Friday, November 1, 2013

The Giver - Book Review

** I am currently taking a Young Adult literature course and I will be reading and reviewing several materials using a new format. This review follows a template given to me by my professor.**

Publication Information

Name: Christopher Jimenez Media Format: Audiobook
Title: The Giver Genre: Utopia, Dystopia, Challenged Book
Author: Lois Lowry Selection Source: 1994 Newbery Medal
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Recommended Audience Age
Reading Recommendation: 5 out of 5
Curriculum Connections: History, Ethics, Civics


Jonas is a young boy, about to enter his 12th year. He lives in a utopian society in which the government has regulated every aspect of life to ensure sameness. Children are given jobs to learn at their 12th year, they grow and apply for a spouse which is selected for them based on aptitude, after 3 years they may apply for children (each family is allowed exactly 2 children), and so the cycle continues. This homogeneity is meant to ensure harmonious living and exception from pain.

The community is shocked to hear that Jonas was given the job of "Receiver of Memory." It is a position of high esteem and prestige. As a result, he is allowed to break most of the rules of his community. The old receiver trains Jonas by giving him the memories of the whole world (thus, becoming "The Giver") both pleasurable and painful. As a result of his enlightenment, Jonas begins to view the Utopian existence in a different light as he sees the true colors of his society.

This novel has achieved the following awards and distinctions:


This book presents history (memories) as the most important element of wisdom. The Receiver of Memory is the man that the Elders seek for counsel when they must make a difficult decision. In the end, the memories are released to the public, empowering them to make wise decisions on their own. This novel illustrates the power of knowledge as a catalyst for social change.


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