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In a monotonous community where everything was planned in advance and obeyed without argument, no one had ever made a choice or truly knew about feelings and the basic knowledge of life, such as snow, except for the special “Giver,” in the novel “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.
At the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas was ready for his announcement of his lifelong job decided by the Committee of Elders. However, he wasn’t chosen for a job he had in mind. Saved as the last one to be announced, everyone was eager to find out which job Jonas had obtained. It turned out Jonas was selected to be the next Receiver of Memory. He was to train under the previous Receiver of Memory, the Giver.
The Giver’s job was to give Jonas memories of emotions that were passed on to him from former Receivers. These memories were each unique in its own way. Jonas had to acquire memories of happiness, love, and even negative ones, such as war. Little by little, these memories changed Jonas way of thinking.
After witnessing his own father without hesitation kill a newborn child on orders, Jonas believes that the method the community is lives by is horrifyingly unbelievable. Unable to accept this new concept, Jonas wants to escape from this way of life. Willing to help, the Giver came up with a plan to sneak Jonas out of the town with Gabriel, a baby who has an inseparable bond with Jonas. Unfortunately, the Giver didn’t go on the journey with them. Together, Jonas and Gabriel trek to a new world of freedom and justice for a better future.
Jonas has taken several challenges throughout this book. “The Giver” is an engrossing book packed with colorful detail and suspense, it will surprise you all the way until the end. One of the novel’s themes is everyone should have a freedom of choice, which is important and meaningful.
“The Giver” by Lois Lowry, Laurel-Leaf, 179 pp.
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 – 9