Monday, August 22, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Flap Copy description:
"It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened."
     Thus opens this haunting novel in which a boy inhabits a seemingly ideal world; a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.
December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man - the man called only the Give - he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.
     Told with deceptive simplicity, this is the provocative story of a boy who experiences something incredible and undertakes something impossible. In the telling it questions every value we have taken for granted and reexamines our most deeply held beliefs.

My thoughts:
     Lois Lowry's, The Giver, is a soft science fiction novel set in a futuristic society. In the beginning of the story this society has a utopian sense to it; as the story progresses it becomes more and more dystopian. The main character, Jonas, is wonderfully written; through his heart and mind we are presented with subjects that call into question - what do we value? This book has already attained classic status; it was the 1994 Newbery Medal Award winner.
(I would not recommend this book for children under the age of ten. An infant is euthanized by the protagonist's father.)

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