The Giver

By Lois Lowry,

Book cover of The Giver

Book description

THE GIVER is soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift.

Now available for the first time in the UK, THE GIVER QUARTET is the complete four-novel collection.

THE GIVER: It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No…

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Why read it?

21 authors picked The Giver as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

While I don’t always love mainstream classics, The Giver is a classic for a reason, and, in my opinion, it rightfully deserves its place on the shelf.

I love the emotional draw of this book and the invitation to think deeper about the meaning of life and the burden it can take on us. I love books that challenge us to think about the bigger concepts of life and all they entail: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I love a good dystopian novel, and this hit all the right notes for me. At first, everything seems perfect in Jonas’s tightly-ordered world—only everyone is hiding something. Jonas is different, but he doesn’t know how.

I loved how thought-provoking The Giver was. It got me asking questions about what it means to be a part of a community, a friend, and a member of a family. What risks are we willing to take for the ultimate good, and what crosses the line?

I found Jonas’s story fascinating and felt genuinely concerned for him throughout the book.

Lois Lowry's The Giver was like a friend in middle school who opened my eyes in a way no other story has.

The whole dystopian society thing isn't just a background for the story—it's a mirror reflecting the messiness of our own world through a new lens. Jonas, the main protagonist, isn't like every stereotypical teen in a novel; he's someone I felt like I was walking alongside, sharing his journey for truth.

Lowry's storytelling made me feel the dystopian vibe in a way that got me thinking about fitting in and being myself. The Giver wasn't just a way…

From Katerina's list on dystopian books that leave a mark.

I have long been interested in memory, why we remember what we remember, and how those memories shape the way we understand and find our place in the world. One of the earliest books I read as a child that set me on this path was The Giver.

Lowry paints this vivid picture of a black-and-white dystopia where the societal past and its collective memories are preserved in one person so that the public will not have to remember and feel anything about the past. But without memory, they are barely living.

When writing my book, I kept…

In The Giver, Jonas lives this very lonely life and as the reader, we understand him. We see what he’s going through. 

However, nobody else in his town except for The Giver really knows what he’s dealing with. When Jonas has to make a choice that will have a huge impact on everybody, we’re rooting for him because we ultimately know that it’s better to be human and feel pain than it is to live the ignorant, hollow lives that we see the people in his town living.

This really stuck with me because it shows that people don’t always…

The Giver is close to my heart, as it played a huge role in my development as an author and was one of the first book recommendations my mother gave me. This novel shows you what it could take for humanity to reach perfection, and makes you question whether perfection is something really worth reaching for. It also introduced me to the wonderful dystopian genre, and showed me that literature is much more than entertainment: it’s a whole world of important messages that the world needs to hear.

This might be an obvious one but stick with me here. YA dystopias are old news but the idea of a teenager evolving—and growing more dangerous to adults—by gaining knowledge of the world still holds up. In fact, in our post-truth age of misinformation, it might be more relevant than ever. If you’re sick of this type of story, remember that Lowry did it first and did it better. It also does a thorough job of building a compelling relationship between the two main characters, one that continuously drives the story forward. 

I wish this was mandatory reading when I…

Most books about corrupt societies have inherently rebellious protagonists, a dubious environment, and a great romance that begins in the first chapter. The Giver does not conform to this rule and that’s one of the reasons I love it. Jonas, an 11-year-old who lives in a future world without war, famine, or strife, is selected for a unique assignment: Receiver of Memories. As he is exposed to how things used to be before their society was created, Jonas experiences colors, emotions, and values he and his fellow citizens have never been exposed to. And the reader gets to experience it…

From Marie-Hélène's list on YA SFF about utopian societies.

This is an interesting one...there are images portrayed in The Giver that remain with me to this day. I don’t know if it was just a “right place right time sort of thing, but the author’s depiction of black and white vision – suddenly impacted by flashes of color – were so vividly written, that it inspired a major creative work of mine. I haven’t seen the film, though if I were to guess, the book outweighs it by far.

How often have we wished as humans to be free of pain, to be free of anger, or despair? But that is really not living, as the young protagonist of this novel comes to learn. A frequent favorite of those who like to ban books, The Giver deals with uncomfortable subjects connected to age, frailty, and death. The way the story unravels its layers to reveal a society that on its surface looks serene but is actually dystopian is brilliant.

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