Oldie but Goodie: The Giver

Oldie but Goodie
Oldie but Goodie will be about books that came out over 10 years ago, but are still great reads. I wanted a way to highlight books that aren’t new releases or some of the books that I read before I began blogging (but still love).

This week’s Oldie but Goodie:
The Giver
by Lois Lowry
Published in 1993

Why I chose it for this week:
I have a theory… There is a glut of dystopian fiction in the YA market right now, and I think it’s because of THIS book.  Many of the authors who are writing dystopian fiction right now were teens themselves when this book came out.  More than once I’ve seen an author list The Giver under favorite books or books that inspire them.  The Giver truly is one of the “founding fathers” of dystopian YA, and if you haven’t read it, you need to.  Right now.

In a future utopian society, humans have managed to eliminate pain and strife.  However, they’ve done this by converting to a “sameness” that has eliminated color, choice, and love.  Jonas receives his job assignment, a unique position where he will be given memories from before sameness.  As he sees what the world was like before, he begins to question the life he’s always known.

What I Love:
This book has such depth and makes you think about, question, and appreciate the world we live in.  The concept of giving and receiving memories is such a simple but awesome idea.  I remember wishing as a kid that it were possible to give and receive memories with such vivid detail as was done in the book.

Age Appropriateness:
There are some serious topics alluded to in the book, such as abortion, euthanasia, and suicide.  When I was younger, some of this went over my head.  But going back and reading it at an older age, the heavy issues were clear.  Appropriate for most middle schoolers.  Discussion encouraged.

Bragging Rights
Two years ago, I got Lois Lowry to autograph my copy of The Giver. Will totally rank up there in most awesome moments of my life (despite the fact that it was rainy and cold and disgusting that day).

    12 comments on “Oldie but Goodie: The Giver

    1. You actually met Lois Lowry?! I am SO jealous!

    2. LHughes says:

      She was a trooper signing outside in the rain and cold. It was only 1-2 minutes after two hours in line, but she's such an icon in Kid Lit. It was truly like seeing my hero in the flesh. 🙂

    3. I love the "oldie but goodie" idea! So awesome. Older books deserve love, too!I read this book when I was in…um 6th grade I think. It definitely made an impression. (I didn't even HAVE to read it, just wanted to!) I loved how amazing the world-building was.

    4. LHughes says:

      Thanks!And I agree that the world-building is excellent. It had to be in order to convince us that a society like that was "possible"

    5. *holds up hand meekly* I have a confession to make. I didn't read this book until last year. And I'm one of those people who were teens when it came out. I know, I'm filled with shame, as I should be. ;). But I did read Number the Stars as a kid and really loved it. And I LOVED The Giver once I read it. You're right, this is one of the "founding fathers" (love that!) of the dystopian genre, right up there with 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. But I think The Giver was definitely one of the first to be aimed towards younger readers. Great review, and I like this feature – it's a great idea!

    6. fakesteph says:

      I hate to admit that I haven't read this one yet. It's sitting on my bookshelf calling out to me, now.

    7. LHughes says:

      I'm glad you like this feature! :)I adore Number the Stars too! It's a different perspective of WWII/Holocaust and a great introduction for kids to a heavy topic.And I'm glad you read and enjoyed The Giver (even if it was just last year!)

    8. LHughes says:

      Hey, I'll give you points for owning it ;)It's not a long book! You should squeeze it in sometime this year! It's sooooo good 🙂

    9. It's true how many of the themes go over your head as a kid, even though they stuck with me as an adult. I still remember that twin being killed…

    10. LHughes says:

      The baby scene was one that I actually did get in that book. I don't think I understood the bit about old people not dying naturally and being euthanized. But the baby part was definitely powerful and intense, even as a kid. 😦

    11. Wonderful feature and such a thoughtful post. I haven't actually read The Giver yet, but I have heard only good things about it. I must read it at some point this year.Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the PageRemember to drop by my International Giveaway!

    12. LHughes says:

      Thanks! I hope you read it because I bet you'll love it!

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