The Giver, By Lois Lowry: Is it worth reading?

Is the Giver by Lois Lowry a Good Book

You might be asking yourself the question: Is Lois Lowry book, The Giver a good book? That’s a great question. I suppose it all comes down to preferences.

If you like dystonian novels with young central characters and an intriguing plot, the answer is … Yes, this is a darn good novel.

It was a Newbery Medal winner in 1994 and sold over 10 million copies (1) Its popularity in one testament to the answer.

You can learn more about utopian and dystopian novels here.

The Giver: Does this summary sound good?

At first, the reader sees the society as utopian. All appears well in the scientifically controlled environment. Jonas, the twelve  year old, central character, live a life where pain and disappointment is neutralized.

Emotions have been eradicated. In a society where life roles are assigned at the age of 12, Jonas learns he has been selected to inherit the important role of the Receiver of Memories.

Jonas must be the keeper of all memories before ‘sameness’ when people made independent decisions about pleasure and pain, and good and evil. He even sees color for the first time.

It will be his job to offer counsel to the community with all the wisdom he will acquire.

Jonas Faces an Internal Struggle

But, there’s a problem. Jonas is challenged by the new emotions imparted on him and struggles between the concepts of good and evil. After all, how can there be one without the other?

His little sister, a young naive character, offers the reader insight as to how their society operates. She asks questions and shares observation. Jonas’ parents give her answers reminding her about the way things are and what’s expected with a “just because it’s the way it is” sort of approach.

Jonas has difficulty accepting the constraints of this community: colorless, emotionless, and compliant.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry, takes you on Jonas’ introspective journey as he battles the morality of the seemingly utopian society. It leads him to question: Does the means justify the end? Along the way, it’s revealed the society is not a utopia, but rather a dystopia.

Listen to Chapter 1 of Lois Lowry’s: The Giver and you can decide if The Giver is a book you think is good enough to put on your reading list!

The Giver, Chapter 1, By Lois Lowry

Is The Giver, by Lois Lowry Worth a Read?

The book won a few awards:


I suppose you have to dive in a see what you think about the writer’s craft before you can make a judgement against it, but according to its history and how it was received by young adults, it look like this one is a winner!

If you already read The Giver, by Lois Lowry, and you liked it, it may want to consider three other novels:

Together, with The Giver, these four books make up The Giver Quartet. Are you brave enough to tackle four novels?

Argumentative Writing: General Structure Guide – Download It Here

Today we further discussed the essay we will be writing next week. For a week you have been collecting information and exposing your brain to a variety of information about leadership.

Download Today’s Handout HERE

Specifically, your attention has been on leadership for young people.

On Monday you will receive an outline/graphic organizer to help you structure your specific thoughts based on the question that will be driving your paper.


Argumentative Question for Monday’s Essay

Should leadership instruction be a formal part of education before students graduate from high school?


Here is the downloadable version of today’s general structure of argumentative essays we reviewed and discussed in class.

Download Today’s Handout HERE

Have glorious weekend!

Funnel It: The Writing Strategy that Teaches You How to Write an Introduction

Funnel It!

Learn how to write an introduction with ease.

The Funnel It strategy will reveal how to structure a focused introduction.

Apply this method to your writing and you will gain control over the focus of your essay writing.

After you watch the video, write a couple of introductions on your own to practice.

Watch this video… and Funnel It!!!

Argument Writing Prompt: Dressing for Success – Intro

Argumentative Writing

Dress for Success

Today you are going to complete 5 steps, as listed below.


  • Stay focused
  • Use time effectively
  • Get it done


Background Information on the Topic

In the 21st century classroom, student are expected to do more than learn facts. They need to develop communication skills and success skills. The world is changing and young people are expected to use their personal resources to create success in their lives through continual growth and achievement. They must learn how to be self-sufficient, productive, and resourceful.

