagonist of the novel. He is chosen, at the Ceremony of Twelve, to be the next "Receiver of Memory". As he begins his training with the "Giver", he gains wisdom and learns about how people gave up choices for Sameness in his community. Jonas learns about emotions, and feels a deep way about love. After learning about the many horrible secrets his community fosters, Jonas risks his own life to save the people of his community. After learning about his brother's oncoming Release, Jonas takes Gabriel with him in order to save the baby's life. Along his journey running away from his community, Jonas faces many hardships from rain and snow to hunger and twisted ankles.

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Sameness in the community?
  2. Is Jonas's assignment as "Receiver" an honor or punishment?
  3. Describe Jonas's personality traits and how it helps him.

OVERALL RATING

I give this book nine out of ten stars. I liked that the book had a deeper-than-what-meets-the-eye meaning. The community seemed like an ideal place to live in; everyone's life was all planned out and there is no disorder, but he community was not as perfect as it seemed. Everyone was stripped of their right to make choices, there is no color, everything is the same, and "Release" is just killing someone. This showed that even though something may seem flawless, it will have its hidden secrets. The book was very well-written, but the one thing I disliked was that the book ended on a cliffhanger of Jonas seeing a house with people inside. IT makes the reader wonder if Jonas succeeded with his plan of going to Elsewhere or not.

SNEAK PEEK OF THE MOVIE

The Giver - Official Trailer - The Weinstein Company