Messenger, By: Lois Lowry
Blog by: Dumonee Larmeir
The Gaming Machine gave candy to people who won the game.
This is one of the Messenger book covers.
The dog in this picture probably aren't what Jean's dogs looked like, as their physical appearance is not described in the book.
Matty releasing his powers is the solution to every problem in the book. But Matty had died. He could see and hear everything. He saw that the people who traded their Inner Selves were healed. Forest was no longer rotten and hostile. Ramon was no longer sick because of Matty. The ruined tapestry that belonged to Seer was fixed as a breeze flew by. Leader’s (he was in Forest rushing to get Matty and Kira out, and, of course, he had been attacked) Lesions had faded. The bushes had drawn back so he could get through. The air smelled fresh, not rotten like it once was. Once again, Mentor was stooped and balding, but he was happy. After Matty died, he was given his true name, Healer.
The tone seems dark. There is hardly any humor in the book. Matty dies at the end. The book describes the forest as a being that brutally kills people. There is also a vivid description of the pain that Matty and Kira went through as they were traveling through the forest. On page 140, the book states that the vines blocking their way had acidic sap that “dripped from the cut vines and burned where it landed on his arm”. There were several vines that burned Matty’s flesh. Then they had to move through a swamp filled with sharp reeds. Fortunately, Matty had shoes. Unfortunately, Kira did not. Eventually, they just lay there, dying, but then Matty uses his powers.
When I was reading the book, the mood changed several times. When Matty healed the dogs on page 40, I was joyful (I love dogs). Before Matty saw his first Trading Mart, I was confused about the whole trading-thing. When I read about the Gaming Machine on page 7, I was jealous. I wanted countless amounts of candy! On page 12, when Ramon tells Matty about Forest killing Gatherer, I was angry. I wanted to cut down every tree in that forest. When Matty and Kira were in Forest, I felt worried for them. When they were suffering, I felt sorry for them. When Matty died on page 165, I was disappointed, but also happy that all the problems were fixed.
An important event was when Matty healed Jean’s two dogs. When he felt them, his hands hurt. It was a vibrating shock. He told Jean to get catnip. He didn’t really need it. He just needed to not let Jean see him using his power. The dogs are big, and he healed two of them. This is important because it Matty begins to realize that his powers are stronger than he thought. Matty had healed a frog before, but frogs are small, so that wasn’t as important (he did discover his power by healing the frog, though).
Another important event was when Matty went to Trade Mart. Matty had noticed that nobody had brought anything to trade. Everybody was quiet and tense. The crowd parted to make way for a man called Trademaster. He said, “Trade Mart begins” in a slight accent. Mentor shoved everybody out of the way as he moved to the front so he would be noticed. The reader can tell that Mentor is much meaner. Trademaster asked, “Trade for what?” Mentor replied, “Same as before.” Matty notices that Stocktender’s Widow blushes. This is important to know because now the reader knows what Mentor is trading for. Trademaster then wrote in his book. He then asked, “Trade away what?” Mentor whispered, so no one could hear. This is important because the reader can now guess that Mentor traded away something important. The reader can also infer that the Trade Mart is what is causing everyone’s generosity to die.