Research reveals first impressions have a significant impact on how we judge others. Research also reveals that self-expression is important to helping others character in alignment with their true self. With this information in mind, some believe the way we dress ultimately impacts our success.

Keep this information in mind while you complete the task list below…


Today you are going to do the following:


    1. Read the prompt – CLICK HERE


    1. Go to informational resources – CLICK HERE


    1. Consider your position on the topic presented in the prompt – CLICK HERE


    1. Print-up an outline to help you – CLICK HERE


  1. Create an idea flow/graphic organizer to outline your essay. This is due tomorrow.

Holocaust Extension Materials

Night Featured Image

Below are some links for you to investigate. Visit these site and build your background knowledge in an area of interest related to the Holocaust and Wordl War II.

Holocaust Video Bank

Get your head phones. There are great videos with Holocaust Survivors on the site.

Holocaust Museum

This is loaded with a boatload of important dates and events surrounding and including the Holocaust.

Elie Wiesel Video Play List

Many interviews are shared on this YouTube Play List. Explore Elie Wiesel’s experience from a first hand account.

Writing Tools Subordinate Clause

The Subordinate Clause

Recognize a subordinate clause when you see one.

A subordinate clause—also called a dependent clause—will begin with a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun and will contain both a subject and a verb. This combination of words will not form a complete sentence. It will instead make a reader want additional information to finish the thought.

Here is a list of subordinate conjunctions:

Subordinate Conjunctions
even if
even though
in order that
provided that
rather than
so that

Here are your relative pronouns:

Relative Pronouns

Now take a look at these examples:

After Amy sneezed all over the tuna salad

After = subordinate conjunction; Amy = subject; sneezed = verb.

Once Adam smashed the spider

Once = subordinate conjunction; Adam = subject; smashed = verb.

Until Mr. Sanchez has his first cup of coffee

Until = subordinate conjunction; Mr. Sanchez = subject; has = verb.

Who ate handfuls of Cheerios with his bare hands

Who = relative pronoun; Who = subject; ate = verb.

Remember this important point: A subordinate clause cannot stand alone as a sentence because it does not provide a complete thought. The reader is left wondering, “So what happened?” A word group that begins with a capital letter and ends with a period must contain at least one main clause. Otherwise, you will have written a fragment, a major error.

After Amy sneezed all over the tuna salad.

So what happened? Did Amy throw it down the garbage disposal or serve it on toast to her friends? No complete thought = fragment.

Once Adam smashed the spider.

So what happened? Did Belinda cheer him for his bravery or lecture him on animal rights? No complete thought = fragment.

Until Mr. Sanchez has his first cup of coffee.

So what happens? Is he too sleepy to work, or does he have a grumpy disposition? No complete thought = fragment.

Who ate handfuls of Cheerios with his bare hands.

So what happened? Were the roommates shocked, or did they ask him to pass the box so that they could do the same? No complete thought = fragment.

Correctly attach a subordinate clause to a main clause.

When you attach a subordinate clause in front of  a main clause, use a comma, like this:

Subordinate Clause + , + Main Clause.

Even though the broccoli was covered in cheddar cheese, Emily refused to eat it.

Unless Christine finishes her calculus homework, she will have to suffer Mr. Nguyen’s wrath in class tomorrow.

While Bailey slept on the sofa in front of the television, Samson, the family dog, gnawed on the leg of the coffee table.

When you attach a subordinate clause at the end of a main clause, you will generally use no punctuation, like this:

Main Clause + Ø + Subordinate Clause.

Tanya did poorly on her history exam Ø because her best friend Giselle insisted on gossiping during their study session the night before.

Jonathon spent his class time reading comic books Ø since his average was a 45 one week before final exams.

Diane decided to plant tomatoes in the back of the yard Ø where the sun blazed the longest during the day.

Punctuate carefully when the subordinate clause begins with a relative pronoun.

