Summary and book reviews of The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

The Giver
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  • First Published:
    Apr 1993, 192 pages
    Paperback:
    May 1999, 192 pages

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Book Summary

Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.

1994 Newbery Medal winner. Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.

Chapter 1

It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. He had seen it both times. Squinting toward the sky, he had seen the sleek jet, almost a blur at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Then one more time, a moment later, from the opposite direction, the same plane.

At first, he had been only fascinated. He had never seen aircraft so close, for it was against the rules for Pilots to fly over the community. Occasionally, when supplies were delivered by cargo planes to the landing field across the river, the children rode their bicycles to the river bank and watched, intrigued, the unloading and then the takeoff directed to the west, always away from the community.

But the aircraft a ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. In The Giver, each family has two parents, a son, and a daughter. The relationships are not biological but are developed through observation and a careful handling of personality. In our own society, the makeup of family is under discussion. How are families defined? Are families the foundations of a society, or are they continually open for new definitions?

  2. In Jonas’s community, every person and his or her experience are precisely the same. The climate is controlled, and competition has been eliminated in favor of a community in which everyone works only for the common good. What advantages might “Sameness” yield for contemporary communities? Is the loss of diversity worthwhile?

  3. Underneath the placid calm of Jonas’...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publisher's Weekly

Lowry is once again in top form.

Kirkus Reviews

Wrought with admirable skill--the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel.

Reader Reviews

Kaitlyn Mckenzie Brooks

I Love The Giver
I love the giver, the giver is a book all young adults should read. This book is probably the only book I really liked reading. This book is probably the book I have ever wanted to actually read, it's that amazing. I myself recommend this book to ...   Read More

don

the giver
This book is awesome. I am almost to speechless to tell you about it.

carley

the best book on earth
I think this is so far the best book I have ever read! I totally recommend this book to 12 year-olds. I love the ending more than anything in the book, but it's still awesome

Alessandra Elicone

The Giver
When reading The Giver, to know what it's about isn't to read these comments, but to look at the book from your own view, to read it however you want. The Giver is a great book for reader's among all ages.

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