I recently finished reading a 225-page book by Lois Lowry called The Giver. Lois Lowry has written many books and won Newbery medals for two of her novels, Number The Stars and The Giver. The Giver is the first book in a four-book series. The other three book in this series is called Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Lois Lowry wrote over 30 books including The Giver quartet. She now divides her time between Cambridge and a 1840s farmhouse in Maine. I chose to read this book because I recently watched the movie. I was interested because I have been told it was an amazing book but I wanted to watch the movie first to compare them in the end.
Jonas the upcoming 12 is given the most special job one can receive. He’s going to be the receiver of memory, you see the world through his eyes. As the receiver, he has a list of rules he has to follow. Not being allowed to tell anyone about his job and being able to lie is a challenge for him because he doesn’t know if he should use this new privilege of lying or stay the same.
I like how the author showed that there was something different about Jonas from the beginning. For example, on page 114, she wrote, “Jonas stood for a moment beside his bike, startled. It had happened again: the thing that he thought now as ‘seeing beyond’. This time it had been Fiona who had gone through that fleeting indescribable change as he looked up and toward her going through the door, it happened she changed.” This is when Jonas saw stuff that nobody else saw. In the book you don’t know what he saying, you don’t know what kind of changes he sees in Fiona but since I had already watched the movie I knew that the change he was seeing was color. In their world everything was black and white was new so when he saw color for the first time it was in an apple and this time it was in Fiona’s hair. We also knew he was different than everybody else because he specifically called it seeing beyond. I also like that the author added suspense during the choosing jobs ceremony. She prepared us for his job to be read by saying, Jonas has prepared himself to walk to the stage when the applause ended and the chief elder picked up the next folder and look down to the group to go for the next new 12. But when in the book on page 72 when it said, “20 here for the voice he clearly she skipped me John is that, stand how do you hear wrong? No.” There’s a sudden hush in the crowd. We do ask questions like why did they skip Jonas and when were they calling to call his name? A question I also asked was where they ever going to call his name? I like that the butter added suspense because we were just reading about the long and boring job ceremony and something exciting finally happened when they didn’t call Jonas‘s name in order. Even though this book is an amazing book I did not like everything the author included.
The thing I dislike the most about the connections between the book and the movie was that they didn’t include one part of the book where Jonas was receiving one of his first memories from The Giver. This memory was when the giver first showed Jonas pain or what pain felt like because they didn’t have pain in their world. The first payment Jonas Phil was a sunburn. But before the Sunday John is also felt the warmth of the sun for the first time because in their world they have weather regulators which make sure the weather is always a good temperature for growing crops. I just like this because it didn’t include one of the connections between the giver and the receiver. Also, I dislike this because it was the first time he fell warmth and it showed Jonas how the world used to be and was different from the world he lives in now and when you watch the movie you don’t get to see this connection.
One thing I noticed that the author did in the book was that she talked a lot about releasing people. Jonas said it once someone got really old in the community zero released to elsewhere or if a baby didn’t reach a certain point by the end of the year that they were born they would be released. Immediately I thought this means that they would be killed but then I realize that kill or murder or Death wasn’t in the vocabulary that Jonas and everyone else in his community used. Then I understood that no one else knew the people that were being released died they thought there is the physical place out of the community where they went after they were so-called released. Jonas only figured out the real meaning after he had gone through some of this training and saw his father release a baby that didn’t meet the requirements after the year ended. He realized that what his leaders were doing wasn’t always right.
One passage I liked was on page 89 and 90. It was just after John just got his instructions to be the receiver of memory and rule eight said he could lie. Lying is against the rules of the community but he is allowed to do it now because the giver said he could. “He had never, within his memory, been tempted to lie. Asher did not lie. Lilly did not lie. His parents did not lie. No one did. Unless . . . Now Jonas had a thought that he had never had before. This new thought was frightening. What if others – adults – had upon becoming 12s, revived in their instructions the same terrifying sentence?” (pg.90)
I liked that the author included questions that Jonas was asking in the passage. While reading along I tried to think of the answers to those questions. This passage shows Jonas questioning everything and everyone he has ever known. I found this interesting because he seems to not trust himself with the privilege of being allowed to lie. I would rate this book a 9 out of 10.