Subordinate clauses can begin with relative pronouns [and thus are called relative clauses, a type of subordinate clause]. When a subordinate clause starts with who, whose, or which, for example, punctuation gets a little bit trickier. Sometimes you will need a comma, and sometimes you won’t, depending on whether the clause is essential or nonessential.

When the information in the relative clause clarifies an otherwise general noun, the clause is essential and will follow the same pattern that you saw above:

Main Clause + Ø + Essential Relative Clause.

Nick gave a handful of potato chips to the dog Ø who was sniffing around the picnic tables.

Dog is a general noun. Which one are we talking about? The relative clause who was sniffing around the picnic tables clarifies the animal that we mean. The clause is thus essential and requires no punctuation.

When a relative clause follows a specific noun, punctuation changes. The information in the relative clause is no longer as important, and the clause becomes nonessential. Nonessential clauses require you to use commas to connect them.

Main Clause + , + Nonessential Relative Clause.

Nick gave a handful of potato chips to Button , who was sniffing around the picnic tables.

Button, the name of a unique dog, lets us know which animal we mean. The information in the relative clause is no longer important and needs to be separated from the main clause with a comma.

Relative clauses can also interrupt a main clause. When this happens, use no punctuation for an essential clause. If the clause is nonessential, separate it with a comma in front and a comma behind. Take a look at these examples:

After dripping mustard all over his chest, the man Ø who was wearing a red shirt Ø wished that he had instead chosen ketchup for his hotdog.

After dripping mustard all over his chest, Charles, who was wearing a red shirt, wished that he had instead chosen ketchup for his hotdog.

Use subordination to combine ideas effectively.

Writers use subordination to combine two ideas in a single sentence. Read these two simple sentences:

Rhonda gasped. A six-foot snake slithered across the sidewalk.

Since the two simple sentences are related, you can combine them to express the action more effectively:

Rhonda gasped when a six-foot snake slithered across the sidewalk.

If the two ideas have unequal importance, save the most important one for the end of the sentence so that your reader remembers it best. If we rewrite the example above so that the two ideas are flipped, the wrong point gets emphasized:

When a six-foot snake slithered across the side walk, Rhonda gasped.

A reader is less concerned with Rhonda’s reaction than the presence of a giant snake on the sidewalk!



Grammar Bytes

Writing Tools: Gerunds

Writing Tools: Gerunds

Below is a recap of Writing Tools #5: Gerunds. Gerunds and Infinitives as Writing Tools are structured in a similar fashion. Take time to apply these in assigned 10 Minute Journal Writing to gain more experience with them to master them over time.

Writing Tool #5: Gerund:

  • A verb ending in “-ing”
  • First word in the sentence
  • Gerund is the subject, acting as a noun


Walking is effective exercise for old people.

Create your own sentence.



Jogging each day strengthens endurance.

Create your own sentence.



Reading horror stories may cause nightmare.

Create your own sentence.


Compare the the Structure of Gerunds and Infinitives

It is easy switch the writing tool of gerunds and infinitives because both features act as the subject. Listed below are examples of Infinitives inspired from the sentences above.


To jog each day strengthens endurance

 To walk is effective.

 To read stories may cause nightmares.

An Introduction to Intros

daily class work

Prompt: What is the most important needed skill for academic success in 8th grade?

academic success – Big idea

in 8th grade? – Focus

Brainstorming: What is academic success? What does it consist of?

An Introduction to Writing Introductions  

  • Basic Requirements:
    • Length: 4 – 6 Sentences. (Your conclusion must mirror the length)
    • First Sentence: A reference to a “big idea” (Not restating a prompt)
      • It can never be a quote
      • It can never be a question in formal writing
    • Second Sentence: More information about the “big idea”
    • Third Sentence: a Bridge Statement
    • Fourth Sentence: background information on issue/topic related to “big idea”
      • 3rd and 4th Sentence can be switched depending on cohesion of ideas
    • Fifth/Last Sentence: ALWAYS the thesis statement

Funnel Intro Parahraphs