The Giver Book By Lois Lowry (Summary - Review - Order Book)


Author Lois Lowry
Cover artist Cliff Nielsen
Country United States
Language English
Series The Giver Quartet
Genre Young adult fictionDystopian novelScience fiction
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Publication date
ISBN 0-553-57133-8 (hardback and paperback edition)
LC Class PZ7.L9673 Gi 1993
Followed by Gathering Blue 

The Giver is a dystopian novel of young American adults by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society that at first seems to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. The novel follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas. Society has removed pain and struggle by converting to "equality", a plan that has also eradicated the emotional depth of their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Memory Receptor, the person who stores all past memories of the pre-Equality era, as there may be times when one must take advantage of the wisdom gained from the story to help to the decision making of the community. Jonas struggles with the concepts of all the new emotions and things that are presented to him: if they are inherently good, bad or intermediate, and if it is possible to have one without the other. The community lacks color, memory, climate or terrain, all in an effort to preserve structure, order and a true sense of equality beyond personal individuality.

Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide since 2014. In Australia, Canada, and the United States, she is on many middle school reading lists, but she is also questioned He is ranked number 11 on the American Library Association list of the most questioned books of the 1990s. A 2012 survey based in the US UU He designated it as the fourth best children's novel of all time.

In 2014, a film adaptation was launched, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Brenton Thwaites. The novel forms a loose quartet with three other books set in the same future era, known as The Giver Quartet: Gathering Blue (2000), Messenger (2004), and Son (2012).

Jonas, a 12-year-old boy, lives in an isolated community of all but a few similar cities, where everyone, from small babies to the Senior Elder, has an assigned role. With the upcoming annual Ceremony of the Twelve, he is nervous, since there he will be assigned the work of his life. He seeks reassurance from his father, a Nurturer (who takes care of the new babies, who are genetically designed, therefore, Jonas's parents are not biologically related to him) and his mother, an official of the Department of Justice. He is told that the Elders, who assign their careers to children, are always right.

Finally, the day arrives, and Jonas meets with his companions in order of birth. The whole community is present, and the chief of elders presides. Jonas is stunned when he passes his turn and is increasingly visible and agonizing until he is alone. The Chief of Elders then explains that Jonas has not been assigned a normal task, but has been selected as the next Receptor of Memory, to be trained by the current one, who sits among the Elders, looking at Jonas and who shares with the unusual boy with pale eyes. The position of Receiver has high status and responsibility, and Jonas is quickly moving away from his classmates, including his close friends Asher and Fiona. The rules that Jonas receives separate him further since they do not give him time to play with his friends and require him to keep his training a secret. They also allow you to lie and retain your feelings about your family, things that are generally not allowed in the regulated community.

Once it begins, Jonas's training makes his uniqueness clear, since the Memory Receptor is just that: a person who carries the burden of the memories of the whole story, and who is the only one who has access to it. books beyond textbooks; and Book of rules issued to each household. The current Recipient, who asks Jonas to call him Donor, begins the process of transferring those memories to Jonas since the ordinary person in the Community does not know anything about the past. These memories, and his being the only member of the Community that allowed access to books about the past, provide the perspective of the Recipient to advise the Council of Elders. The first memory is of sliding down a snow-covered hill on a sled, which is amazing because Jonas has never seen a sled, nor snow, nor a hill, since the memories of even these things have been abandoned to ensure Security and compliance (called Sameness). Even the color has surrendered, and the Giver shows Jonas a rainbow. Less pleasantly, it gives Jonas memories of hunger and war, things foreign to the child. Clinging to Jonas's training is the fact that the Donor once had an apprentice, named Rosemary, but the boy finds his parents and the Donor reluctant to discuss what happened to him.

Jonas's father is concerned about a child in the Parenting Center who is not thriving and has received special permission to take him home at night. The baby's name will be Gabriel if he grows strong enough to be assigned to a family. He has pale eyes, like Jonas and the Giver, and Jonas clings to him, especially when Jonas discovers that he is capable of receiving memories. If Gabriel does not increase his strength, he will be "freed from the Community", in common words, taken elsewhere. This happened to an air pilot who was not in the field, to those who broke the chronic rules, to the elderly and to Rosemary's apprentice. After Jonas speculates casually about life in Elsewhere, the Donor educates him by showing the child a video with a hidden camera of Jonas's father doing his job: since two members of the community cannot be allowed to be identical, the Jonas's father frees the youngest of identical twins by injecting Baby with poison before putting his corpse in a garbage dump. There is no other place for those who are not wanted by the Community, those who are said to have been "liberated" have been murdered.

Since he considers his father to be a murderer, Jonas initially refuses to return home, but the Donor convinces him that without the memories, people in the community can not know that what they have been trained to do is wrong. Rosemary could not stand the darkest memories of the past and committed suicide with the poison. Together, Jonas and the Donor come to the conclusion that now is the time to change, that the Community has been lost and that it must recover its memories. The only way to make this happen is for Jonas to leave the Community, at which time the memories he has been given will flood the people again, as do the relatively few memories that had been given to Rosemary. Jonas wants the Giver to escape with him, but the Giver insists that it will be necessary to help people manage the memories, or they will destroy themselves. Once the Community has been reestablished in a new line, the Donor plans to join Rosemary in death, who is now her daughter.

The Giver designs a plot in which Jonas will escape beyond the boundaries of the Communities. The Giver will make it appear that Jonas drowned in the river so that the search for him is limited. The plan fades when Jonas learns that Gabriel will be "released" the next morning, and feels he has no choice but to escape with the baby. Their escape is fraught with danger, and they are both close to death from cold and hunger when they reach the border of what Jonas thinks should be elsewhere. Using his ability to "see beyond," a gift he does not fully understand, he finds a sleigh waiting for him on the top of a snowy hill. He and Gabriel lead the sleigh to a house full of colorful lights, warmth, love and a Christmas tree, and for the first time he hears something that he believes must be music. The ending is ambiguous, with Jonas depicted as experiencing hypothermia symptoms. This leaves his future and Gabriel's future unresolved. However, his fate is revealed in Gathering Blue and in Messenger, companion novels were written much later.

In 2009, at the National Book Festival, author Lois Lowry joked during a question and answer session: "Jonas is alive, by the way, you do not need to ask that question."

Lowry is once again in top form raising many questions while answering a few and unrolls an appropriate story for the most adventurous readers

About the Author
Lois Lowry is a two-time Newbery Medal winner for Number the Stars (1990) and The Giver (1994), the first installment in the New York Times best-selling quartet that includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. She divides her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a 1769 farmhouse in Maine. Visit her website at

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