Awards, Honors, Prizes:
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Reading Measurement Programs:
Jan Lieberman (Children's Literature)
Jonas lives in a perfect society. There is no pain, poverty, divorce, delinquency, etc. One's life's work is chosen by the Elders. At the Ceremony of 12, Jonas is shocked to learn that he has been awarded the most prestigious honor. His assignment will be that of Receiver of Memories. He studies with "the Giver," a man he comes to love. Within time he learns the horrifying secrets of his community and must make a decision that will test his courage, intelligence, and stamina. This is a stunning, provocative science fiction story that will inspire discussion. 1997 (orig. 1993), Houghton/Dell, $14.95, $5.50 and $2.69. Ages 11 to 14.
Susie Wilde (Children's Literature)
Lowry won the Newbery award for this book, her first science fiction story. Jonas is an adolescent living in a world that has a decidedly futuristic feel. When he turns twelve, he gets the job that will last him the rest of his life. He's the Receiver of Memory, the one who receives from the Giver all the memories of his society. Jonas is given great privileges, new privacy, and information that allow him (and readers) to see through the society's apparent Eden. At first his world seems great, but then, bit by bit, she tears away at the perfection she has built. 1993, Houghton Mifflin, $14.95, $5.50 and $2.69. Ages 12 to 15.
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 1993)
In Jonas' world, there is no pain, no conflict, no poverty or injustice. Everything, including the work you will do for the rest of your life, is carefully planned out and controlled. On his twelfth birthday, Jonas, along with all the other twelve-year-olds, is assigned his life role in the community by the Elders: apprentice to the Giver. It's not what he expected. He's never even heard of the Giver, but as he learns under this mysterious man who keeps the history, he begins to receive memories of another place and time, and his perceptions of his perfect world start to radically alter. This gripping tale, set in a not-so-distant-future time, raises provactive issues for discussion and has a dramatic ending that will leave readers clamoring to offer their own interpretations of events. CCBC categories: Fiction For Children; Fiction For Teenagers. 1993, Houghton Mifflin, 180 pages, $13.95. Ages 10-14.
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1993)
In a radical departure from her realistic fiction and comic chronicles of Anastasia, Lowry creates a chilling, tightly controlled future society where all controversy, pain, and choice have been expunged, each childhood year has its privileges and responsibilities, and family members are selected for compatibility. As Jonas approaches the "Ceremony of Twelve," he wonders what his adult "Assignment" will be. Father, a "Nurturer," cares for "newchildren"; Mother works in the "Department of Justice"; but Jonas's admitted talents suggest no particular calling. In the event, he is named "Receiver," to replace an Elder with a unique function: holding the community's memories--painful, troubling, or prone to lead (like love) to disorder; the Elder ("The Giver") now begins to transfer these memories to Jonas. The process is deeply disturbing; for the first time, Jonas learns about ordinary things like color, the sun, snow, and mountains, as well as love, war, and death: the ceremony known as "release" is revealed to be murder. Horrified, Jonas plots escape to "Elsewhere," a step he believes will return the memories to all the people, but his timing is upset by a decision to release a newchild he has come to love. Ill-equipped, Jonas sets out with the baby on a desperate journey whose enigmatic conclusion resonates with allegory: Jonas may be a Christ figure, but the contrasts here with Christian symbols are also intriguing. Wrought with admirable skill--the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel. 1993, Houghton Mifflin, $13.95. Starred Review. © 1993 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
In the ``ideal'' world into which Jonas was born, everybody has sensibly agreed that well-matched married couples will raise exactly two offspring, one boy and one girl. These children's adolescent sexual impulses will be stifled with specially prescribed drugs; at age 12 they will receive an appropriate career assignment, sensibly chosen by the community's Elders. This is a world in which the old live in group homes and are ``released''--to great celebration--at the proper time; the few infants who do not develop according to schedule are also ``released,'' but with no fanfare. Lowry's development of this civilization is so deft that her readers, like the community's citizens, will be easily seduced by the chimera of this ordered, pain-free society. Until the time that Jonah begins training for his job assignment--the rigorous and prestigious position of Receiver of Memory--he, too, is a complacent model citizen. But as his near-mystical training progresses, and he is weighed down and enriched with society's collective memories of a world as stimulating as it was flawed, Jonas grows increasingly aware of the hypocrisy that rules his world. With a storyline that hints at Christian allegory and an eerie futuristic setting, this intriguing novel calls to mind John Christopher's Tripods trilogy and Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl. Lowry is once again in top form--raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers. Ages 12-14. (Apr.)
Laura M. Zaidman (The ALAN Review, Fall 1994 (Vol. 22, No. 1))
Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal, Lowry's thought-provoking fantasy challenges adolescents to explore important social and political issues. The Giver trains twelve-year-old Jonas as the next Receiver of Memory, the community's receptacle of past memories. This seemingly utopian society (without pain, poverty, unemployment, or disorder) is actually a body- and mind-controlling dystopia (without love, colors, sexual feelings, or memories of the past). In an exciting plot twist, Jonas courageously resolves his moral dilemma and affirms the human spirit's power to prevail, to celebrate love, and to transmit memories. From the book jacket's evocative photographic images--The Giver in black and white; trees in blazing color--to the suspenseful conclusion, this book is first-rate. Just as Lowry's Number the Stars (which received the 1990 Newbery Medal) portrays the Danish people's triumph over Nazi persecution, The Giver engages the reader in an equally inspiring victory over totalitarian inhumanity. 1993, Houghton Mifflin, 180 pp., $13.95. Ages 11 up.
Roger Sutton (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 1993 (Vol. 46, No. 8))
The future society in which Jonas lives is benevolently, but totally, controlled. Babies are birthed by anonymous Birthmothers, then adopted by couples who each raise no more than two children. Sex is repressed, thanks to a pill each citizen of the Community is given upon reaching puberty. Vocations are assigned by the Committee of Elders when each child reaches the age of twelve. While all these strictures are staples of science fiction, author Lowry, new to the genre, must be credited for the calm simplicity with which she describes Jonas' community. Like B. F. Skinner's Walden Two, it seems a peaceful place, where its people have been so seduced into its protections that they don't think to question the alternatives. But Jonas, who much to his surprise has been assigned the important job of Receiver, the one who holds all the memories of the past for the community, learns that security may mean less than total fulfillment. The novel takes a didactic turn when Jonas, through the elderly Giver, begins to receive memories of colors, Christmas, family warmth and deep unhappiness. All these losses have already been implicitly rendered, and spelling them out turns story into sermon. When Jonas learns that his tiny foster brother Gabriel is to be Released (killed) for his failure to thrive, he runs away with the baby-a tense escape, the first real action in the story, but unfortunately it's the conclusion, and a closing ecstatic vision leaves readers thinking that Jonas and Gabe have either died of exposure, or have headed into a new life, one that might be detailed in a sequel. Lowry could go a lot further with the intriguingly cool world she has created, but the present novel feels too much like a scene-setting introduction. Ad--Additional book of acceptable quality for collections needing more material in the area. Reviewed from galleys (c) Copyright 1993, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1993, Houghton, [208p], $13.95. Grades 5-8.
|Language||Call Number||LCCN||Dewey Decimal||ISBN/ISSN|
|English (eng)||PZ7.L9673 Gi 1993
0395645662 : $13.95|