The Giver, by Lois Lowry

I first read this little book in seventh grade, shortly after its publication. Everyone was raving about it, teachers and students alike, so in my pre-teen irascible contrariness, I read it and declared I didn't like it. I think I knew that I was being specious and argumentative just for the sake of standing out, but so much time had passed since reading it that I could no longer remember whether I really did dislike it or if I was just being difficult. With a much-heralded movie coming out very soon, my boss and I decided to reread it.

"The Giver" is a masterpiece, a brilliant novel that introduces young people to some very complex, interesting questions. The reader, whether 12-years-old or 28, is forced to ask, along with Jonas, whether stability is more important than variety. Is the true price of peace an eternal Sameness? Is contentment and safety more important than happiness and love? Would we rather live in a world without color, or a world without war? And seriously, DOES JONAS DIE AT THE END OR WHAT??

"The Giver" deserves its place in the canon of children's literature, as well as that of science fiction in general, and I look forward to seeing the (by all accounts very carefully crafted) movie version of Lowry's wonderful work.


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